Questions tagged [surfactants]

Questions about compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid.

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28 views

Do some alkyloxiranes possess surfactant properties?

As an example, i notice that decyloxirane has a long non-polar "tail" and a tiny "head" that features two polar bonds. This molecule looks not so different from a common soap to me....
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Do non-ionic surfactants have more or less cleansing (oil removal) power than amphoteric surfactants? [closed]

Regarding surfactants and their cleansing power (oil removal capabilities), are non-ionic surfactants more or less effective than amphoteric surfactants? Non-Ionic surfactants examples: Decyl ...
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Difference between Soap and Detergent

In most articles and texts that I've read, soaps and detergents seem to be talked about collectively. I know that they are both surfactants and that soaps are usually natural, in comparison to ...
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How do I know which surfactants in hair products are aggressive to the scalp and which are not?

I'm a hair care enthusiast (I don't work with it) and a lot has been said about how bad sulfates are for hair. I say that in relation to its cleansing power. Because they are often very aggressive, ...
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81 views

Does hot water make more foam? [duplicate]

A message has been floating around saying that it is better to wash your hands with warm water, as it helps the soap create more foam. Is it true? If it is true, why is it so? Is there a temperature ...
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59 views

Are Hansen solubility parameters available for inorganic salts or ionic molecules?

Are Hansen solubility parameters available for inorganic salts or ionic molecules (e.g. potassium oleate, potassium stearate, sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate (AOT), sodium dodecyl benzol sulfonate (SDBS)...
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55 views

What is the logic behind the terminology lyophilic and lyophobic colloids?

Its given in my text book that- Colloidal dispersions of starch,rubber,proteins etc are lyophilic colloids whereas colloidal dispersions of metals,sulphides etc are lyophobic in nature. But even ...
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How does the phase inversion temperature of an emulsion depend on the oil - water ratio?

How does the phase inversion temperature (PIT) at the fish tail point in different fish-like diagrams of a given oil - water - surfactant emulsion depend on the oil - water ratio? Kahlweit, M.; Strey,...
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Making a soapy (bubble) solution

There are fun and practical applications of soapy solutions for bubble making. An example of a practical one is detection of gas leaks from fittings and unions. Given various household products, ...
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720 views

Why do surfactants lower the surface tension

Everybody knows that detergents, or generally amphiphilic substances, lower the surface tension. Of water, usually. I wonder if that's true for any polar solvent (most likely)? What happens in a ...
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85 views

Surface Chemistry - Dipole Moment of Surfactant with Water and Phases of a Monomolecular Layer

Recently, I have been trying to study surface chemistry and I have come across questions that I do not understand how to answer. I understand what a dipole moment is, defined as a charge separation ...
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1answer
202 views

Is an alcohol-based spray cleaner ok for cleaning an aluminum heat exchanger?

Simple alcohols such as ethanol can, apparently, corrode aluminum. However, this corrosion reaction seems to be very slow at room temperature and below. Is an ethanol based, non-foaming spray cleaner, ...
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4k views

Is there such a thing as a “minimal soap” molecule?

Wikipedia's Soap gives sodium stearate as an example of soap, and apparently I've been eating it: Sodium stearate is the sodium salt of stearic acid. This white solid is the most common soap. It is ...
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89 views

How can I make an alloy wetter?

I'm trying to make a Bismuth-Indium based low-melt alloy wetter (specifically, better at wetting to solid metals and glass). I've tried adding gallium, which obviously works, but due to its metal-...
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94 views

Wetting agent for H2O2 solution

I need to increase the wetting of an $\ce{H2O2}$ solution on ceramic surfaces. Does anyone know of a common chemical I can use for this? The properties it would ideally have are: Increases wetting ...
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What does borax do in and to the washing machine? [closed]

Does borax actually do anything to make clothes cleaner? If it does .... Does it do something with the detergent to remove more dirt from clothes? Does it make it easier to rinse detergent and dirt ...
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What are “tensides”?

I was reading about chemicals that control pore size of polyurethane foams and there it was mentioned that "tensides" decrease pore size. What are tensides? I assume it's the opposite of a surfactant, ...
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1answer
156 views

Uncertainty in measuring the mass of the palm oil and the base in saponification

I am a student coming from the domain of mathematics, and I am working on error analysis and uncertainty, but I have a question in the domain of chemistry. I am studying the effect of the ...
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2k views

Why does Dead Sea water feel greasy?

The best explanation I found so far is this: These salts (magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc.) are responsible for the "greasy" feel of the water. But it doesn’t say which salts exactly are ...
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failed simple experiment with surfactant

I wanted to show my son the effect of a surfactant. So I filled two small glasses with tap-water, added a squirt of RinseAid to one and stirred. Then I sprinkled powdered flour on both. My ...
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166 views

How can I decrease the Krafft temperature of an hexadecyl sulfate surfactant?

I need to prepare an anionic surfactant from a treatment of cetyl alcohol (hexadecanol) and $\ce{H2SO4}$, and then neutralize it using $\ce{NaOH}$ or $\ce{NH3}$; but sodium hexadecyl sulfate has a ...
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1answer
2k views

Why does copper sulphate (CuSO4) in water increase surface tension?

So, recently for school, I did an experiment on surface-tension. We tested Water, Salt, Sugar, Dissolvable Panadol, Coffee Powder, Vinegar, Detergent, Flour, Methylated Spirits, Oil & Detergent, ...
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Functionalizing CTAC stabilized nanoparticles

I am working on functionalizing silver-gold bimetallic nanoparticles. My nanoparticles are stabilized by CTAC(cetyltrimethylammonium chloride).The most articles which I found, are about the ...
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How do I lower the surface tension of water without using a detergent?

For many years I've used a Rainbow vacuum, which uses a reservoir of water as the filter. While I'm quite pleased with it, I've found that when trying to vacuum cement dust or wood ash not all of ...
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Is it known for sure that bases feel slippery because of the production of soap/surfactant?

Discussion around the question Why does bleach feel slippery? has started me thinking about the saponification explanation for the slippery feeling of basic solutions. According to Wikipedia: ...
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50 views

Figuring out if a surfactant is present

I have recently starting distilling my own essential oils using a still that I built out of an old diesel barrel. Before the first run with the still, I cleaned the inside using soap and water. I ...
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164 views

Can cationic species form micelles?

Most of the books dive into formation of micelles by soaps. They go on talking about alkyl sulphate and carboxylates, but never do they mention anything about cations. My textbook says that at ...
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1answer
2k views

Salt and sugar surfactants?

How do daily compounds such as table salt ($\ce{NaCl}$) and sugar ($\ce{C6H12O6}$) affect adhesion or surface tension of water? Considering their polarity, I guess they both increase it.
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866 views

Why does shower gel / shampoo foam a lot more on hairy than non-hairy body parts?

We usually use shower gel by rubbing it on our palms and then applying it to each body part in turn in order to clean oily substances that clung to it since our last shower. This procedure does not ...
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13k views

How does NaCl (or any inorganic salt) increase surface tension?

Does the compound "prefer" to stay in the solution? If yes, wouldn't the surface tension of the solution be equal to that of pure water, since only water is in the surface? See: Does NaCl reduce the ...
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964 views

What exactly happens while washing clothes

I am reading about soaps , micelles and all that. I understand how soap behaves in water contaminated by oil. Soap helps in emulsifying the oil into water. Let us suppose now we have dirt(i.e oil, ...
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213 views

What is the surfactant's role in the non-coalescence of water droplets?

I have recently seen many videos that talk about the noncoalescence of water droplets; however, I do not understand the purpose of adding surfactants into the water. From my knowledge (high school), ...
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640 views

Benzalkonium chloride breakdown time

I wonder if and how long (approximately) it will take for benzalkonium chloride (shown above; $n = 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18$) to breakdown (degrade fully or partly) in a closed water loop with continuous ...
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How do I create a transparent liquid for ferrofluid display?

Hello~ I am a media art artists working in Korea. Recently, create a kinetic artwork using ferrofluid. I need to create an artificial pond with a diameter of 3 meters. So I need a lot of suspension ...
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818 views

What would be a safe/good surfactant for ultrasonic cleaning vinyl records + distilled water and isopropyl alcohol

Title pretty much says it all besides the type of records I believe are pvc (60s - current, someone correct me if there may be other materials but I absolutely don't have any shellac records) and I ...
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Why are critical micelle concentrations so large?

Dissolving a non-polar molecule in water incurs a free energy cost of about $10 kJ/(mol \cdot nm^2)$ (source: http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/bionumber.aspx?&id=101826) The entropy gained from ...
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321 views

How to disperse salicylic acid in sodium lauryl sulfate solution? [closed]

Anti-dandruff shampoo contains salicylic acid as an active ingredient, but when salicylic acid powder comes in contact with a base solution such as sodium laurylsulfate and water (1:3 wt/wt) caking of ...
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1answer
614 views

Do surfactants exist in a gas phase?

I am wondering if there are surfactants that exist in a gas state that can be used to reduce the surface tension of a liquid. I know its a broad question, so for example, are there any gases that ...
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646 views

Understanding observations of dissolving surfactants in methanol, water and hexane combinations

I added various solvents to a shower gel product to see what would happen. The main surfactant ingredients in it are Methyl Gluceth 20, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Lauryl Glucoside. First I diluted ...
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263 views

Difference between starch surfactant and CTAB, SDS, Tx-100

I am doing a research on the effect of surfactant on ZnO nanoparticles properties. There is a confusion here between starch surfactant and CTAB, Tx-100 and SDS. I need point on what is the difference ...
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Why does shampoo lather much more the second time it is applied?

When I shampoo my dirty hair, the first time it does not lather very much. The second time it lathers a lot. Why is this?
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What is the purpose of froth in washing clothes?

I stay at a rented place and there is no washing machine. I, now, wash clothes in a bucket. When I add detergent, sometimes there is froth, sometimes there is not. I wonder if this had any impact on ...
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Why does soap reduce surface tension of water

One explanation I read is that soap's long non-polar end will seek the air at the interface between water and air, and that the ionic end will form ionic-dipole bonds with the water. In the process of ...
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2k views

Is there a type of detergent/surfactant that evaporates at STP?

Are there any type of detergent/surfactant chemicals that would be good for removing dirt and grease from fabric that also would evaporate from the clothes within, say, 24 hours leaving no residue? ...
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3k views

Lemon juice, the ultimate anti-foaming agent?

As an amateur soda maker, I have noticed an odd phenomenon: lemon juice sodas do not foam. Virtually every juice I have tried foams to some degree when mixed with carbonated water. Lemon juice does ...
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What can I use instead of AOT in the following protocol?

We want to nanoencapsulate our pesticide using the following protocol; but we don’t have AOT surfactant. So, what can I use instead of AOT in the following protocol? Sodium alginate solution in ...
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6k views

What turns clear liquid soap blue? [closed]

Liquid soap that sits in metal pump handles turns blue after a week or so, as in this photo comparing the soap in its initial clear state and then after pumping from the dispenser. The pumps are ...
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1answer
105 views

What non-poisonous chemicals can get rid of SLS effectively?

Whenever I brush teeth, there are some kind of bubbles sticking inside the cavity and that's uncomfortable, it should be SLS as found on the internet. Does anyone know how do I get rid of those ...
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467 views

Mixing borax and shampoo [closed]

I use borax to clean everything. the other day I thought it would be a good idea to mix a little borax with my shampoo while showering. After lathering it on my scalp about 30 seconds it began to ...
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ordering the hydrophilicity of some polymers

I need to compare the hydrophilicity of those materials to compare contact angles of water with those materials' surfaces for surface tension measurement. Materials are: PTFE (Teflon), PVC, PS, PVDF, ...