Source: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay
Source: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay
Products & Solutions

Chemistry helps

Well supplied

A few things were especially coveted at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis: soaps and disinfectants, instant soups and canned ravioli, and toilet paper, to name a few examples. Within a short period of time, manufacturers ramped up their production to meet the rise in demand. Many of them using raw materials from Evonik.

As the coronavirus spread, many people changed their shopping habits. As Germany’s Federal Statistical Office observed, disinfectants and soap were not the only items finding their way into grocery carts: canned vegetables, toilet paper, and condoms were especially popular purchases as well.

Evonik produces none of these. But the company’s products do provide a crucial kick in many of the things we use every day.

Soap: Soap is more than just soap – it contains many different ingredients. Evonik supplies its customers with gentle surfactants, active agents that nourish the skin and replenish oils, and many other powerful additives in a variety of applications for every skin type.

Disinfectants: The World Health Organization recommends blending a small amount of hydrogen peroxide into alcohol-based disinfectants. This active oxygen compound ensures that the disinfectant itself contains no microbes and can be used for long periods of time.

Instant soups: Silicas from Evonik ensure that powders flow well and are easy to process, so that each individual package always contains exactly the right amount of every powdered ingredient. In the kitchen, these silicas also prevent the powder from forming clumps inside the package, so that it can be blended into the soup in no time.

Source: German Federal Statistical Office
Source: German Federal Statistical Office

Canned vegetables: An extremely thin polyurethane coating on the inside of many cans prevents the contents from attacking the metal and allowing metal ions to migrate into the food. High-molecular-weight polyester resins and crosslinkers from Evonik have been approved for direct contact with food. These allow manufacturers to perfectly tailor the balance between flexibility, hardness, and durability for any application.

Dairy products: Hygiene is of paramount importance when packaging non-perishable foods. In order to keep milk, yogurt, and other dairy products fresh for as long as possible, many manufacturers give containers an extra rinse with hydrogen peroxide before filling them with food. The active oxygen used in aseptic filling, as the process is known, kills any microorganisms that might be present. Incidentally, Evonik technology also helps consumers enjoy dairy products at home: thanks to special binders for hot-seal adhesives, the foil lids that form a safe, secure seal on the yogurt cups peel back easily and uniformly.

Toilet paper: Hydrogen peroxide is used as a universal bleaching agent in toilet paper manufacturing. In addition to delivering a high degree of brightness that resists aging and yellowing, the compound also breaks down into just water and oxygen.

Condoms: Condoms are made primarily of natural rubber latex. Evonik produces coagulants and other additives that speed up the manufacturing process and make the latex exceptionally soft and supple.