R&D and Basic Technology

Basic Technology Development Meeting Varied Needs

Synergy with consumer products is what characterizes the Kao Group's chemical business. Our role as supplier of ingredients for consumer products to Kao Group companies gives us the opportunity to continually refine our fundamental technology, which in turn enables us to continue developing new seeds even as we meet the existing needs of chemical industry customers all over the world.

Through our chemical products, we will continue developing and supplying distinctive industrial products to respond to customers' trust and expectations and contribute to the future of industry.


Multi-phase emulsive margarine (optical micrography)

Kao has utilized the multi-phase emulsion technology for fats and oils to develop a butter cream that is as rich and flavorful as fresh cream.

Kao has used emulsion technology for breakthroughs in emulsion liquid crystal research - and association of surfactant molecules - to develop unique margarines and shortenings to use in cakes and other baked goods.


The effects of new air entraining superplasticizers on the dispersion of cement particles (optical micrography)

Kao recognized the potential of steric repulsion and has successfully developed uniquely structured new air entraining superplasticizers with long branching chains. These superplasticizers have been added to ready-mixed concrete, contributing to qualities such as: strong dispersant characteristics; steady flowability retention; high early strength.

The effects of the superplasticizers' steric repulsion have dramatically improved the performance of concrete.


Cleaning for printed circuit boards by a high performance semi-aqueous detergent CLEANTHROUGH

Kao has applied its surface activities expertise to develop a high-function, water-based cleaner that enables easy wastewater treatment.

This multifunctional composition of this cleaner can also be used in the electronics field by replacing Freon and chloric type solvents.

Antistatic finish

The effects of antistatic agents on plastic products (example of dirt chamber test results)

The most difficult step in creating an antistatic finish in plastic products is engineering it so that a thin film antistatic agent mixed in with the resin migrates to the surface during the molding process.

Through detailed research into the solubility of antistatic agents in resin, Kao has developed a quick-acting antistatic agent that migrates to the surface about an hour after molding. This has led to dramatic cost reductions by eliminating the aging time between molding and delivery.

Kao has also developed antistatic agents with prolonged effectiveness, and coating agents especially suited for use in IT-related applications.

Adsorption and coagulation

De-inking simulation using flotation testing machine

The pulp fiber, ink, and foam are the three elements that play a major role in the flotation method for wastepaper recycling. In order to remove a greater amount of ink from the paper, Kao has developed a deinking agent that achieves a high level of whiteness by optimally controlling the electrostatic interaction of these substances.


Effects of functional calcium supplement products on soybeans (example under calcium deficiency disease conditions)

The combination of plant studies and Kao's expertise in surfactants has been used to develop various new crop care products. Some examples of these include: products that reduce the need of pesticides by enhancing the plant's biological effectiveness; and products that improve the plant's resistance to disease by supplementing the leaf's surface with calcium. Kao's new crop care products have not only addressed safety and health issues but have also enhanced the quality and quantity of the harvest.

Emulsified polymerization

Monomer solution before polymerization (optical micrography)
Polymer particles within emulsion (scanning electro micrography)

The emulsifier for emulsified polymerization must also possess the ability to disperse and stabilize polymer particles in the emulsion.

Kao is involved in the development of many unique emulsifiers that, in addition to having superior basic functions, also possess a broad range of other important purposes. The new emulsifiers can be used in a diverse range of polymerizing conditions, create a stable emulsion mechanically and chemically, and generate special reactions.

Designing polymer functions

Toner is used for making excellent copies (scanning electro micrography)

Copier toner, used for electronic copiers or laser printers, is powdered ink consisting of a colorant and other additives dispersed in a thermoplastic binder resin made up of performance particles 10 microns in diameter.

Kao was the first to develop polyester binder resin with excellent toner fixation at low temperatures and colorant dispersion properties. Through the combination of its unique colorant nano-dispersion and particle manufacturing technologies, Kao has developed toner for fast and high-quality full color printing.


Developing fragrances by incorporating personal computer technology and the latest fragrance development systems.

Building on the latest natural fragrance research and synthetic technology, Kao has developed a variety of specialty products that are critical in creating new fragrances.

These materials, along with joint research between Kao laboratories in Japan and Spain, have led to the development of Kao's own fragrance mixes supplied to global markets. Kao's principal focus is to develop original fragrances that are both sophisticated and functional.

Kao Group