Frequently asked questions
What are Bio-based chemicals?
Bio-based chemicals are defined as chemical products that are wholy or partly derived from materials of biological origin such as plants, algae, crops and trees, marine organisms and bilogical waste.
Bio-based chemicals are emerging as valid, environmentally friendly alternatives to standard chemicals and are already being used to produce bio-based beverage containers, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, solvents, inks and other daily used products.
Bio-based chemicals are generally healthier and safe for the user, for the environment and reduce dependence on oil and other hydrocarbons.
Bio-based Chemical History
The "Green" bio-based chemical industry began to gain in popularity in the late 90's but its' origins can be traced back to the early 1800's when pyrethrum flowers (Chrysanthemum's) were used as insecticides. By 1828 this earliest insecticide was not only being used extensively in Persia and Yugoslavia, it was also being exported to the US for this purpose.
The origin of colloidal chemistry can be traced back to the 1880's, when it was evolved by David Graham, a British chemist. This discovery was so monumental that 50 years later one of the world's great scholars publicly enthused, "There is as I see it, just one great development left for our time. That is in the understanding of colloidal metals. It is the "Fourth Estate of Matter:, the other three being land water and air."
Agriculturists, scientist and industrial leaders coined the term Chemurgy to use farm products for industry. Early leaders like Henry Ford claimed every car had at least a bushel of soybean in it.
The science of green chemistry soon waned and eventually lapsed as major discoveries of oil and gas combined with breakthroughs in catalytic cracking and an almost endless supply of oil became available to create new compounds which became known as chemicals.
Recent events have enabled the green chemical and lubricant industry into the forefront as a better understanding of bio-based ingredients has come about. As an example, the invention of the electron microscope enabled researchers an ability to view ingredients at the molecular level.
This combined with more knowledge of plant characteristics has enabled the science of green chemistries and lubricants to make great strides forward.
Why are bio-based chemicals considered to be a nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is a part of science and technology about the control of matter at the molecular scale. To qualify as a nanotechnology, the scale ranges from 1 - 100 nanometers across.
To put this size in perspective:
Human DNA is approximately 2 nanometers
A human hair is between 50,000 - 100,000 nanometers thick.
Human fingernails grow approximately 1 nanometer every second. This equates to 3.5 mm/month.
Nanotechnology includes making products such as electronic devices, catalysts, bio-based chemicals, filtration units, sensors etc. at the nano level.
What is a colloidal solution?
Colloids are everywhere in every day life.
A colloid is a substance microscopically dispersed evenly throughout another substance and where that substance will not settle or precipitate out. The ingredients will remain in suspension indefinitely.
Coloidal solutions can occur in a gaseous, liquid or solid state but usually only refers to liquids.
Some examples of collidal solutions include whipped cream, mayonnaise, butter and paper.
What is in the formulations?
The basis for RAW's bio-based chemicals are colloidal solutions comprised of plant based non-ionic surfactants that create unique hydrocarbon release agents which can tolerate tremendous soil loads.
Their formulations include alcohols, fatty acids, esters, waxes, chelators and other chemical fractions from soy, corn, peanut, palm, linseed, safflower, sunflower, walnut, coconut, oranges and a host of other domestically grown ingredients.
These very compex compounds are not just the result of blending various chemicals together and where the total is the sum of its parts, but rather the multiplying effect of completely changing the fingerprint of the root chemistries into very powerful irreversible colloids with very unique properties.
All RAW bio-based chemicals are fluid miscible and can be dliuted with fresh or salt water, diesel fuel, kerosene, HVGO and any number of other refined products to create a ready-to-use solution.
Bio-based chemicals can be purchased as super-concentrates or as a concentrate but in either case the products must be further diluted to achieve their greatest strength. Their power is activated when mixed with sufficient amount of fluid such that each micelle is then completely surrounded by a thin layer of fluid molecules.
Without dilution, bio-based chemicals will perform their task modestly or not at all.
The outer hydrohilic shell aggressively searches for and bonds with fluid molecules making them hyper-mobile in a process classified as "Brownian Motion."
The micelle's small particle size (1-4 nanometers) combined with it's extremely high surface area to volume ratio enable it to penetrate complex carbon molecules and emulsify organic matter.
What are the characteristics of Bio-based Chemicals?
Bio-based chemicals are:
Non-reactive with other chemicals
Non-comedegenic to skin
Highly filterable and reusable
Derived from renewable resources
Safe to use, store and dispose of
Contain no VOC's
Define Genotoxicity & Mutagen free.
RAW Biochem's bio-based chemicals are classified as Genotoxicity & Mutagen free.
Mutagen Free: In genetics a mutagen is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic DNA of an organism and thus increases the frequency of mutations above the natural level. As many mutations can cause cancer, mutagens are therefore also likely to be carcinogens. All mutagens have characteristic mutational signatures with some chemicals becoming mutagenic through cellular processes.
Genotoxicity Free: In genetics, genotoxicity describes the property of chemical agents that damage the genetic information within a cell causing mutations which may lead to cancer. Genotoxicity is often confused with mutagenicity.
All mutagens are genotoxic, whereas not all genotoxic substances are mutagenic.
What is the advantage of being a physical rather than chemical reaction?
Bio-based chemicals are designed to peform their task at a physical level rather than the chemical reaction demonstrated by petrochemicals.
Traditional petrochemical are designed to chemically interact with various liquids and gases to create a controlled outcome whic is different than the original products that are being impacted by the treatment. Unfortunately, this chemical interaction can have serious and uncontrolled reactions neccesitating further remediation efforts to counter the reactivity of chemcials for each application.
Common known side-effects will include high combustability, creation of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), creation of highly cancerous compounds and a litany of other consequences.
Alternatively; bio-based chemicals are non-reactive because they perform their task on the basis of a physical interaction.
As an example, conventional petroleum based Heavy Duty Degreasers are designed to "burn-off" the fats, oils and greases adhering to substrates. The effort to burn-off adhesions creates highly combustible gases and can create significant negative side-affects for humans working with these formulations.
Alternatively; bio-based Heavy Duty Degreasers work to separate the long chain molecules in fats, oils and grease and in doing so they are lifting these fats, oils and grease from the substrate rather than burning them off.
What are the features & benefits of bio-based chemicals?
What is the WHMIS standard for bio-based chemcials?
The WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) is a comprehensive plan for providing information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in Canadian workplaces. Information is provided by means of product labels, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker education programs.
The 4 categories of a WHMIS safety label are:
Higher numbers on the label indicate increasing precautions are required for the increased risk associated with that designation.
RAW Biochem Hazard Safety labels are ZERO as shown on this photo. Note that there is no hazard rating in any category.
What is a Micelle and how do they work?
Colloidal micelles work to breakdown long chain hydrocarbon bonds in fats, oils and grease (FOG) and hold them in suspension when mixed with water.
Individual colloidal micelles at the nano-scale repel each other like opposing magnets while attracting solid particles and breaking down hydrocarbon bonds into smaller molecules and/or atoms.
Once solid particles have attached themselves to the colloidal micelle, the micelle holds them in suspension, preventing re-soiling fromoccurring and safely allowing FOG to be permanently dissolved in water.