Nanotera Bio Solutions operate in the Industrial Bio Technology sector, producing sustainable and earth friendly cleaning products for a wide range of applications and industries.
Most cleaning is about different types of hydrophobic (or oily) soils that need to be removed. Why? Because hydrophilic, or water loving soils are usually easily rinsed off with water. Micelles enable us to dissolve hydrophobic chemistries into water.
The tails of the surfactant attract the oil soils as well as they attract each other, and begin to orient themselves on the surface of the oily soil as shown in the diagram under the 'Micelle' tab below. Eventually that part of the soil lifts away from the cleaning surface and effectively becomes part of a Micelle, thereby cleaning the surface.
Two important features of Bio Solutions are its reusability and its emulsion formation. These two features actually have one single cause: the hydrophobic tails of Bio Solutions readily "let go'' of oils, which then float to the surface of the water where they can be removed. Soils being cleaned by Bio Solutions are quickly incorporated into micelle structures.
Surfactants are organic compounds whose molecules consist of two component parts: a water-hating (hydrophobic) part and a water loving part (hydrophilic). When a surfactant molecule is introduced into water, the water-hating part tries to escape by attaching itself to any available surface other than water. At the same time, the water-loving part tries to remain in water. As a result, surfactants tend to strongly cling to many surfaces, this is known as adsorption.
When they cling to a surface, surfactants can loosen and remove the soils from the surface.
When they cling to soil, surfactants hold soil particles in suspension and help prevent them from redepositing onto the surface from which they have been removed.
Adsorption at the water/air interface reduces the surface tension of water to allow the water to spread out. Without the use of a surfactant, water tends to "bead up" in droplets. This beading slows down the wetting of the surface and inhibits the cleaning process. In effect, Surfactants make water "wetter".
There are 3 types of Surfactants:
Anionic Surfactants have a negative charge and are effective in removing particulate and oily soils. Anionic surfactants react with calcium and magnesium found in "hard" water and usually form an insoluble soap film or scum and generate more suds.
Cationic surfactants have a positive charge and are generally effective as antimicrobial agents.
Nonionic surfactants do not have an electrical charge, therefore they are less affected by water hardness. Generally, nonionic surfactants are low foaming, require less rinsing and are better for waste-water treatment facilities.
The surfactants used by Nanotera Bio Solutions consist of long molecules with two very different types of ends. One end likes water, and is called hydrophilic, the other end likes oil and dislikes water, and is called hydrophobic. When these surfactants are placed in water, the hydrophobic ends attract each other, and repel water, and arrange themselves into a spherical structure with the hydrophobic ends inside the sphere, and the hydrophilic ends on the outer surface of the sphere. This sphere is called a micelle.
The image on the right is a highly schematic illustration of the manner in which the colloid particles called micelles perform in reducing surface tension of water in a very dilute solution. Each micelle is about one ten-millionth of a centimeter (0.000,000,01 cm) in size. Although the physical action is electrical in nature, it is perhaps more readily visualised with the rounded ends as hydrophilic or having an affinity to water. The rectangular ends may be regarded as hydrophobic or being antagonistic to water.
It has been demonstrated that substances such as petroleum compounds, waxes, the more complex alcohols, oil soluble dyes and other substances which are insoluble in dilute detergent solutions will dissolve in solutions that contain these colloid particles called micelles. In laboratory tests the dyne/centimeter surface tension of tap water had been halved by the adding of as little as 1/3250th part of Bio 10. This may serve to explain why the invention of Bio 10 allows us to constitute so many solutions from one product that can have the properties of a soap, a detergent, a solvent or other cleaner, and yet be none of these in itself and to do so with so nearly a perfect safety factor.
A colloid, or colloidal dispersion, is a form of matter intermediate between a true solution (like salt dissolved in water) and a mixture or suspension (vinaigrette right after you shake it). Further research revealed that colloids have minute particles called micelles.
When combined with water, micelles break water's surface tension (the property that keeps water droplets round), resulting in "super wet" water. That same action allows the micelles to penetrate grease, oil and related organic soils and to hold them in liquid suspension. In effect, the micelle cleaning action is unique and can only be related to the effect of an "atomic explosion" where random interaction of the particles loosens the soil.