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How does a biocide work?


Biocides are active substances intended to destroy, repel or render harmless pest organisms; Chemical or biological action of biocides can prevent and fight these organisms.

As a result, they are commonly used in the hygiene and protection and construction sectors.

What are their characteristic features? And how do they react? All you need to know about the mechanism of action of biocides.

What is a biocide?

The health and well-being of human beings depend to a large extent on biocides, although this may not be apparent in everyday life. As a matter of fact, we sanitize our hands in hospitals to prevent the spread of bacteria. We use mosquito repellents to avoid getting bites on our bodies.

However, there are many other cases where we use biocides:

  • Sanitizers: these kill bacteria, fungi and other viruses from the various surfaces in your home;
  • Preservatives: they are used for nutritional purposes; these preservatives protect products against bacteria, yeast and fungi;
  • Anti-parasite products: these products are used particularly on the textiles in your home (sofa, mattress, etc.) and are intended to protect people from parasite invasion;

In addition, other products are available for the industrial and construction sectors. For example, biocides are used to protect boats from biofouling or prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses in livestock.

The mode of action of biocides

Chemical composition of biocides

The first important thing to understand the mode of action of biocides is that, depending on their chemical composition, they do not always act on the same pest. For example, antimicrobial biocides (such as certain chlorinated and phenolic products) kill bacteria and fungi, while insecticides and acaricides act on insects and dust mites.

Herbicides are used in agriculture to prevent weeds from growing near crops in order to maximize production and increase yields.

A mode of action that prevents the growth of pests

As you may have understood, biocides can be used to fight against bacteria, fungi, viruses or even dust mites. Everything depends on their chemical composition.

In concrete terms, how do they react to the pest? This can be done by preventing their growth, either by inhibiting their metabolism or modifying their DNA.

In this respect, biocides are not always effective in destroying all microorganisms at once. The complete removal from surfaces, products or materials may require multiple applications over a period of time.

The Groupe Berkem’s innovative solutions

The Groupe Berkem is a key player in the chemical industry, providing solutions to the challenges of everyday life and supporting the transition of chemical substances to eco-responsible and bio-based solutions.

The Groupe Berkem can support the transition of traditional players in the biocide ecosystem as a specialist in advanced plant chemistry and innovative player in the biocide industry. To do this, they develop, together, solutions from active ingredients of plant origin, in order to reduce the volumes and dosages of synthetic substances.

The product support results from perfect expertise in regulatory matters and continuous monitoring performed by the dedicated department within the Groupe Berkem.

Learn more about our innovatives solutions