Analysis Of Surfactant by Thomas M. Schmitt

By Thomas M. Schmitt

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ANALYSIS OF INDIVIDUAL SURFACTANTS Besides the above procedures that are generally applicable to anionic surfactants, specialized methods have been developed to characterize individual surfactants. A. Alkylbenzene Sulfonates There is an ASTM standard, D1568, for analysis of LAS (6). It recommends determination of water by azeotropic distillation, unsulfonated material by extraction, and chloride by titration. 1% aqueous solution and a procedure is given for 22 Chapter 1 determining ethanol-insoluble matter.

1 ,4-Dioxane Content Ether sulfates may contain low levels of 1,4-dioxane, both because of impurities in the starting ethoxylate and because of formation of dioxane during the sulfation reaction (79). This analysis is discussed with the characterization of nonionic surfactants (Chapter 2). D. a-Olefin Sulfonates Olefin sulfonates are analyzed in the same general manner as other anionics. For certain purposes it may be necessary to determine the relative proportions of the main components: the alkenesulfonates and hydroxyalkanesulfonates.

Inorganic Salts Impurities in anionic surfactants include sulfate salts from the sulfonation reaction and perhaps residual catalyst from previous steps, such as the KOH catalyst that may have been used to prepare the ethoxylated alcohol which was subsequently sulfated. Individual ions can be determined by dilution with water and application of the usual wet chemical tests or ion chromatography. Direct ion chromatographic analysis of a surfactant may require the addition of a low molecular weight alcohol to the aqueous buffer.

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