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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Affect of EtOH on Anionic Surfactant [closed]

I am not a chemist nor do I have a background in chemistry, so I know nothing beyond my observations. Attempting to load SLS into a porous silica substrate by dissolving surfactant into 200 proof EtOH ...
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Is there a stretchable, transparent polymer like PDMS, but not so hydrophobic?

I'm looking for something like PDMS, but not as hydrophobic. I'm trying to form 2d crystals using the surface tension of an evaporating droplet to organize microspheres into an ordered array. PDMS ...
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1 answer
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Suppressing flammable foam formation in electrolysis

I often use electrolysis to remove rust and other junk off of steel parts. My general setup is: Electrolyte: Sodium bicarbonate + distilled water. Anode: Plain carbon steel Cathode: Carbon steel, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How can surface excess be negative?

If we have interphase of two phases $\alpha$ (water) and $\beta$ (air), surface excess is defined as $$\Gamma_i = \frac{n_{i,\mathrm{tot}} - n_{i,\alpha} - n_{i,\beta}} A = \frac{n_{i,\mathrm{int}}} A,...
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2 answers
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Why does magnesium hydroxide solution solidify after passage of time?

I have been trying to make a suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water. Around 40% magnesium hydroxide w/w. Initially it is fluid, but as time passes, it solidifies. What is causing this?
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Is an emulsion of dish soap and vegetable oil stable?

If I fill a glass jar with water, vegetable oil, and dish soap, then mix it until the oil is completely emulsified, will the mixture stay emulsified indefinitely? Assuming the dish soap and oil are ...
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1 answer
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What happens when you dilute a surfactant solution at the critical micelle concentration?

Say if instance I have a 100 ml solution with micelles formed using some surfactant. Now if I pour that 100 ml solution into 500 ml of water, will those micelles break up into free surfactant again? ...
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What is the theoretical reason for the dependence of the surface tension on the alcohol concentration in water?

The qualitative sketches I, II and III given below show the variation of surface tension with molar concentration of three different aqueous solutions of$ \ce{ KCl, CH_3 (OH) }$and $ \ce{CH3(CH2)_{11} ...
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Ratio of LABSA to washing soda in detergents

I have read various formulations of detergents involving combining linear alkyl benzene sulphonic acid (LABSA) with sodium carbonate, but in differing proportions ranging from 1:2 to 1:4. Why would ...
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8 votes
2 answers
909 views

Quantifying soapiness; there's pH, pKa and pO2, is there a p_soap or p_surfactance?

Yes, $\mathrm{pH}$ is a concentration, $\mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}$ is a dissociation constant, and $\mathrm{pO_2}$ is a partial pressure. These are (roughly speaking) ways to indicate how much of a key ...
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3 votes
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Anti-foaming agent for HCl + copper chloride solution

I am trying to etch my own circuit boards at home, and have whipped up some DIY cupric chloride etchant (just CuCl with a bunch of free HCl) The problem I have found is that when I try to bubble air ...
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How lyophilic colloids reduce surface tension?

Its given in my textbook that surface tension of lyophilic/hydrophilic solution is lower than water. But my intuition says,since in lyophilic solution the interaction between a lyophilic colloid and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Viscosity at CMC

What happens to viscosity at critical micelle concentration? Does it increase or decrease abruptly, and if so, what's the reason behind it? I'm aware of changes in other properties such as ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of "Nonyl-phenol 10 mole"

In my workplace we are purchasing "Nonylphenol 10 mole" and "Nonylphenol 30 mole" for use as non-ionic surfactants. At first I assumed, because of the name, that the substance was ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How does soap actually reduce surface tension of water

I was a bit confused on how soap reduce surface tension of water.I've read some answers like Why does soap reduce surface tension of water and Why do surfactants lower the surface tension But the ...
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Why is aqueous solution of lauyl glucoside alkaline?

What is the reaction of dissociation of lauryl glucoside? It's aqueous solution pH is much higher than 7, it's definately alkaline. Why is that? It's nonionic surfactant and as far as I know it only ...
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2 votes
0 answers
400 views

Is lauryl glucoside stable in low pH?

I wish to use lauryl glucoside in the solution of citric acid. I tried to add it to 5% w/w solution of citric acid in water but after about 24h in the concoction which was previously clear I observed ...
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3 votes
0 answers
111 views

How can I solubilize fragrance oil into polyvinyl acetate/clear glue?

I'm a high school student who makes slime for fun, using polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue and borax as my main ingredients. Earlier, I had the idea of adding fragrance oils to clear glue. However, because ...
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Which salt is a surfactant and lowers the surface tension of the water? [closed]

I am doing my experiment on the surface tension of the water. How to show the decrease of surface tension of water with the increase in the concentration of salt? Is there any salt that lowers the ...
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5 votes
0 answers
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Thermodynamics of micellisation

Micellisation is found to be spontaneous i.e. $\Delta G < 0.$ It's found that $\Delta S > 0,$ which was intuitive since, solvated molecules are released. And, it may be most loosely started that ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Non-foaming surfactant to add to water [closed]

I'm looking for a surfactant that I can add to water to decrease the surface tension by 20 to 40%. I'm working on a new kind of mixing device that is so designed such that it mixes relatively large ...
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4 answers
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Can you steam clean your range hood, by adding dishwashing liquid to boiling distilled water?

My grandparents physically can't remove their Sakura R-727II range hood that lacks any filter. Because of COVID-19, no handyperson can visit their house. But their range hood is now clogged and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
292 views

Biodegrability of straight chain and branched chain detergents

From NCERT Chemistry: Textbook for class XII, Part II [1, p. 461]: Main problem that appears in the use of detergents is that if their hydrocarbon chain is highly branched, then bacteria cannot ...
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1 vote
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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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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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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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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5 votes
2 answers
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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), i.e. will the same ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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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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2 votes
1 answer
1k 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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14 votes
3 answers
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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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0 votes
2 answers
174 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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2 votes
0 answers
76 views

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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9 votes
2 answers
5k views

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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1 vote
1 answer
202 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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9 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
0 answers
192 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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3 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
0 answers
57 views

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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5 votes
5 answers
6k views

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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7 votes
3 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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4 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
1 answer
3k 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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2 answers
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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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3 votes
2 answers
17k 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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7 votes
4 answers
2k 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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