Journal of Surfactants and Detergents

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 925–932 | Cite as

Dissolution of Soap Scum by Surfactants. Part III. Effect of Chelant Type on Equilibrium Solubility and Dissolution Rate of Calcium and Magnesium Soap Scums in Various Surfactant Systems

  • Sawwalak Itsadanont
  • Prariyada Theptat
  • John F. Scamehorn
  • Sukhwan Soontravanich
  • David A. Sabatini
  • Sumaeth ChavadejEmail author
Original Article


Soap scum can be effectively removed by using an appropriate surfactant with a chelating agent at a high solution pH. The equilibrium solubilities and dissolution rates of two model soap scums [calcium stearate and magnesium stearate: Ca(C18)2 and Mg(C18)2] were investigated in aqueous solutions containing three different types of surfactants [methyl ester sulfonate (MES) as an anionic surfactant; alcohol ethoxylate (EO9) as a nonionic surfactant; and dimethyldodecylamine oxide (DDAO) as an amphoteric surfactant] in the presence of different biodegradable chelants: trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinic acid (Na3EDDS) and tetrasodium glutamate diacetic acid (Na4GLDA) compared with disodium ethylenediamine tetraacetate (Na2EDTA), a chelant with poor biodegradability. The highest equilibrium solubility and dissolution rate of either soap scum were observed at high pH in the DDAO system with Na4GLDA. In addition, the calcium soap scum had a similar to higher equilibrium solubility and a higher dissolution rate constant as compared with the magnesium soap scum.


Soap scum Anionic surfactant Nonionic surfactant Amphoteric surfactant Biodegradable chelating agents 



Financial support for this work was provided by Rachadapisek Sompote Fund for Postdoctoral Fellowship, Chulalongkorn University; The Thailand Research Fund (TRF)–The Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (RGJ); Center of Excellence on Petrochemical and Materials Technology, Thailand; The Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University; The Thailand Research Fund (TRF)-Senior Research Scholar Grant (RTA 5780008); The industrial sponsors of the Institute for Applied Surfactant Research at the University of Oklahoma including CESI Chemical Research, Church and Dwight, Clorox, ConocoPhillips, Ecolab, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), Halliburton, Huntsman, InVia-Westvaco, Novus, Procter and Gamble, Phillips 66, Sasol North America, S.C. Johnson and Son, and Shell Chemical.


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sawwalak Itsadanont
    • 1
  • Prariyada Theptat
    • 1
  • John F. Scamehorn
    • 2
  • Sukhwan Soontravanich
    • 2
  • David A. Sabatini
    • 2
  • Sumaeth Chavadej
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.The Petroleum and Petrochemical CollegeChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Institute for Applied Surfactant ResearchUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  3. 3.Center of Excellence on Petrochemical and Materials TechnologyChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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