Fundamentals of Soap Technology: Composition, Manufacturing, and Applications

An overview of soap history, composition, processing, manufacturing, applications, and projected trends

This course will overview soap history, composition, processing, manufacturing, applications, and projected trends in the soap industry. View the course summarylearning objectives, and an impressive lineup of instructors.

Course Schedule

Day 1: Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 12:00 Noon-4:45 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Day 2: Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 2:00-5:15 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Day 3: Thursday, February 23, 2023, 2:00-6:00 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Day 4: Friday, February 24, 2023, 2:00-5:20 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6) 

Course Summary

Soap—a universal household item across the globe—is not as simple as its required formula of water, lye, and oil or fat. The substance, which is found in a wide array of product categories including fabric and home care, commercial, and personal care products, has existed for centuries and is necessary for the population’s health and vitality. Even with such a simple basic formula, product formulations and manufacturing processes have changed greatly as new discoveries are made, regulations change, and consumer preferences shift.

With new safety standards and sustainability concerns, even the most seasoned industry professionals may notice gaps in their knowledge or need to review the latest industry developments to better inform their work. Fundamentals of Soap Technology: Composition, Manufacturing, and Applications aims to meet your specific soap education needs to ensure you are informed and confident in your role.

To cover multiple aspects of soap creation education, Fundamentals of Soap Technology: Composition, Manufacturing, and Applications will break down the intricacies of soap in four days of focused lectures taught by innovative instructors and organized by world-renowned soap expert Luis Spitz. You will learn the history of soap creation and how it has evolved into modern-day practices. Additionally, you will discover the standard soap manufacturing processes, as well as the machinery used to achieve desirable results for a vast range of consumer expectations. You will also learn the projected trends and challenges in the future of soap creation. 

Registration includes access to recordings, slides, and course materials for 30 days.

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Who Should Attend?

This course will cover soap creation at a high level. It will benefit personal and home care formulators, research, and development specialists, as well as soap suppliers, and cosmetic chemists. Marketing and sales professionals in the soap manufacturing industry can also broaden their background knowledge of the soap-making process by attending the course. Individuals interested in sustainability practices within the soap industry will benefit from this course as well. 

Learning Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of the history and influences behind modern soap creation processes and projected trends in the future of soap.
  • Learn the most common formulations of soap products by exploring compositions and physical chemistry, such as blending glyceride oils with sodium hydroxide, and why manufacturers choose specific compositions with their available resources.
  • Discover the start-to-finish process of soap manufacturing with explanations of and machinery needed for metering, saponification, cooling, washing, neutralizing, drying, and finishing.
  • Understand soap products' applications in the personal, fabric, and home care industries.
  • Uncover trends and challenges in the soap industry, including government regulations and unique needs and perspectives of rising indie soap businesses.

Registration

Registration includes access to the recorded lectures and all course materials for 30 days.

All attendees will receive a free digital copy of Fortuna and Luis Spitz's book, Evolution of Clean: A Visual Journey through the History of Soaps and Detergents.

Evolution of Clean cover

One registration provides you with individual entry with one computer/phone login at a single site.

AOCS and SCC* Members $479
Non-Members $549
AOCS and SCC* Student Members $169

*SCC members receive member pricing via a discount code provided by SCC. Please contact SCC if you have not received your code.

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Course Outline

The course outline is subject to change. Browse the current outline below, and check back soon for updates. 

Day 1: Tuesday, February 21, 2023

12:00 Noon -4:45 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Brief History of Soap and Soap-Making Processes

Instructor: George Smith, Research Associate, Sasol Performance Chemicals, USA

This presentation will give a high-level review of the history of soap over the last 5000 years to the present. A discussion of the major types of soaps and the industrial processes for making soap will be included as well.

Physical Chemistry of Soap and Detergents

Instructor: George Smith, Research Associate, Sasol Performance Chemicals, USA

This presentation will outline a high-level review of soap's physical chemistry, including self-association, adsorption at the interface, and phase behavior.

New Challenges for Soap Production: Technological Impact on Process Plants and Finishing Lines

Instructors: Paolo Tovaglieri, Sales Director, Desmet Ballestra – Mazzoni LB Soap, Italy
Matteo Bagatti, Business Development Manager, Desmet Ballestra – Mazzoni LB Soap, Italy

Universal integrated saponification and vacuum drier is the preferred solution adopted today by most soap makers. The first part of the presentation will explain how the evolution of raw materials employed to produce soap bases is imposed to upgrade the technologies to match the market demand. The second part of the presentation will focus on versatile solutions adopted in state-of-the-art finishing lines for soap tablets manufacturing. The innovative solutions allow processing all bases (swing opaque, translucent, syndet, combo etc.) in a cost-effective manner.

Advances and Mechatronic Solutions for Soap Manufacturing Technology: From Saponification Systems to Soap Packaging Machines

Instructor: Fabio Binacchi, CEO of BINACCHI & Co, Italy

This presentation will provide an overview of the most modern and innovative solutions available for soap manufacturing. The instructor will also offer a brief description of such solutions and outline the pros and cons of each one.

Day 2: Wednesday, February 22, 2023

2:00 -5:15 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Laundry Soap Bars

Instructor: George Smith, Research Associate, Sasol Performance Chemicals, USA

This presentation will outline the composition and processes for making laundry soap bars, including detergency.

Applications of Soap in Personal Care Products

Instructor: Ricardo Diez, Adjunct Professor, Rutgers University, USA

This presentation will discuss the physical chemistry and formulations of many personal care soap-based products in the two categories of rinse-off and leave-on, ranging from transparent soaps to facial cream cleansers, deodorants, creams and lotions, etc. The unique efficacy of soap products against coronavirus will also be presented.

Surfactants Derived from Vegetable Oil and Fatty Acids

Instructor: George Smith, Research Associate, Sasol Performance Chemicals, USA

This presentation will discuss different types of surfactants based on triglycerides and fatty acids, including surface activity and performance properties.

Day 3: Thursday, February 23, 2023

2:00-6:00 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Natural “Non-Traditional” Bar and Liquid Soaps & Surfactants

Instructor: Gay Timmons, Owner and Operator, Oh, Oh Organic, Inc., USA

This presentation will look at the history, manufacturing, and uses of soaps and how those have evolved in the current trend toward “clean and green” personal and home care.

Shampoos in Bar Form

Instructor: Ricardo Diez, Adjunct Professor, Rutgers University, USA

This presentation will offer a side-by-side comparison of the technologies, formulations, and performance attributes of conventional liquid shampoos vs. the relatively new solid shampoos in a bar form (non-soap based). The challenges in both formulation and consumer performance of the shampoo bars will be discussed in detail.

Go Green: Move to a Sustainable Future Using Concentrated Products from Renewables

Instructor: Sanjay Trivedi, Founder, Trivedi Enterprises Pvt. Ltd, India, and Founder/Director, The Indian Home and Personal Care Industry Association, India

The climate change mandates and UN Secretary-General's (UNSG) goals and a sustainable future outlook require a review of options for affordable products for home and personal care from renewable inputs.

Renewed focus on Soaps and Surfactants from renewables in concentrated forms as blends, which are easy to use, save water and energy, reduce the use of polymers and plastics in packing, and lower the CO2 footprint is the aim of this presentation.

Challenges of developing blends leveraging innovations and technologies, formulation expertise with increased consumer engagement, and developing standards and protocols for validation will be discussed.

Regulatory challenges, public-private partnerships, and the industry's enterprising spirit to find solutions for a better and sustainable future will be covered in the presentation.

Soap-Free Bars in the Soap industry: Syndet Bars – Formulation and Marketing Challenges

Instructor: Jose Mathew, President (Marketing), Alliance World Marketing Ltd., India

This presentation will provide an overview of the history of syndet bars, current trends, challenges in development and in the market, and possible solutions to said challenges.

Day 4: Friday, February 24, 2023

2:00 -5:20 pm CST (Chicago, USA; UTC -6)

Packaging and Plastic: Bar and Liquid Soaps and Detergents

Instructor: Clement Choy, Retired, Senior Director, Grove Collaborative, California, USA

Check back soon for more presentation details.

New Uses for an Old Product

Instructor: Tony O’Lenick, Principal Consultant, Nascent Technologies Corporation, USA

The ongoing need for soap in personal care applications will be highlighted during this review of the latest patents in soap technology.

Sustainable cleaning and Innovations Introduction

Instructor: Sanjay Trivedi, Founder, Trivedi Enterprises Pvt. Ltd, India, and Founder/Director, The Indian Home and Personal Care Industry Association, India

Sanjay Trivedi will offer an introduction to the proceeding roundtable.

Roundtable Discussion: Sustainable Cleaning and Innovations

Check back soon for more details.

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About the Organizer

Luis Spitz headshot

Luis Spitz
Owner, L. Spitz Inc., USA

From 1977-2015, Luis chaired and presented at numerous global conferences on soaps and detergents, including the first AOCS World Conference on Soaps and Detergents (1977) and several SODEOPEC conferences (2002, 2006, 2008, 2015). He has edited and contributed to 7 soap-related titles, including Soap Technology for the 1990s, Soaps and Detergents - A Theoretical and Practical Review (1996), SODEOPEC (2004), the first and second editions of The Evolution of Clean - A Visual Journey through the History of Soaps and Detergents and the first edition of Soap Manufacturing Technology.

About the Instructors

Check back soon for updates on course instructors.

George Smith, Research Associate, Sasol Performance Chemicals, USA

George Smith headshot

George Smith received a B.S. in Chemistry from Cameron University in 1982. He went on to receive an M.S. and a Ph.D from the University of Oklahoma in 1984 and 1986 respectively. He currently works as a Research Associate at Sasol Performance Chemicals. His research interests include bio-based surfactants and intermediates derived from vegetable oil, fatty acids, biodiesel and glycerin. Additionally, he has served in a number of roles under the AOCS umbrella, including Editor in Chief for Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD), AOCS Governing Board Member at large, Biosurfactants Annual Meeting Session Chair, SODEOPEC 2015 Organizing Committee, S&D Division Chairman, 2005 Samuel Rosen Award, JSD Best Paper Selection Committee, and JSD News Editor. He has also presented over 40 papers at AOCS Annual Meetings.

Ricardo Diez, Adjunct Professor, Rutgers University, USA

Ricardo Diez headshot

Ricardo Diez, Ph.D, is currently an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University, NJ, where he teaches two courses on Applied Cosmetic Science in the Master of Business and Science.

He has more than four decades of experience in the industry in both consumer product companies (Procter & Gamble, Dial Corp and Chanel), and raw material manufacturers (Miranol, Stepan and Huntsman).

He participates in educational activities for the SCC, the IFSCC, the AOCS and the Center for Professional Advancement.

Sanjay Trivedi, Founder, Trivedi Enterprises Pvt. Ltd, India, and Founder/Director, The Indian Home and Personal Care Industry Association, India

Sanjay Trivedi headshot

Sanjay Trivedi is a chemical engineer who set up manufacturing facilities for specialities and surfactants immediately after graduation. In his 46-year journey, he established several companies and businesses. His focus remains on specialities and surfactants from renewable resources and new technologies and processes that are sustainable and require lower energy and capital.

He established Trivedi Enterprises Pvt. Ltd in 1984. It is the flagship company for Trivedi Groupe. Technithon India (established in 1989) and Technithon Singapore (established in 2008) offer technologies and innovative solutions along with modular plant designs. He heads Trivedi Groupe as chairman.

He is a founder/director of The Indian Home and Personal Care Industry Association, which also networks with the International Network of Cleaning Products. He is a member of the Asia Oceania Soap and Detergent Association Committee, investor and promoter of Solv8, and mentor of R&D programs for Trivedi Groupe with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Madras. He was also a vice chairman of the CAMP committee of the Singapore Business Federation.

Gay Timmons, Owner and Operator, Oh, Oh Organic, Inc., USA

Gay Timmons headshot

Gay Timmons owns and operates Oh, Oh Organic, Inc., an organic and specialty ingredient distribution and consulting company founded in 2000. Oh, Oh is committed to the development and delivery of sustainable, agriculturally derived ingredients for the cosmetic and personal care industries.

Over the past 25 years she has supported the development and growth of hundreds of organic and natural cosmetic brands.

Her first career was as the first American woman to manage vessel operations, loading and unloading cargo on the Oakland and San Francisco waterfronts.

Since 1991, she has worked as a producer and marketer of organic ingredients and an advocate for regulatory clarity for organic and natural producers and consumers. Her introduction to the field began as a ten-year job co-managing an organic farm and production facility. She served as the Chair of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee, serving on that committee for eleven years. During this period she was instrumental in writing and advocating for the Calif. Organic Products Act of 2003 which regulates organic claims on cosmetics. She also served as Secretary on the Calif. Certifiers of Organic Farms Board of Directors and Chair of their Processor Chapter for twelve years. Today she is a founding member and President of the Natural and Organic Health and Beauty Alliance, an international trade association.

Gay graduated from UC Davis, has an MS in Physiology and lives in Point Richmond with an organic recording engineer and entrepreneur. She has two organic daughters.

Jose Mathew, President (Marketing), Alliance World Marketing Ltd., India

Jose Mathew is the President (Marketing) of Alliance World Marketing Ltd. He holds an MBA in Marketing with three decades of product development and marketing experience in the soap industry. He has also worked in the capacity of CEO and President in various organizations in India, Middle east and North Africa.

Clement Choy, Retired, Senior Director, Grove Collaborative, California, USA

Check back soon for bio.

Tony O’Lenick, Principal Consultant, Nascent Technologies Corporation, USA

Tony O'Lenick headshot

Tony O’Lenick has been a member of the AOCS for forty years. He has worked for Siltech a company he co-founded, Henkel and Mona Industries in technical and executive positions.

Tony was on the AOCS Board of Governors for six years.

Paolo Tovaglieri, Sales Director, Desmet Ballestra – Mazzoni LB Soap, Italy

Paolo Tovaglieri headshot

Paolo Tovaglieri has 45 years of experience in soap and detergents industry. He has an Industrial Chemistry Degree from the University of Rome, Italy and an MBA from Bocconi University in Milan Italy. He has worked as a Key Sales Executive in Ballestra Group since 1999.

Matteo Bagatti, Business Development Manager, Desmet Ballestra – Mazzoni LB Soap, Italy

Matteo Bagatti headshot

Matteo Bagatti is a Business Development Manager at Desmet Ballestra - Mazzoni LB Soap. He gained 2 years of experience in R&D at Politecnico University in Milan, Italy. He also has 8 years of experience as a Process Engineer in Oil and Gas engineering and 10 years of experience in the soap and detergents industry, specifically in R&D Process Technology. He holds a Chemical Engineering Degree from Politecnico University in Milan, Italy.

Fabio Binacchi, CEO, Binacchi & Co, Italty

Fabio Binacchi headshot

Fabio Binacchi has been the CEO of Binacchi & Co since 2011 and the Managing Director of Zeta since 2022, shortly after the 2021 acquisition of Zeta by Binacchi & Co. He holds master's degrees in Chemical Engineering and Business Administration from Politecnico di Milano and SDA Bocconi Milano respectively. His research interests include automation in the soap industry and chemical compositions of soap.

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This course is a collaboration with the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC).

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Course materials are intended for your personal, educational use only. Any other copying, transmission, performance, distribution, alteration, or other use of these materials is strictly prohibited without prior consent by AOCS.

One registration provides you with individual entry with one computer/phone login at a single site. View the system requirements (.pdf)

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