Laundry pods

The working principle of detergent surfactants

by:Jingliang     2023-06-07
Surfactants that can dissolve in water and dissociate into ions are called ionic surfactants. Those that cannot be dissociated into ions are called non-ionic surfactants. And ionic surfactants can be divided into anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants and zwitterionic surfactants according to their surface activity in water. Next, we will introduce the principles of wetting, dispersing, emulsifying, solubilizing, and foaming of detergent surfactants: 1. Wetting action of solid surface covered by liquid is called wetting. Textile fibers have good water absorption properties and are easily wetted. The wetting effect of surfactants is closely related to the decontamination process of fabrics. Due to the surfactant, the surface of the fabric fiber is easily wetted by the lotion, and penetrates into the fiber to swell the fiber; at the same time, the surfactant can penetrate between the hydrophobic dirt particles, crushing the particle dirt into colloid-sized particles. microparticles. In this way, the original structure between the fabric fibers and the dirt is destroyed, and the dirt is easily separated from the fibers. Due to the wetting effect of surfactants, it does not play a direct decontamination role in the washing process, but it plays a very important role in the decontamination of fabrics. 2. Dispersion The dispersion or suspension formed by the surfactant evenly dispersed in the lotion is called decomposition. Insoluble solids such as dust and soot cannot be decomposed and sink in water. When whitening washing powder containing surfactants is added, the hydrophobic hydrocarbon chains of surfactants are easily adsorbed on the surface of solid particles. The other end of the hydrophilic group extends into the water, forming a layer of hydrophilic adsorption around the solid particles. At this time, the surface tension between the lotion and the solid particles is smaller than the surface tension inside the solid particles. At this time, the wetting effect of the surfactant molecules destroys the cohesion between the solid particles. At the same time, due to the strong penetrating force of surfactant molecules, the solid particles are broken into tiny particles, which are surrounded by surfactant molecules and dispersed in water. Since surfactants are polar substances, they can be ionized in water and have different charges. Therefore, this layer of molecular encirclement usually has charges, so the dispersed particles are not easy to re-agglomerate to form precipitates, and can only be suspended in water. 3. Emulsification The dirt that is immiscible with water, in which one liquid is dispersed in another liquid with very tiny droplets, this is the effect of emulsifier. Add some food oil to a glass of water, and you will find that there is a distinct layering phenomenon. When shaken vigorously, you can find that in these two incompatible liquids, the oil is crushed into fine droplets and mixed with water, becoming a turbid body . But after shaking, the oil was soon separated from the water again and layered again. This is because the interfacial tensions of the oil and water phases are relatively large. To disperse them, a large force is required, and it is not easy to mix and return to the original state. However, the situation is different when surfactant is added to the liquid layered with oil and water in this cup, and the oil will be divided into parts with only a little shaking. Very fine droplets are dispersed in water and form into an emulsion, which is not prone to delamination. This effect of surfactants is called emulsification. The emulsification of surfactants plays a very important role in washing the oil stains on the clothes. After the oil stains become emulsified, they are not easy to aggregate and deposit on the clothes.
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