The demand for sustainable and vegan-friendly softeners has been trending up over the last five years, with more than 10% of the total new softener launches in 2020 claiming “vegan,” according to Mintel. “Eco-wakening” is driving consumers’ behaviors, from searching for transparency about ingredients sourcing to how products are made or processed.

Stepan Company is cognizant of this shift in fundamental sustainability mindset and are focused on providing innovative product solutions that promote improved health and hygiene, energy conservation and efficient resource use. Two key esterquat products derived from European, GMO-free rapeseed oil demonstrate this commitment by keeping carbon emissions from transport as low as possible, reducing energy use and avoiding animal-derived raw materials.

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STEPANTEX ELS 88-E and STEPANTEX DC 90 are the right fit for sustainable rinse cycle fabric softeners.

STEPANTEX ELS 88 is a one-to-one replacement for standard palm-based esterquats.  For low concentration formulations, using 4% active  STEPANTEX ELS 88 imparts equivalent softening as standard esterquats. Its other features include:

  • 88% solids
  • Wide range of processable active level from 4% to 15%
  • Bio-renewable Carbon index (BCI)* of 81

*Biorenewable Carbon Index (BCI)= the number of biorenewable carbons derived from plant, animal or marine sources, divided by the total number of carbons in the idealized molecule.

Softening Score

Unlike standard esterquats that require high temperatures (50-60°C) for manufacturing, STEPANTEX DC 90 is cold-processable and significantly reduces energy use and processing time.

STEPANTEX DC 90, in its liquid form, is easily processable at room temperature and offers additional features such as:

  • Reduced batch cycle time by minimizing steps — no need to heat water or cool down solution
  • Wide range of processable active levels from 4% to 15%
  • Similar softening to standard softeners when used in synergy with glycerol
  • BCI of 83
  • Clear liquid
  • 90% solids



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Company Profile

Stepan Company is a leading merchant producer of surfactants, which are key ingredients in consumer products such as laundry detergents and softeners, hard surface cleaners, disinfectants, shampoos and body wash, as well as customized solutions for the agricultural, oilfield and construction markets. Our continued success is driven by the passion and commitment of our 2,400 employees worldwide. Our global R&D team of 230 scientists brings innovative solutions to the market. Our team works to enable our customers’ success with a growing portfolio of diverse chemistries that benefit the environment, promote human well-being, and address today’s challenges. We recognize the urgent need to address climate risk and are dedicated to developing solutions that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support efficient use of resources.



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