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I understand what a critical micelle concentration (CMC) is, however I do not know why or how impurities or salt additives affect it when measured in specific ways. Any help is much appreciated.

So what determines whether they are stabilizing or destabilizing? If it interacts with the head group, how does this change the CMC and why? The head group already has a counter ion present?

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a chemistry question. I have asked the question on a different forum and gotten plenty of helpful responses. There was absolutely no valid reason for this question to be put on hold. I am taking physical chemistry and we were assigned this question. Your moderators are rude and simply block questions with absolutely no constructive feedback or advice. Just because you don't know the answer, doesn't mean others don't. Let them answer for heavens sake. $\endgroup$ – Harley McFarlen Mar 10 at 9:57
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Every chemical present can interact with the free lipid and/or with the micelles. Organic chemicals will tend to interact with the lipophilic portion of the lipids, while ionic ones will interact with the polar head.

Depending on their structure, all those species can have a stabilizing or destabilizing effect on the formation of micelles and so the CMC will change accordingly.

Of particular importance is the "ionic strength" of the solution (you should research that term).

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