Tide laundry detergent soon will contain cellulosic ethanol

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A popular brand of laundry detergent will soon contain cellulosic ethanol under an agreement announced today between the detergent’s maker, Procter & Gamble Co., and chemical giant DuPont Co.

Procter & Gamble says it has long used conventional ethanol in its Tide-branded laundry detergent to provide stability in the formula and to improve washing performance. Tide Cold Water will be the first laundry brand to replace corn ethanol with cellulosic ethanol in its formula.

The cellulosic ethanol will be made at a DuPont facility in Nevada, Iowa, that is still under construction. When completed later this year, DuPont’s facility is expected to produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year from agricultural waste left on the fields after harvest, making it the largest cellulosic ethanol plant in the country.

Under the terms of the deal, Tide’s cellulosic ethanol use will amount to 7,000 tons of repurposed crop waste. The companies said the deal will make laundry detergent more sustainable, given cellulosic ethanol’s smaller greenhouse gas footprint than corn ethanol’s.

“We believe that actions speak louder than words in the area of sustainability and this partnership with DuPont demonstrates we are doing just that,” said Giovanni Ciserani, Procter & Gamble Group’s president of global fabric and home care, in a statement.

DuPont is among a handful of large companies opening cellulosic ethanol plants this year in the United States, prompted by the renewable fuel standard, the 2007 federal policy that called for refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels into petroleum gasoline and diesel. DuPont today said the agreement is a “first step” toward finding uses outside of the transportation fuels market for cellulosic ethanol.

“As we build on our integrated science capabilities, we will continue to seek out new opportunities and new collaborations to transform value chains with more sustainable solutions,” said James Collins, senior vice president at DuPont, in a statement.