Industrial cleaning and washing

Industrial cleaning and washing

Industrial and institutional cleaning (I&I) is of great importance for the food, dairy, brewing industry as well as the maintenance of industrial and institutional buildings. Caring for hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals and other public places should be a key activity, for health reasons. The risk of contagious diseases has caused consumers to become more and more aware of the dangers of not maintaining cleanliness. As a result, over the last years this has led to a general increase in expenditure on prevention and health protection. It is predicted that the growing consumer awareness of infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses will be a driver of the boom in the industrial and institutional cleaning industry. Maintaining the cleanliness of the healthcare environment, and thus minimizing the concentration of pathogens, is the best way to prevent infections. This directly translates into patient safety as well as reducing the cost of healthcare to the public.

Ensuring cleanliness is also extremely important in the food industry and is a key aspect related to food safety. Cleaning and disinfection prevents microbial contamination, which in extreme cases can even lead to situations that threaten human life. The use of appropriate cleaning and disinfecting agents directly translates into the lifetime of machines and production installations, which is an extremely important aspect, for example in heavy industry.

Groups of cleaning products and their intended use

I&I consumes very large amounts of chemicals whose main purpose is to provide purity and sterility. Of course, cleaning products can also perform a number of other functions related to, for example, the maintenance of buildings and industrial installations. For this purpose, appropriate cleaning and washing technologies are used.

The largest group of such agents are preparations dedicated to technical cleaning. There are products with a wide variety of applications, e.g. for cleaning the interior of manufacturing factories, car workshops, warehouses and their equipment (e.g. transport vehicles), as well as for specific types of surfaces (e.g. metals) or for selected characteristics (e.g. degreasing, varnishing or chemical treatment).

Another group of cleaning products are formulations for the hospitality industry. They are mainly used for mechanical dishwashing, cleaning of cooking equipment and disinfecting purposes.

Among household chemicals there are also products for cleaning and maintaining the hygiene of buildings. They include agents used in interiors (e.g. for cleaning floors, air conditioning and toilets), as well as outside (e.g. for refreshing buildings).

The last group are cleaning and disinfecting products for the food sector, as well as agents used in agriculture, for example for maintaining the hygiene of livestock buildings. They can also be detergents used in the dry cleaning and in health care.

Institutional cleaning is crucial for maintaining an adequate level of hygiene in public places. It also includes cleaning in closed systems (so-called CIP – Cleaning in place), especially important in the food industry. In these applications, it is important that the cleaner does not generate foam. In I&I cleaning, foam can have two applications. On the one hand, it is a very important factor when cleaning surfaces, but it can also turn out to be a major obstacle in the processes carried out in closed systems (e.g. in industrial washing).

Types of cleaning agents

It is crucial that cleaning agents in the I&I industry are highly effective and at the same time efficient. A very important aspect is also their impact on the environment. Cleaning products in the form of solutions reaching the sewage should be as least harmful to the environment and easily biodegradable.

Surfactants influence the effectiveness and efficiency of cleaning products. Their use in cleaning agents makes it possible to remove difficult dirt. Surfactants dissolve, disperse and emulsify it, and due to their wetting properties, these processes take place very quickly. Surfactants help to protect cleaned surfaces and materials, especially those sensitive to mechanical damage. In addition, these agents are compatible with disinfectants and enhance their performance by facilitating the penetration of cleaned surfaces.

PCC Group offer

The PCC Group offers a wide range of raw materials and finished products dedicated to the industrial and institutional cleaning industry. This offer is addressed both to manufacturers of industrial cleaning and washing agents, as well as to end users. The key ingredients of all cleaning formulations are surfactants, also produced by the PCC Group. Depending on their design, they can perform various functions in professional cleaning agents.

Foaming surfactants

In applications where the presence of foam is desired, surfactants with foaming capacity are used. The PCC Group offers a range of products with such properties. These include anionic agents such as sulphated fatty alcohols (ROSULfan), their ethoxylated derivatives (SULFOROKAnol) and alkyl benzene sulphonates (ABS acid and ABSNa). The main advantage of ROSULfans is their ability to produce dense and stable foam, facilitating the removal of impurities. In turn, SULFOROKAnol, in addition to its foam-forming properties, is also characterized by a high degree of foam hydration and creates bubbles of small diameter.  Products from this series are used as detergent ingredients with a very wide range of applications. An important group of foam-forming surfactants are betaines in the form of ROKAmina product series. In addition to generating high and stable foam, they also have thickening properties. An especially recommended product in this series is ROKAmina K40, which is used as a component of All Purpose Cleaning (APC) preparations. This product is recommended for cleaning glass and shiny surfaces due to the fact that it does not leave streaks.

Low-foaming surfactants

In applications where foam is unfavourable, it is recommended to use surfactants with reduced foaming properties. ROKAnol LP is a group of alkoxylated fatty alcohols characterized by high wetting properties, as well as the ability to regulate foaming. For non-foamed applications or those where foam removal is required, ROKAmer products can be used. This is a series of EO/PO block copolymers dedicated to institutional and industrial cleaning. Thanks to their anti-foam properties, ROKAmer series reduce the surface tension between liquid and air, improving foam drainage and reduction.

Wetting surfactants

A very important group of ingredients found in preparations for the I&I industry are wetting additives. They facilitate the process of removing contaminants by effectively reducing the surface tension between the surface to be cleaned and the cleaning solution. The PCC Group offers ethoxylated fatty alcohols of various chain lengths, which thanks to their structure provide adequate wettability. These include, among others, C13 alcohol derivatives (ROKAnol IT series), C9-C11 alcohol (ROKAnol NL series) and C6-C12 alcohol (ROKAnol ID series). Excellent wetting properties are also exhibited by ROKAnol GA series – ethoxylated derivatives of Guerbet alcohol, i.e. branched C10 alcohol. The aqueous solutions of these products show resistance to acids and hard water, thanks to which they can be used in a wide range of cleaning agents.

Emulsifying surfactants

The use of ingredients with high efficiency of emulsification is crucial in removing various types of dirt. The emulsifiers work by combining two immiscible liquids, resulting in an emulsion. In such applications, ethoxylated fatty acids (ROKAcet series) and ethoxylated C16-C18 fatty alcohols (ROKAnol O, ROKAnol K, ROKAnol T series) are perfect. The products of the ROKAcet series ensure compatibility with anionic and amphoteric surfactants. In addition, they are based on renewable plant raw materials and completely biodegradable.

Cleaning formulations

The PCC Group also offers cleaning formulations for various applications. Among them are products such as EXOclean AC, an acidic preparation designed to remove particularly difficult dirt from tankers, containers and pipelines. Another preparation is EXOclean MC dedicated for cleaning and degreasing metal surfaces in order to prepare for applying paint coatings. The RotClean and Rotquick preparations provide effective degreasing and removal of petroleum derivates from various surfaces.

Chlorinated products

Simple chemical substances are also of great use in the production of industrial cleaners. These include: soda lye, sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid. These products are manufactured on modern installations of the PCC Group – membrane electrolysis plant and in the hydrochloric acid synthesis department – enabling products of the highest quality and purity to be obtained. Caustic soda and soda lye are used in the production of surfactants, and are also used as washing and disinfecting agents perfect for decontamination, clearing and cleaning of various surfaces and sanitary fittings. Sodium hypochlorite, which can act as a disinfectant used for decontamination, degreasing and cleaning of various surfaces as well as sanitary fittings, is also perfectly suited for these applications.

Professional cleaning agents

In addition to raw materials for the production of cleaning products in the I & I industry, the PCC Group’s offer also includes ready-made products in the form of professional cleaning agents for removing dirt of various origins. Innovative technological solutions used in the ROKO series allow for a wide spectrum of applications. Thanks to their effectiveness and universality, these preparations can also be used in machine washing. This series includes, among others, preparations for cleaning glass surfaces, e.g. ROKO GOLD GLAWIN. Due to its structure, this product does not leave streaks and stains and hinders the deposition of steam on glass materials, such as frames, car and window panes and mirrors. The offer of professional products also includes preparations for cleaning, disinfection and bleaching various surfaces (ROKO CLASIK WC TRIO), as well as for removing dirt, rust and deposits from tiles, fittings and surfaces resistant to acids (ROKO CLASIK SCALE AND RUST)

In the wide product portfolio of the PCC Group, you can also find agents for washing thermal process installations (in particular: coated with carbon deposits, sinters, charring, with scorch marks) and closed circuits, contacting food and animal feeding stuffs. The Solvaren product series is also ideally suited for injector cleaning and degreasing of smoke chambers, baking ovens and convection-steam ovens.

The global demand for washing and cleaning agents has been caused by a significant increase in population growth and rising standards associated with the ever-increasing concern for hygiene. Cleaning without using any detergent is extremely time-consuming and relatively inefficient. Therefore, the use of professional products is very important, because it simplifies such tasks, making them fast and above all effective. In addition, the growing awareness of the spread of infectious diseases, ensuring the safe storage of food, or sterilization of  domestic surfaces effectively drives the market for washing and cleaning agents. Thanks to a growing awareness, consumers are more willing to purchase high-quality detergents.

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