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The Misunderstood "Hero": Bronopol The Misunderstood "Hero": Bronopol

For a long time, the preservative industry has misunderstood bronopol, thinking that it is a formaldehyde emitter and relies on the release of formaldehyde to achieve a sterilization effect. Due to the sensitivity of this name, the hero's application in liquid detergents was affected.


The molecular formula of bronopol is C3H6BrNO4, a colourless crystalline powder, which is a highly effective, low-toxic, broad-spectrum fungicide with slight hygroscopicity, stable in storage under general conditions and easily decomposed under alkaline conditions.


Bronopol is a very efficient bactericidal agent. It has been found that the content of bronopol must be at least twice as high as that of isothiazolinone to have a significant synergistic effect. Apart from enhancing the killing effect of pseudomonas, the addition of bronopol also has the advantage of strengthening the inhibitory effect on fungi.


Bronopol is used in dishwashing and at one time there was concern that it might interact with organic amines to form nitrites. Diethanolamide is the most commonly used foam stabiliser and thickener in dishwashing detergents. However, as the by-products of diethanolamide cyclisation have a strong tendency to form nitrosamines, they are being replaced by monoethanolamides or other surfactants, and diethanolamides are being phased out of many high-grade dishwashing detergent formulations.

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