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by Clarence Totleben
Plant Manager
APCO Packaging

If you're already using sodium percarbonate, you also already know that it is a non-chlorine bleaching agent. Non-chlorine bleaches have become a mainstay of many household cleaners, gaining popularity for their ability to clean thoroughly and safely.

In some cases, other chemicals and raw materials in the powder mix may be incompatible with peroxide. The most common of these materials are surfactants, enzymes, and chemical compounds that contain significant amounts of water, such as zeolites or phosphates. The resulting chemical reaction would cause the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to decompose.

Our sources in the chemical industry report that coated percarbonate offers protection of the H2O2 within the percarbonate core against this chemical reaction.

Coated granules are slower to react with other chemicals in blended products. This preserves the integrity of the H2O2, extending shelf life and protecting the bleaching agent.

As a side benefit, since coated percarbonate granules are more spherical, they flow more easily when conveyed in processing and filling equipment.

"Coated products won't pack going through the conveyors or filling funnels," said Bob Jewell, Quality Assurance Manager at APCO. "This allows for better fill level control and more accurate weight."

He explained that clumping powders can fail to be released consistently into the containers, or can suddenly be released in a dense mass, causing packaging to be inconsistent. If the powder mix doesn't flow smoothly on the production line, this can cause problems and delays in processing.

Jewell noted that uncoated sodium percarbonate may initially be less expensive, but coating may be more economical, in the long run, by saving time in processing and filling, as well as extending shelf life.

He also noted that the coating process does not affect any other properties of the product, such as effectiveness in cleaning or rinsing.