Colonial Chemical wins at EPA Green Chemistry 2021 awards

Colonial is being recognised for developing SugaBoost surfactant blends which reportedly use more environmentally friendly chemicals than traditional cleaning surfactants

Colonial Chemical has won an award for the Design of Greener Chemicals at the 2021 EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program, specifically in the focus area of The Design of Greener Chemicals.

Colonial is being recognised for developing SugaBoost surfactant blends which reportedly use more environmentally friendly chemicals than traditional cleaning surfactants. Specifically, the surfactants consume less energy, are biodegradable, and are derived from plant-based materials, Colonial says, with performance that demonstrates potential to replace EO-containing surfactants such as SLES and APEs.

“Colonial’s SugaBoost technology platform is an example of a decades-old commitment to the design of greener, safer, effective surfactants for our customers and our consumers,” said David Anderson, Jr., President of Colonial Chemical. “We are honoured to be recognized for this achievement and will continue to design and innovate in this space that is critical for our country and world.”

EPA recognised the winners today during the virtual American Chemical Society Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. Awards have been presented to 128 technologies designed to decrease hazardous chemicals and resources, reduce costs, protect public health and spur economic growth.

An independent panel of technical experts formally judged the 2021 submissions.

“Green chemistry is one way to provide solutions to some of the significant environmental challenges we’re facing today, like exposure to toxic chemicals, dependence on non-renewable sources, and climate change,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Michal Freedhoff.

One group of chemicals often found in traditional surfactants is alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs). The EPA has identified this class of chemicals as toxic to aquatic organisms, especially because they bioaccumulate in mollusks, soils, and sediments. Additionally, the chemicals can mimic natural hormones and induce endocrine disruption in aquatic and land organisms.

Colonial says it discovered blends of functionalised alkyl polyglucoside (APG) surfactants provide cleaning performance equal to or better than APEs while avoiding environmental issues related to aquatic toxicity, endocrine disruption, and carcinogenic impurities. SugaBoost surfactants are blends of derivatised APGs prepared by attaching functional groups such as sulfonate, phosphate, quaternary ammonium, glycinate, and citrate. The blends reportedly do not yield toxic substances as they biodegrade. They are mild and safe for the formulator and end-user, the company says. Lastly, the surfactants require less energy to manufacture and require only water as a solvent during manufacture and clean up.