external image commonstain_kid.jpgActive Enzymes in Biological Washing Powder

In the competitive market of detergent sales, various promises and claims are made, ensuring that our clothes stay clean. So every time there’s a grass stain on your soccer uniform or spilled coffee on your neck tie what detergent will you use? Biological or non-biological?

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external image Active%20biological.JPG picture source Most people are unfamiliar with the difference between Biological and Non-Biological detergents, other than non-biological detergent is eco-friendly and Biological is not. But hopefully, the information provided can shed a light on what biological powder has to offer. Introduction to Enzymes Enzymes are catalysts that allow chemical reactions to occur faster , and more efficiently because less energy is required.This is done by lowering the amount of initial energy. In biological washing powders, enzymes are used to make stains disappear by breaking down the bonds in the stains. For more detailed information on enzymes in general, click here. Biological washing powders contain enzymes to ensure that your clothes get cleaned. Because stains are made from various different molecules, a wide range of enzymes is used in the detergent to break it down. Most commonly used enzymes in biological washing powder is Cellulase, Amylase, Protease, Lipase. Specific role of each enzyme: Cellulase: is a new development in biological washing powder but also an especially useful one for those who get grass stains a lot. Cellulase, the enzyme breaks down cellulose (the substrate). What is cellulose? As we previously learned, cellulose is the main polymer in most plants. Amylase: is an enzyme that we use in our saliva to help break down starch disaccharides. Therefore, it plays the same role in our washing powder, breaking down stains that contain starch (most sauces). Protease: an enzyme that breaks down the peptide bonds in proteins, thus the substrate is the protein. Protease has the ability to break down a range of proteins including gelatin, meat, grains & vegetable extracts, releasing amino acids and small peptides. Lipase: a form of the Lipase enzyme, called Lipolase is used to catalyze hydrolysis during chemical reactions between triglycerides into materials that are soluble. This usually means lipid monomers or free fatty acids.

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Process and Application No special measures are needed to allow the enzymes to catalyze the required reactions for clean laundry. By simply loading the laundry in as usual, with the recommended detergent dose, the hot water in the laundry machine is the only required energy needed for the enzymes to begin working. The previously mentioned enzymes begin breaking down stains according to their ability, and together can remove some impossible stains.

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Advantages of Biological Washing Powder - The mixture of enzymes allows a variety of stains to be broken down for the maximum cleaning effect - Protease, the most commonly used enzyme in biological washing powders, can remove the most types of stains. It is also not found in any non-biological washing powders. Disadvantages of Biological Washing Powder - If temperatures are too high or too low, enzyme activated reaction cannot occur, so note that 40ºC is the optimal temperature

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Information Sources: http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/E/Enzymes.html http://www.mxwholesale.co.uk/catalog/images/Active%20biological.JPG http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/biology/enztech/detergent.html http://www.specialtyenzymes.com/detergents.shtml By Michelle FlorCruz