The liquid form for household detergents is gaining market share in many world markets particularly for dish washing and light-duty applications. Moreover, the personal care products in liquid form have a substantial share of the market and can be manufactured in the same plants as liquid detergents.
For this reason, whenever reference is made here in after to liquid detergents, it is meant to refer also to personal care products.
Independently on the type of liquid detergents or personal care products and their specific targeted uses, the manufacturing of liquid detergents should be based on processes, equipment and operation sequences in compliance with the chemical and physical demands of these products.
The formulated liquid detergent, where the various components have to be "incorporated", has to be stable. This target is accomplished when all the formulation components are properly selected and their introduction into the product recipe is such as to avoid a strong variation to temperature, pH and viscosity, as well as undesired chemical reactions.
In other words, the manufacturing of liquid detergents requires high care in constituting stable and strong “micelles” distributed into the liquid product. This is commonly perceived as "product homogeneity".
What is required for a liquid detergent, independent of its task and specific application, can be summarised as follows:
- Outstanding global performance
- Nice appearance (colour and degree of transparency)
- Controlled viscosity
- Stability vs. storage time, temperature and light effects
The manufacturing of liquid detergents should be based on a good knowledge of the chemistry and rheology of the detergent components and the capability to control and to modify their interactions. Suitable and appealing packaging is also of great importance.The manufacturing of all types of liquid detergents involves the steps indicated in this scheme:
The production of liquid detergents requires processing equipment capable to cope with the following demands:
- Possibility to process fluids in a wide range of viscosity (up to 5-6000 mPa.sec)
- Possibility to use alcoholic solvents (necessity of explosion-proof design)
- Easy coupling with a Computerised Process Control System
- High resistance and corrosion-proof construction materials (stainless steel and special alloys)
- Capability to provide high heat-transfer rate (for both cooling and heating)
- Capability to provide intimate and constant mixing
- Possibility to correct pH, viscosity and temperature (by specific devices)
- Possibility of fast and simple cleaning (to reduce product change-over time) without risk of contamination
Ballestra has developed the LIDET Technology for the production of Liquid Detergents, offering a wide range of plant capacities and the choice of two different process routes (Batch or Continuous), in order to cope with the specific client production requirements.
Regardless of the type of process route, the Ballestra LIDET Plants allow the production of Liquid Detergents whose application properties and physical characteristics are summarised here below:
Personal Care Product
Hard – Surface cleansers Industrial/Specific Detergent
100 – 1000 mPa.s
1500 – 5000 mPa.