E.O-P.O Copolymers

Environmental fluids block copolymers are nonionic surfactant produced by the polyoxyalkylene reaction of ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) monomers. EO-PO copolymer series materials unique chemical structure exude superior hypophile and lipophile characteristics making these compounds ideal for use in a diversity of applications. EO-PO copolymer series materials are most often used to enhance the detergency, dispersion stabilization, foaming, emulsification, and lubrication of various chemical compounds. The varying molecular weights of these materials are controlled by the repeating ethylene oxide and propylene oxide adducts in the chemical reaction. Environmental fluids also provides water soluble (WS) and water insoluble (WI) products for unique applications and processes requiring such functionality. Emulsifier 08.jpg


Product Range I.C.C offers a broad range of low-foaming nonionic polymeric surfactants suitable as wetting agents having also potential as penetration enhancers in crop protection formulations. Those are based on alkyl-substituted or non-substituted ethylene oxide propylene oxide (EO/PO) copolymers.

I.C.C’s broad range of low-foaming nonionic polymeric surfactants based on alkyl alkoxylates or ethylene oxide-propylene oxide copolymers will be presented.

Ethylene oxide-propylene oxide block polymers

Environmental fluids block copolymers are nonionic surfactant produced by the polyoxyalkylene reaction of ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) monomers. Block copolymers of ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) are in the form of EO-PO-EO and PO-EO-PO copolymers. > more

Alkyl alkoxylates

Alkyl based EO/PO block copolymers are low foaming surfactants and typically have lower surface tensions, CMC and greater dispersing power compared to the corresponding simple alkyl ethoxylates. > more


We help you to get your foam under control. I.C.C manufactures a wide range of low foaming surfactants designed to provide the appropriate functionality for all of our customers application needs.

Low foaming surfactants The history of low foaming nonionic surfactants began with the discovery that surface active substances can be obtained by addition of ethylene oxide (EO) to polymers of propylene oxide (PO). We extended our product range with alcohol ethoxylates modified by adding a well-defined amount of PO or endcapping by a short alkyl chain. These low foaming nonionics have excellent surface activity and most of them are ultimately biodegradable and not dangerous to the environment. The fields of application vary according to the cloud points of the products. In many technical cleaning processes and in some special household applications, like rinse aids in machine dishwashing, foaming has to be suppressed. Foaming and wetting are temperature dependent processes. To combine good wetting with low foaming, we propose to select surfactants or combinations of them with cloud points near to the expected operating temperatures. Foam appearance is not wanted in most crop protection applications. In order to differentiate between low-foaming surfactants used in technical applications I.C.C has developed a dynamic foam method.

Crop Protection and Foam In most crop protection applications the appearance of foam is an unwanted side effect. Foam is the aggregate of the gaseous cells, separated by thin liquid films, that are formed by agglomeration of the bubbles produced by a gas (air) dispersed in a liquid. Pesticide formulations using anionic or nonionic surfactants often suffer from intensive foam generation while being dissolved in the spray tank.

Nevertheless surfactants are needed e.g. as adjuvant to improve the wetting performance or the foliar uptake of the active pesticide ingredient into the plant.

Consequently there is a need for the use of antifoam products e.g. based on hydrophobes like silicone oils. But difficulties can be observed for instance with SL formulations when these hydrophobes separate as an oily layer during storage. As an alternative approach the use of low-foaming surfactants can avoid increased foam formation.

Low-foaming EO-PO copolymers can be used in various solvent or water based formulation types e.g. like:

·        Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)

·        Oil-in-Water Emulsion (EW)

·        Suspo-Emulsion (SE)

·        Soluble Concentrate (SL)

·        Suspension Concentrate (SC)


Alkyl alkoxylates and EO/PO copolymers like Copolymer EP and PF showing fast cold-water solubility provide advantages especially in water based formulations (SL, SC, SE) and are favorable tank-mix additives. More hydrophobic copolymers like e.g. Copolymer EP 2564 are used as emulsifiers and wetters in solvent or oil based systems (EC, EW).