Synthetic detergents, according to the All-Russian product classifier, include detergents for washing products from cotton and linen fabrics, for washing products from silk, wool, artificial and synthetic fabrics, universal detergents, detergents for soaking linen and household needs, special-purpose products . In addition, detergents are classified according to their state of aggregation. In this case, solid, liquid, powder (granular) and paste-like synthetic detergents are isolated. Powdered products are the leaders in terms of production, as they have the highest concentration. They are convenient in production, do not require expensive packaging in manufacturing and are in high demand among consumers. Detergents in the form of tablets are the least common in our country.
However, experts are sure that the future lies with them, since they are very convenient to use, they can accurately dose the amount of detergent and practically do not cause allergies. Since one such tablet may consist of several layers, this allows you to adjust the speed and dissolution conditions of each of them. For example, if single-layer tablets dissolve uniformly and quickly, then enzymes first dissolve in multilayer tablets, and oxygen bleaches are released as the water temperature rises. Thus, the effectiveness of the detergent is significantly increased. The disadvantage of the production of detergents in the form of tablets is the increased energy intensity, because at the last stage of production the pressed substances are dried at high temperature to remove moisture. In second place in terms of efficiency in use are liquid detergents. They do not contain chemical bleaches, enzymes and alkaline salts. On the one hand, this is an advantage, since, unlike washing powders, a liquid product does not cause allergies. On the other hand, due to the absence of these substances in its composition, the washing action of the liquid product is much less effective. Paste detergents contain up to 40% moisture. In composition, they practically do not differ from powder products, with the exception that unstable chemical bleaches are not added to them.
Synthetic detergents are produced without peroxidic compounds and bioadditives (the so-called protozoa), with bioadditives, with peroxidized compounds, combined for various types of fabric, with polymer additives that prevent the transfer of dyes from the fabric into the solution, with flavorings. Powder detergents vary in composition. There are mixtures of anionic, nonionic surfactants and various additional components. The former are intended for washing and soaking cotton and linen fiber products, the latter for synthetic fabrics.
The assortment of the enterprise for the production of synthetic detergents and the possibilities for its development depend on several conditions at once. In particular, from the availability of raw materials and energy resources and their cost, changes in the design of washing and dishwashers and other equipment that is used in everyday life, from standards for protecting the environment from negative factors, from the temperature and hardness of the water used, from the scope of the product.
Modern detergents and cleaners are quite complex in composition and action of multicomponent mixtures. The product is based on synthetic detergents and their mixtures, which increase the foaming and emulsifying ability of the product, reduce the surface tension of water. Anionic, amphoteric, cationic and non-ionic surfactants are such a main ingredient. Surfactants are characterized by high cleaning ability and biodegradability. The higher each of these parameters, the better and more effective the tool will be. Anionic surfactants dissociate in water to a hydrophobic anion, which has the very washing effect, and an inorganic cation, which gives the product such a quality as solubility in water. Olefin sulfonates have a good washing effect even in hard water.
Also, the composition uses hydroxyolefin sulfonates, fatty acid ester sulfonates, hydroxyethylated fatty alcohol sulfates, and alkyl sulfates. True, the latter components are usually used abroad, and in our country they have not yet found wide application despite the fact that they are completely decomposed and have a good washing effect. Amphoteric surfactants (for example, carboxybetaine) are part of foaming agents (including hair shampoos). Non-inogenic surfactants are called ethoxylated primary fatty alcohols, which are characterized by high biodegradability, good wetting ability, but low foam resistance and not very good foaming. Cationic surfactants are produced in a smaller volume than anionic and nonionic surfactants, but have a number of useful properties. The most common among them are Quaternary ammonium bases. These surfactants are used as antistatic agents, corrosion inhibitors, water repellents, emulsifiers and disinfectants.
Of course, in addition to surfactants, there are many other ingredients in detergents. So, for example, the composition of liquid detergents includes the main detergent, a surfactant-based washing amplifier, a bio-enhancer for splitting various biological contaminants, an alkaline washing amplifier, a complexing agent (this component prevents the formation of limescale on the elements of washing equipment), oxygen-containing bleach, and detergents finish processing.
The production process of synthetic detergents and cleaners includes several stages: preparation of the composition, drying, packaging and packaging. In the first step, surfactants are mixed with beneficial additives.
The resulting solution is heterogeneous. To mix it to a homogeneous consistency, it is passed through a colloidal mill. The most widely used method for the production of powder products is the high-temperature spray drying method. In this case, drying is carried out by spraying the solution in a drying tower under a pressure of 30-50 atmospheres and at a temperature of 250-350 °. As a result of all these manipulations, granular powder is obtained. This method has significant drawbacks: high energy consumption, high consumption of packaging material, the negative impact of production on the environment due to dust pollution of detergents from the exhaust air, the possibility of decomposition of sodium tripolyphosphate. When using another production method, the crystallization method, the spray units operate at a low temperature in the drying tower.
Powder detergents can be produced in other ways: by dry mixing the starting components in the mixers (although the resulting product contains a large number of dust fractions); spraying liquid components onto a dry base, which is in suspension (the best alternative to production by spray drying at a much lower cost); spraying liquid components onto a dry base in mechanical mixers (this method is practically not used today). The production of powder detergents is more expensive than the manufacture of liquid products.
For the latter, industrial mixers equipped with strain gauges are needed. The raw material that flows through the pipelines into the mixer tank is weighed using a strain gauge system. This allows you to control the weight of all components necessary for the production of liquid synthetic detergents with maximum accuracy. In the production of liquid detergents, several separate lines for packing products are placed (their number can vary, depending on the assortment of the manufacturing company): the line for filling the gel for washing dishes in a PE can with a capacity of 250 to 2250 g, the line for filling the liquid for washing dishes in PE and PET containers with capacities from 500 ml to 1000 ml, packaging line for liquids for washing glass, fabric softeners and universal detergents in PE and PET containers with a capacity of 50-1000 ml, packaging line for cosmetics (liquid soap) in PE and PET container spine 300-500 ml. Each of these lines is separately equipped with tanks for settling liquid. This is necessary in order to exclude mixing of different mixtures among themselves. In addition, there are several settling tanks with a capacity of about 5 tons for settling finished products.
The quality of the finished product directly depends on the feedstock, the production technology used, and the availability of useful additives. The tower production method has a negative impact on the environment, so manufacturers are trying to find alternative technologies. In particular, methods of tabletting, extrusion, granulation, agglomeration in “boiling” detergents, etc. are used. Packaging of your products deserves special attention. Powder detergents and cleaners weighing from 200 to 500 grams, intended for domestic use, are packed in cardboard bundles, plastic containers, plastic films. To develop packaging design, you will need the services of a professional designer, because the visibility of your products on shelves in stores is one of the main conditions for successful sales.
In chemical production, special equipment is used, which is necessary for the synthesis of components of synthetic detergents. Such plants are equipped with special lines for mixing the resulting compositions with a hydrotrope, which prevents the separation of components of liquid detergent due to their different densities.
Separate lines are used to dry the mixture in a semi-liquid state to obtain dry granular products. Placing all this equipment, including molds for packaging, storage of packaging and raw materials, will require an area of about 550 square meters. meters. Productivity of a medium-sized enterprise is up to 800 tons of finished products per month. The total cost of implementing this project is 7.5-8 million rubles. In addition, you can buy an existing workshop that manufactures finished products in consumer and industrial containers, including dishwashing detergents, fabric softeners, universal detergents, glass cleaners, liquid soap, etc. Such an enterprise (without the production of dry detergents ) will cost 5-6 million rubles. True, it will be possible to recoup the investment no earlier than 3-4 years. The recent financial crisis has put small domestic producers in a difficult position: banks have tightened credit conditions for entrepreneurs, and retail chains later paid money for goods sold. Therefore, many companies were forced to abandon their own production and began to place orders at third-party plants under a contract.
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