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Bio-Productions products are very well accepted in Europe…

Although there are opportunities to use “natural” substances in the manufacture of many cleaning materials, some of the processes or other components may result in the finished product being anything but natural. Bio-Productions was one of the first companies in Europe to formulate a cleaner based on the solvent extracted from the peel of citrus fruits. It all began almost 26 years ago. I was at a friend’s home in Belgium discussing business and his toddler daughter started consuming caustic soda kept drain cleaner, when nobody was paying attention to her. Though she was saved it could have done irreparable harm to her. So when I came back to England, we worked on using our own enzyme technology to try and make a drain unclogger based on enzyme technology, which is safer.

Bio-Productions has been producing biological compounds since 1986, initially for the treatment of industrial and agricultural effluents. The technology was adapted and the first user friendly, enzyme based drain un-blocker was created and marketed by a leading public limited company. It successfully replaced some of the dangerous caustic and acid products sold in the domestic market. The company then began formulating a range of less hazardous biological products for use in schools and institutions where the selection of safer chemicals is important. Bio-Productions now manufactures a range of environmentally sympathetic cleaning products for the professional cleaning industry.

What I observed when we started was that there were many immigrants who did not understand English and were using dangerous cleaning agents. Inspite of being aware of the danger, people mixed chemicals leading to reactions and accidents. My wife and I went to a cleaning show in England with a small range of safer biological products. We didn’t sell anything but we had a lot of enquiries, so we started putting a range together. We then introduced the orange based products to complement the biotech range of safer products which can be used for cleaning just about anything.

When did you add carpet cleaning products?

The carpet cleaning company, Stapro, was incorporated eight years back. We introduced a range of what I rudely call “me too chemicals”, the sort of stuff that every other chemical manufacturer makes. The interesting thing is that in the early years when we were selling the safer-to-use, biological and environment friendly products, we were branded as being a bit green and cranky!

Having a range of conventional products enables us to cater to everyone which makes us a one-stop-shop, but the sales growth is not in “me too chemicals” as opinion has changed fantastically and we are winning the wars. Our products are not only environment friendly and therefore fashionable, but they also solve customer problems, so we can give value for money and customer satisfaction while being environment friendly.

More of Citra Clean…

We extract the solvent in the peel of oranges by crushing the orange peel, which is discarded by the soft drink manufacturers. We blend that to make a concentrate which does not contain any petroleum. Citra Clean can be mixed with water to use as a cleaner. There is a lot of energy built into the product, thus saving physical and equipment energy consumption. Citra Clean is a good grease cutter. By diluting it can be used to clean anything from a marble floor to a carpet. If you clean a marble floor with something alkaline, you will damage it. Clean it with Citra Clean and you clean away the soil, leaving the surface with a sheen which is non-slip because of the way the product is made. Citra Clean can substitute many other chemicals available in the market. In England, the prison service uses this general multi-purpose cleaner for cleaning ovens and the reason for that is, while the normal oven cleaner could be used as a weapon, Citra Clean cannot harm if thrown on one’s face or if consumed by a prisoner.

What are your water saving solutions?

Recently, we created a urinal block which unlike the conventional chemical is like a moth ball with cleaning agents that dissolve as the urinal is used.

The “Toss Block”, a toss-it-in-and-forget-it urinal block, combines both chemical cleaning agents with a safe, biological activity to remove solids (including calcium and uric crystals) that cause blockages and washroom odours.

Simply by “tossing” a Toss Block into each urinal is sufficient to maintain clear, odourless pipe work, as each time the urinal is used, the client washes some of these chemical and biological cleaning agents into the system. Additional financial benefit can be obtained by reducing the frequency of the flush, and typically around 100,000 litres of water can easily be saved by flushing between just two and four times every 24 hours. Some systems claim to offer fully waterless options. But we at Bio-Productions would not advocate this as the solids in the urine settle-out and adhere to the pipes, causing blockages unless purged occasionally. It’s a savings for the FM companies too. They can reduce the number of visits by their cleaners to toilets for repeat cleaning.

There is also the complementary product Blu-Away to clean the adjacent surfaces.

Simply by spraying or swabbing and cleaning with a dilution of Blu-Away on the contaminated surfaces once or twice each week, the whole washroom can easily be maintained as a clean, odour-free and hospitable environment for the client.

Like Toss Blocks, Blu-Away contains bacteria that degrade calcium, enabling it to be dissolved and removed by cold-water.

How do biological cleaning products work?

Micro-organisms produce safe, powerful enzymes which break the bonds that shape the problem. Any stain, odour or blockage is made up of molecules joined together as complex chemicals. These chemicals are linked together by bonds (chemical chains). By careful selection and use of powerful enzymes to safely break these bonds, the chemicals no longer exist. The molecules do but individually they cause no further problems. Friendly bacteria eat the remaining organic matter. Bacteria are able to digest molecules of organic matter such as waste in drains, or staining on fabrics, converting it into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). As there is no organic matter on which special safe bacteria or other harmful germs can feed, they cannot survive. The problem is solved naturally

What are your plans for India?

Our initial launch has been with one or two successful Orange products together with a few problem-solving biological products to take care of problems in washroom areas. After that we will introduce a few more of the biological products and then bring in some speciality cleaners for carpet cleaning or kitchen cleaning. With a wide distribution network, Charnock has the facility to cover the whole country and by working with them and training their staff, we would be able to give them everything we think they need for implementing good cleaning practices. We will look at shopping malls, IT companies, corporations, schools; there is endless potential. We also want to create awareness about the need to use our urinal blocks, which are much safer than the old-fashion chemical type. There is also going to be a lot of communication and advertisements, informing the client-base of the benefits of this technology.

Household cleaning creates one of the largest sources of pollution. Every bucket of used cleaning solution (a mixture of soiled water and chemical cleaner) is discharged down the drain, and these cleaning agents invariably contain aggressive chemicals. These chemicals may be more or less biodegradable and when they mix with other chemicals in the drain they create other, unknown chemical solutions. By reducing the number of different products needed to maintain the client’s building to five or six, it is far easier to select and monitor their use than if there were 20 or more different products. It should be possible to source one multi-purpose cleaner (such as Citra Clean Concentrate), for hard-surface cleaning, upholstery & carpet cleaning.

All cleaning processes require ‘energy’. This can either be attained from the power of the machine (electricity), the heat in the water (more electricity), elbow grease or the chemical. Selecting the correct chemical is an important first step in reducing waste (energy or chemical), saving money and reducing the environmental impact of the task.

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