Laundry detergents that give new meaning to that old advertising cliché, "whiter than white," may emerge from a controlled-release technology scheduled to be described in the Aug. 22 issue of the ACS journal, Chemistry of Materials.
Bakul C. Dave and colleagues report development and testing of tiny silica gel beads to encapsulate the enzymes now used in a large number of laundry detergents.
Developed with biotechnology, those enzymes are used in liquid and powdered detergents to help remove protein-based stains from dirty laundry. Other detergent ingredients, however, create a hostile environment for the enzymes, sometimes causing them to clump and loose activity.
The new silica gel beads form a protective shell around the enzymes. It protects the enzymes from air and moisture for extended periods on store shelves and after packaging has been opened.
The coating dissolves quickly, however, and releases the enzymes when conditions are right in the washing machine.
Reference: "Controlled Dissolution of Organosilica Sol-Gels as a Means for Water-Regulated Release/Delivery of Actives in Fabric Care Applications." Chemistry of Materials
Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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