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Thickener for Cationic Disinfectants Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249345D
Publication Date: 2017-Feb-17
Document File: 22 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


There is an unmet commercial need to thicken disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium surfactants such as benzalkonium chloride and didecyldimethylammonium chloride for trigger spray and bucket-dilutable applications. The currently available anionic rheology modifiers are not suitable for this application due to lack of compatibility with these difficult-to-thicken cationic surfactants. Nonionic thickeners such as cellulosics can thicken these formulations but provide poor spray pattern to the formulation. With the goal to help deliver maximum antibacterial performance through improved contact time and customer pleasing appearance providing a differentiated on-the-shelf product, we have developed a novel hydrophobically modified polyurethane polymer. The polymer architecture has been designed to impart broad formulation compatibility, efficient thickening and stability while maintaining product clarity. It imparts smooth pouring, no splashing and better spray pattern compared to competitive cellulosic technologies. The thickening technology does not affect the anti-bacterial performance of the benzalkonium chloride surfactant. We have also developed guidelines for further improving thickening efficiency by combining with certain nonionic surfactants which are commonly used in these formulations for cleaning. This disclosure includes introduction to our technology, thickening results on various types of formulations containing cationic disinfectants, performance comparison to competitive benchmarks and formulating approaches to enhance the thickening efficiency.

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© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Thickener for Cationic Disinfectants

Grace Mahfouz, Chris Belock, Mark Paczkowski, Smita Brijmohan

February 10, 2017


© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Hydrophobically Modified Polyurethane Polymer • Designed to thicken quaternary surfactant based formulated disinfectants • The polymer can be supplied as a blended material with nonionic surfactants and

polyethylene glycols for ease of handling and incorporation into formulations

No negative impact on antimicrobial activity High clarity Formulation Targets

• Bucket dilutable formulations with up to 5% non-ionic surfactants • Trigger spray formulations with up to 1% non-ionic surfactants • Formulations with higher nonionic and cationic surfactant levels can also be

thickened with this polymer

Rheology Modifier for Cationic Disinfectants

© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Hydrophobic chain ends

Space-filling and hydrophobic associations





Soluble segments in aqueous and dispersed phase

Synergistic thickening with surfactants

Nonionic Hydrophobically Modified Polyurethane Polymer

Hydrophobic chain ends

Hydrophilic polymer


© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Disinfecting Surface Cleaner - typical formulation

Model 2: E.g. Trigger Spray

Component % Active

BAC or DDMAC 0.25 – 1.0

Non ionic surfactants 0.5 – 1.0

pH adjuster/buffer /chelating agent 0.1 – 0.2

Rheology modifier 0.2 – 1.0

Water balance

Model 1: E.g. Bucket Dilutable

Component % Active

BAC or DDMAC 1.0 – 3.0

Non ionic surfactants 3.0 – 5.0

pH adjuster/buffer /chelating agent 0.1 – 0.2

Rheology modifier 0.2 – 1.0

Water balance

DDMAC: Dimethyldidecylammonium chloride

Formulation:  Leaves no residue  Target viscosity: 100-400cP  Clear system (<15NTU)  pH~10  Stable formulation

BAC: Benzalkonium chloride

Cationic biocides such as BAC and DDMAC are difficult to thicken. Existing cationic compatible thickeners show rather poor rheology and/or stability


© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Polymers used for Thickening Disinfecting Formulations

• Hydrophobically Modified Polyurethane (HMPU) • HMPU-1, HMPU-2 and HMPU-3 represent three different

backbones of the urethane polymer

• HMPU Blend Composition: polyurethane polymer: 1-60% PEG-400: 20-40% Alkyl ethoxylate: 1-10% Water: qsp.


© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Effect of polymer dosage on formulation viscosity








0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Vi sc

os ity

, m Pa


% HMPU-1 polymeric thickener

Model 1 Formulation: % Ethal® LA-4= 5 %BAC = 2.5 -pH~10.4 Clear formulation

The formulation viscosity increases with increasing polymer level

* All viscosity measurements are done with Brookfield RVT at 22-24 °C and 20 rpm unless otherwise noted.


© 2016 The Lubrizol Corporation, all rights reserved.

Effect of polymer dosage on formulation viscosity






0.5 0.75 0.85 1