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Microemulsion formation and detergency with oily soils: II. Detergency formulation and performance


In part I of this series (J. Surfact. Deterg. 6, 191–203, 2003), the mixed surfactant system of sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate (AOT), alkyl diphenyl oxide disulfonate (ADPODS) and sorbitan monooleate (Span 80) was shown to form Winsor type I and type III microemulsions with hexadecane and motor oil. In addition, high solubilization and low interfacial tension were obtained between the oils and surfactant solutions both in the supersolubilization region (Winsor type I system close to type III system) and at optimal conditions in a type III system. In the present study, this mixed surfactant system was applied to remove oily soil from fabric (a polyester/cotton blend), and detergency results were correlated to phase behavior. Dynamic interfacial tensions were also measured between the oils and washing solutions. In the supersolubilization and in the middle-phase regions (type III), much better detergency performance was found for both hexadecane and motor oil removal than that with a commercial liquid detergent product. In addition, the detergency performance of our system at low temperature (25°C) was close to that obtained at high temperature (55°C), consistent with the temperature robustness of the microemulsion phase behavior of this system.

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alkyl diphenyl oxide disulfonate

AOT or Aerosol OT:

sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate

C12E5 :

pentaethylene glycol mono-n-dodecyl ether


commercial product


hydrophile-lipophile balance


interfacial tension

Span 80:

sorbitan monooleate


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Correspondence to S. Chavadej.

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Tongcumpou, C., Acosta, E.J., Quencer, L.B. et al. Microemulsion formation and detergency with oily soils: II. Detergency formulation and performance. J Surfact Deterg 6, 205–214 (2003).

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