APEX paint detackification technology – ECOLAB

Introduction and problem setting

There is still room for improvement in making the world a cleaner, safer and healthier place, and in protecting people and vital resources. In certain industries, for example the automotive industry, hazardous and/or carcinogenic chemicals are still being used. Fortunately, during the last decade, the automotive industry has increasingly demonstrated a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. Mainly the paint detackification systems have been an area of interest. These systems are used in automotive paint booth maintenance to float or sink paint residue in order to make it easier to clean and dispose the waste. The systems have been an area of interest because melamine formaldehyde was used to treat it. Concern was growing among environmentally conscious manufacturers about the potential environmental impact of formaldehyde, as well as occupational health organizations, due to the fact that formaldehyde is a carcinogen.


Ecolab is seen as the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services. Ecolab developed through extensive research and rigorous field testing the so-called “APEX paint detackification technology”. This chemistry does not use formaldehyde and is made entirely of renewable resources. This means it does not contain hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals, and is completely biodegradable.


The APEX program helps to reduce chemical use, solid waste, water use and total cost of operations while providing superior performance. It therefore has received recognition for superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance from the Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers Contribution to Excellence) Award in 2012. APEX technology has been successfully implemented in paint booth systems using all kinds of paint types (polyurethanes, 2K clear coats, high solids primers, high solids solvent-borne basecoats, and high solids water-borne basecoats). Ecolab has been focusing on minimizing the carcinogens in other industries too, for example in the metal and water industries.

Further information

Share this page
  • Formaldehyde
  • Painters
  • Automotive workers
Sector / branche
  • Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
Solution types
  • 1. S – Substitution