Interview with Christine Oberbillig, Marketing Manager Industrial & Home Care & Sustainability at Clariant

Christine Oberbillig
Marketing Manager Industrial & Home Care & Sustainability, Clariant

With Genapol® Complete, Clariant makes another step towards an even more environmentally-compatible surfactant supply. What makes Genapol® Complete so unique?

Genapol® Complete is a rinse surfactant for automatic dishwashing detergents which has a number of benefits. Rinse surfactants play a crucial role in cleaning the dishes by preventing spots forming on glasses or other materials, avoiding film formation and in many cases they can also help the dishes to dry more quickly, meaning no need to manually dry the dishes when the cycle is over. The surfactants available in the market with the best rinse and drying performance have one major drawback – they can lead to fatty residue build up on dishes and especially in the filter of the dishwasher. Genapol® Complete overcomes this problem and gives excellent rinse performance with significantly reduced fatty residue build-up. In addition, we have developed a new process which allows us to produce Genapol® Complete from a low carbon footprint vegetal feedstock and this means the carbon footprint of Genapol® Complete is significantly lower than the current best in class surfactants – we see a reduction of up to 59% in product carbon footprint compared with conventional benchmarks. 

What are the advantages of this new product?

Genapol® Complete addresses the consumer demand for convenience, high performance and responsible products. It was developed to be used in the most popular and fastest growing all-in-one formats, which has an anticipated CAGR for the upcoming 5 years of 5.3% according to Euromonitor. Moreover, it contributes to fulfilling the increasing consumer demand for convenience and efficiency. It is currently challenging for detergent manufacturers to find naturally derived ingredients for all-in-one products that qualify for ecolabels without diminishing their performance. Genapol® Complete provides both high performance and compatibility with environmental labels. With respect to the performance attributes, the product shows excellent rinse performance, very good overall drying performance and reduced fatty residues in the machine. Avoidance of fatty residue build-up especially when using low-temperature eco programs is a benefit which is increasingly sought after. Genapol® Complete leads to significantly reduced fatty-residue build-up in the machine after 30 eco-cycles compared with benchmark surfactants and thereby contributes to machine cleanliness and longevity.

At the same time the product shows an advantageous sustainability profile since it is anaerobically biodegradable and partially of natural origin, has outstanding compatibility with environmental labels and a substantially lower product carbon footprint (PCF) than alternatives. The PCF is one sustainability measure which is becoming increasingly important for our customers as any ingredients they buy contribute to their Scope 3 emissions. Hence, any products with a lower PCF can help to reduce the overall emissions profile of the detergent producer. Thanks to the low carbon footprint vegetal feedstock, Genapol® Complete has a cradle-to-gate PCF which is 1.5 kgCO2eq/kg lower than the current best in class surfactants.  This is a reduction of 59% when land use change and biogenic carbon uptake are included.   

Does it help formulators to achieve environmental label-certified formulations?

Yes, not only is Genapol® Complete based on a vegetal source, it also has a much lower critical dilution volume (CDV) than other surfactants. The CDV is the amount of water required to dilute the impact of an ingredient on aquatic life – the lower the CDV of the individual surfactants in a formulation, the better. The CDV is one of the main criteria in evaluations of leading ecolabels and for Genapol® Complete it is 60 times lower than conventional fatty alcohol alkoxylates and 3 times lower than the best-in-class offerings. Genapol® Complete is anaerobically biodegradable and has no environmental hazard label. It is suitable for Nordic Swan, Blue Angel, Safer Choice and EU Ecolabel formulations.


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