Elevance Clean 1200 degreaser launches: renewables titan packs a wallop into all that sustainability

June 10, 2014 |

“Commercially available solvent outperforms conventional and bio-based solvents in heavy manufacturing, transportation MRO and industrial food processing degreasing applications,” say the Elevantians.

When we last visited with Elevance, they had introduced their third novel product line in a period of rapid commercial deployment dating back to September.

Now, there’s a fourth. And a second cleaning solution commercialized this year.

Here’s the highlight: In Illinois, Elevance Renewable Sciences introduced Elevance Clean 1200, what it describes as “a superior-performing degreasing and VOC-exempt solvent that outperforms traditional and bio-based solvents for industrial degreasing applications targeted toward heavy manufacturing, transportation maintenance and repair operations (MRO), and industrial food processing.”

(Note to readers: The The first cleaning product was STEPOSOL® MET-10U, introduced by Stepan Company, for a range of cleaning applications including adhesive removal, paint and coating removal systems, kitchen degreasers and all-purpose cleaners for both consumer and industrial uses. More about that here.)

The market need

For some time, the EPA has been getting stricter with its list of toxins, just as companies had stepped up on environmental awareness and interest in sustainable solutions. We’ve seen even more strictness and heightened awareness in selected markets, including California, the world’s largest market for just about everything.

As Andy Corr, Elevance’s SVP for Consumer & Industrial Ingredients, explained to the Digest, “There’s been an increasing need for solvents with good health and safety attributes. But the solutions that had come forward to date had performance gaps. This is the first of its type that is high performing — and with strong health and safety attributes.”

D-limonene, he noted, was particularly challenged to meet the new environmental standards — and aromatics had challenges as well. Some of the regs that Elevance Clean 1200 meets are:

• VOC exempt (40 CFR 59.203 – Standards for consumer products)
• TSCA listed and REACh registered
• California AQMD LVP-VOC
• Readily biodegradable (by OECD method)
• Non-flammable

Corr also noted the price stability from the Elevance’s blend of renewable feedstocks, compared to the price volatility associated with, for example, d-limonene.

The market size

• Tough-to-remove soils common to the heavy manufacturing and transportation MRO sectors — industrial grade complex greases (e.g., lithium, molybdenum disulfide), paraffin waxes, automotive lubricants, metalworking fluids and corrosion-preventive oils.
• Tough-to-clean soils affecting industrial food processing operations — hardened and fluid animal and plant lipids, and cooking greases and oils.

The market is 600,000-800,000 metric tons, growing with the global economy at around 4-5% per year — though the small biobased market, despite the performance challenges, has been growing at twice that clip.


“We’ll be cost competitive,” Corr assures.

Performance claims, including neutral pH

Elevance says that Elevance Clean 1200 “degreases up to two-to-three times more effectively and more quickly in metal cleaning when compared to Aromatic 150, d-limonene, methyl soyate and other standard solvents.

The company points to “Outperforming standard degreasing formulations in the market at neutral pH (6-9), eliminating the need for highly caustic cleaning products, demanding and time-consuming personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, and the need to preserve sensitive metal substrates.” Finally, Corr notes that the new product “surpasses the solvency power of d-limonene, other terpenes and esters including soy methyl esters and dibasic esters, as measured on the Kauri-butanol scale.”

Potential customers include those involved in metal cleaning — but also points to needs in food processing, “where the rendering plants, Cargills, ADMs, and chicken processors” could become customers.

Progress towards the commercial market

“We are already done with precommercialization,” said Corr, “and we working with formulators now with a target of bringing the product to market in the next 30 days.”

Potential sales for Elevance

“We think we can do tens of thousands of metrics tons as a target. We believe the product can perform at that level and we are working on establishing a network to meet the needs of the market,” said Corr. Though he was not able to mention specific formulators, he confirmed that Elevance was working with major companies in the field.

Production for now will be out of the company’s commercial scale plant in Gresik, Indonesia, though Corr noted that production could also be done out of the planned second commercial facility in Natchez, Mississippi as soon as it is built.

The Bottom Line

Elevance – clearly on a roll. Investors will need to see a bunch of these applications in order to use the capacity built out at Gresik — but, an impressive win if the company has correctly targeted a sizable niche market where it can hit the price, performance mark with sustainable attributes.

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