A new soap molecule has been invented from renewable sources, and could be used to produce soaps made from natural products, such as soybeans, coconut and corn. This would be invaluable when reducing the harmful chemicals in the water system, and these new soaps would be even more effective than current products.
This research stemmed from concerns being raised about substances like Tricolosan and microbeads in soaps, which has led to increased research into sustainable and natural substances.
The new range of soaps developed at the University of Minnesota use biodegradable ingredients to create a molecule called oleo-furan-surfactant (OFS). In cold water, where petroleum-based soaps become gooey, this product works very well.
OFS soap can also form soap particles at very low concentrations, meaning that they reduce the environmental impact on water systems, and also work a lot better than conventional products with hard water. The soap can be made from soybeans or coconut, which is biodegradable, making them the ideal soap molecules.
This new research promises a major impact on the cleaning product industry, and it has the potential to dramatically improve the environmental impacts of the sector and overall efficiency.