One of the primary elements of the detergents and cleaners are chelating agents. Chelating agents complex calcium hardness and metal ions such as iron. Chelation is a widespread process that occurs in nature. Processes naturally involving complexing agents are photosynthesis in plants, and oxygen transport in all animals. Synthetic chelants act in the same way as biological complexing agents by bonding to problematic metal ions.
When choosing a chelating agent for a detergent or cleaner application it is important to consider biodegradability. When using a conventional chelating agent, such as EDTA, without biodegradability properties, the waste is only degraded to a very small extent. The majority is absorbed in sewage sludge. If the sewage sludge is used for agricultural purposes, the chelator/metal complexes return to the environment.
A chelating agent with good biodegradability is the Tetrasodium salt of Iminodisuccinic Acid or Baypure CX100 manufactured by LANXESS. Baypure CX100 is available as a solution; Baypure CX100/34% and as a solid; Baypure CX100 Solid G. The main applications are in the cleaners and detergents market.