The description of surfactants given in Chapters 5–9 concentrated on those surfactants commercially available from many producers in volume throughout the world. They have been grouped together on the basis of a common chemical structure. Within these groupings there are hundreds of speciality surfactants. What is a speciality surfactant? The author’s definition of a speciality surfactant is one that is different in properties and use to the major volume surfactants used for domestic detergents. Such surfactants are characterised by being significantly higher in price, only available from a limited number of manufacturers and the compositions not so well known, at least by the user. Phosphate esters, most of the amphoterics, ethane sulphonates and sulphosuccinates would come under this heading. However it is not a definition that is clear and distinct, and a product may become a speciality if its volume declines, e.g. alkyl naphthalene sulphonates.
KeywordsSurface Tension Ethylene Oxide Propylene Oxide Surface Active Property Rigid Polyurethane Foam
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