Novozymes reducing phosphate use in laundry detergents
Develop alternatives to sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) that offer the performance consumers have come to expect, without increasing cost.
Consumers expect high-performance laundry detergents with low environmental impact. Environmental regulations are also driving formulators to reduce potential negative impacts on wastewater and water ways, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. STPP is a traditional multipurpose ingredient in powder detergents. Although many countries in Western Europe and North America have already phased out the use of STPP, other countries still use it as a standard builder ingredient. This has potential negative impacts on the environment, such as algae bloom and phosphorus depletion.
Novozymes investigated phosphate replacements such as carbonates and zeolites (benign and plentiful inorganic materials) in combination with their enzyme mixes. They found these could replace STPP while improving performance for comparable cost. Lifecycle analysis showed significant savings in environmental performance and a near total reduction in phosphate.