Skip to main content

Industrial manufacturing of eco-innovative, safe, sustainable functionalised microencapsulated fragrances for fabric softeners

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - eco-soft (Industrial manufacturing of eco-innovative, safe, sustainable functionalised microencapsulated fragrances for fabric softeners)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2020-09-30

Fabric softeners are the most popular laundry care products after detergents. They keep clothes soft, enhance nice smells while preventing musty odours, extend the life of the clothes, reduce the formation of wrinkles and improve endurance ability of clothes against stains.
However, existing fabric softeners are usually inefficient and contain harmful / toxic ingredients that are bad for the environment and human health. In a laundry cycle, 95 % of softeners are lost in water during the draining process, generating excessive impact on the environment. The remaining 5% of softener remains on clothes for only a short time, before slowly releasing chemical substances on to skin and environment.
CARINSA developed an eco-friendly polymeric coating that microencapsulates fragrances and drastically improves fabric softener efficiency at industrial scale. The fabric softeners produced with our technology do not contain toxic materials, increase the adherence to fabric in the washing process by up 10 times and will improve softener duration on clothes by up to 330%. ECO-SOFT projects represents a huge opportunity for our company to commercialise an innovative solution that will benefit the whole fabric softener value chain. Our solution, CARINCAP, allows fabric softeners manufacturers to increase their gross margin by 30% while final consumers will benefit from an eco-efficient, safe laundry care product that reduces cost per wash by 61%.
The work performed during the period covered by the report is detailed below:

- Design and implementation of the new manufacturing facility: design of the new microencapsulation facility and quality control laboratory. The manufacturing facilities are fully-equipped with cutting-edge microencapsulation 100 L and 400 L reactors for the automatized synthesis of microcapsules. In parallel, our laboratory ensures full quality control requirements in order to guarantee our product performance.
- Optimisation of CARINCAP microencapsulation technology at industrial scale: microencapsulation technology has been optimised at 100 L and 400 L with four different marketed fragrances. The results obtained show microcapsules with the same physicochemical properties than microcapsules obtained at laboratory scale. In parallel, batch reproducibility has been ensured in order to guarantee customer quality standards in the demonstration and future commercialisation of the product developed. A standard synthesis of marketed microcapsules (melamine –formaldehyde) has been performed in order to compare and contrast the different technologies.
- Incorporation of microcapsules in fabric softener formulations: fabric softeners formulations are complex matrixes that contains several ingredients with a specific functionality. The integration of microcapsules requires stability analysis and monitoring microcapsules physical and chemical properties in the final formulation. Final formulation composition has been modified in order to guarantee product physicochemical properties and performance. All the microcapsules synthetized has been validated in real environment conditions in our laboratories.
- Incorporation of microcapsules on clothes during a washing cycle. All the microcapsules batches that show optimal physicochemical properties have been validated in a real environment test. The test has been focused on the microcapsules deposition on clothes (monitored by Scanning Electron Microscopy) and olfactory clothes perception, performed by our expert perfumers.
- Collaborative agreements with EU fabric softeners manufacturers in order to test our technology. The test of our microcapsules in their formulations should have been carried in their facilities, but the impact of coronavirus disease has changed the technical approach. The fabric softener formulation and the microcapsules synthesis and incorporation has been performed in our facilities with high degree of success.
- Patent preparation and application to ensure an accurate IPR protection.
- Certification of CARINCAP technology in order to guarantee the safety use of the microcapsules and the life cycle assessment of the manufacturing procedure.
- Consolidate the communication and dissemination strategy developed during the project execution and focus on commercialisation and operational strategy plan at five years term.
Based on the ECO-SOFT project execution, it has been demonstrated that our CARINCAP microencapsulation technology is full-scalable and operational at 100 L and 400L scale. It has also been validated in our fabric softener formulations and with our fabric softeners manufacturers formulations. It has been demonstrated that the implementation of our technology will disrupt the fabric softeners market and it will be able to change their behaviour in the microcapsules incorporation in fabric softener formulation.
The market implementation of “eco-friendly” CARINCAP microcapsules will reduce the microplastics presence in our environment. It has been reported that microplastics pollution could impact in marine biota, resulting in bioaccumulation and introduction in the food chain. Our technology will disrupt the household fast moving consumer goods, changing the way how fabric softener manufacturers deliver fragrance in their products. In parallel we offer the first 100% green approach that will replace the traditional microcapsules approach in fabric softeners creating a market pull along the entire fabric softeners value chain.
View of the manufacturing plant from the QC Laboratory.
Personnel working with 400 L reactor at the manufacturing facility.
Personnel working at the QC laboratory.
QC Laboratory.
Personnel working in the fume hood of the QC Laboratory.
Personnel working with the optical microscope at the QC Laboratory.
Lunch room.
100 L and 400 L manufacturing reactors and walk-in fume hood.
Entrance of Grupo CARINSA’s new manufacturing facility, CARINCAP.