Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Cleaning with Care and Comfort

Surfactants Info: Usages & Benefits in Everyday Life

What is a surfactant?
Coco Glucoside, also known as surfactants, are compounds that will significantly reduce the surface tension or interfacial tension between two liquids, between liquids and gases, and between liquids and solids. The molecular structure of surfactants is amphoteric: hydrophilic group at one end, hydrophobic group at the opposite end; hydrophilic groups tend to be polar groups, such as carboxylic acid, sulfonic acid, sulfuric acid, amino or amine groups and their salts, hydroxyl, amide, ether bonds, etc., can also be used as polar hydrophilic groups; and hydrophobic groups are often nonpolar hydrocarbon chains, like hydrocarbon chains of over eight carbon atoms. Surfactants are split into ionic surfactants (including cationic surfactants, anionic surfactants, and amphoteric surfactants), nonionic surfactants, complex surfactants, and other surfactants.
Summary of surfactants
Surfactants really are a class of chemical substances with a special molecular structure, which often contain hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups. This amphiphilic nature enables surfactants to create interfaces between water as well as other immiscible liquids and lower interfacial tension, thus playing the roles of wetting, emulsifying, dispersing, solubilizing, foaming, defoaming and so forth.
Types of surfactants
Surfactant is really a special chemical substance that will significantly decrease the surface tension from the solvent at a really low concentration, thus changing the interfacial state from the system. This substance usually has both hydrophilic and lipophilic properties and can play a bridge role between two immiscible liquids, water and oil, therefore it is also known as an amphiphilic molecule.
Surfactants have a wide range of applications in lots of fields, like daily life, industrial production, and scientific research. Based on their different chemical structures and properties, surfactants can be split into two classes: ionic and nonionic. Ionic surfactants can be further split into cationic, anionic, and amphoteric types.
Ionic surfactants
Anionic surfactants
Anionic surfactants are the most widely used and many widely produced surfactants. Common anionic surfactants include salts of essential fatty acids, sulfonates, sulfate salts and phosphate salts. They may have good detergency, emulsification, dispersion, solubilization, as well as other properties and therefore are commonly used in detergents, cosmetics, textiles, printing and dyeing, petroleum, pharmaceutical, as well as other industries.
Cationic surfactants
Cationic surfactants are generally nitrogen-containing organic amine derivatives with good bactericidal, antistatic and softening properties. Because of their good softness and antistatic properties on fabrics, they are often used as post-treatment agents, softeners, antistatic agents and sterilizers for textiles.
Amphoteric ionic surfactants
Amphoteric ionic surfactants have both good and bad charge groups within the molecule and show different charge properties at different pH values. These surfactants have excellent foaming, low irritation, good compatibility, and bactericidal properties and are commonly used in detergents, cosmetics, medicine, and other fields.
Nonionic surfactants
Nonionic surfactants do not dissociate into ions in water and appear in solution in the form of neutral molecules or micro ions. These surfactants are highly stable, not easily impacted by strong electrolytes and, acids and bases, and are compatible with other types of surfactants. Common nonionic surfactants include polyethylene glycol type, polyol type, fluorinated surfactants and silicone type. They may be commonly used in detergents, emulsifiers, dispersants, wetting agents and so forth.
Types of surfactants:
Ionic surfactants
Anionic surfactants: e.g. sodium fatty acids, alkyl sulfates, etc.
Cationic surfactants: e.g. quaternary ammonium salts, amine salts, etc.
Amphoteric ionic surfactants: e.g. amino acid type, betaine type, etc.
Nonionic surfactants
Polyoxyethylene ether type: such as fatty alcohol polyoxyethylene ether.
Polyol type: e.g. glycerol ester, sorbitol ester, etc.
Amine oxide type: such as dimethylamine oxide, etc.
Special types of surfactants
Polymer surfactants: surfactants with high molecular chain structure.
Bio-surfactants: like phospholipids, glycolipids as well as other surfactants of natural biological origin.
What are the main functions of surfactants?
(1) Emulsification: Due to the large surface tension of grease in water, when grease is dripped in to the water and stirred vigorously, the grease will be crushed into fine beads and mixed to form an emulsion, however the stirring will stop and re-layering will require place. In the event you add surfactant and stir hard, it does not be simple to stratify for a long time after stopping, the emulsification effect. This is because the hydrophobicity from the grease is encompassed by hydrophilic groups of surfactant, forming a directional attraction, lowering the oil in the water dispersion from the work needed to create the grease emulsification is very good.
(2) Wetting effect: Parts often adhere to the surface of a layer of wax, grease, or scale-like substances, that are hydrophobic. Because of the pollution of those substances, the surface of the parts can be difficult to wet with water. When adding surfactants to the water solution, the water droplets on the parts will be easily dispersed so the surface tension of the parts is greatly reduced to achieve the purpose of wetting.
(3) solubilizing effect: oil substances in adding surfactant to be able to dissolve, but this dissolution could only occur when the power of surfactant reaches the critical power of colloid, the dimensions of the solubility based on solubilizing objects and properties to determine. In terms of solubilization, the long hydrophobic gene hydrocarbon chain is stronger than the short hydrocarbon chain, the saturated hydrocarbon chain is stronger than the unsaturated hydrocarbon chain, and the solubilization effect of nonionic surfactants is normally more significant.
(4) Dispersing effect: Dust, dirt, and other solid particles are simple to gather together and settle in water; surfactant molecules can make solid particle aggregates split into small particles so that they are dispersed and suspended within the solution and be involved to advertise the uniform dispersion of solid particles.
(5) Foam effect: the development of foam is mainly the directional adsorption of active agent, is the gas-liquid two-phase surface tension reduction caused by. Generally, the low molecular active agent is simple to foam, high molecular active agent foam less, cardamom acid yellow foam is definitely the highest, sodium stearate foam is definitely the worst, anionic active agent foam and foam stability than nonionic good, such as sodium alkyl benzene sulfonate foam is very strong. Usually used foam stabilizers are fatty alcohol amide, carboxymethyl cellulose, etc. Foam inhibitors are essential fatty acids, fatty acid esters, polyethers, etc. as well as other nonionic surfactants.
Use of surfactants
Surfactants have a wide range of applications, almost covering our daily life and other industrial production fields. These are among the main uses of surfactants:
Detergents and cosmetics: Surfactants are important ingredients in detergents and cosmetics, like laundry detergents, liquid detergents, shampoos, shower gels, moisturizing lotions and so forth. They decrease the surface tension of water, making it simpler for stains to be removed from the surface of objects while providing a rich lather and lubricating sensation.
Textile industry: In the textile industry, surfactants are used as softeners, wetting agents, antistatic agents, dispersants, leveling agents and, color fixing agents, etc., which help to improve the caliber of textiles and improve the uniformity of dyeing and color vividness.
Food industry: Surfactants can be used emulsifiers, dispersants, wetting agents, defoamers, etc., within the creation of dairy products, beverages, confectionery, and other food products to improve their stability and taste.
Agriculture and pesticides: In agriculture, surfactants can enhance the wetting and dispersion of pesticides, thus improving their insecticidal effect. They can also be used as soil conditioners to improve soil water retention and permeability.
Petroleum industry: Along the way of oil extraction and processing, surfactants can be used emulsion breakers, oil repellents, anti-waxing agents, and enhancement of recovery, etc., which help to improve the efficiency of oil extraction and processing.
Pharmaceutical industry: Within the pharmaceutical industry, surfactants can be used to prepare emulsions, suppositories, aerosols, tablets, injections, etc., playing the role of emulsification, solubilization, wetting, dispersion and penetration.
In addition, surfactants play a vital role in lots of industries, such as construction, paint, paper, leather, and metal processing. Their application in these fields is mainly realized by improving product processing performance, enhancing product quality, and reducing production costs.
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