A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with cleaning properties in dilute solutions. These substances are usually alkylbenzenesulfonates, a family of compounds that are similar to soap but are more soluble in hard water, because the polar sulfonate (of detergents) is less likely than the polar carboxylate (of soap) to bind to calcium and other ions found in hard water. In most household contexts, the term detergent by itself refers specifically to laundry detergent or dish detergent, as opposed to hand soap or other types of cleaning agents. Detergents are commonly available as powders or concentrated solutions. Detergents, like soaps, work because they are amphiphilic: partly hydrophilic (polar) and partly hydrophobic (non-polar). Their dual nature facilitates the mixture of hydrophobic compounds (like oil and grease) with water. Because air is not hydrophilic, detergents are also foaming agents to varying degrees.
1 Chemical classification of detergents
1.1 Anionic detergents 1.2 Cationic detergents 1.3 Non-ionic and zwitterionic detergents
2 History 3 Major applications of detergents
3.1 Household cleaning 3.2 Fuel additives 3.3 Biological reagent
4 See also 5 References 6 External links
Chemical classification of detergents Detergents are classified into three broad groupings, depending on the electrical charge of the surfactants. Anionic detergents Typical anionic detergents are alkylbenzenesulfonates. The alkylbenzene portion of these anions is lipophilic and the sulfonate is hydrophilic. Two different varieties have been popularized, those with branched alkyl groups and those with linear alkyl groups. The former were largely phased out in economically advanced societies because they are poorly biodegradable. An estimated 6 billion kilograms of anionic detergents are produced annually for domestic markets. Bile acids, such as deoxycholic acid (DOC), are anionic detergents produced by the liver to aid in digestion and absorption of fats and oils.
Three kinds of anionic detergents: a branched sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, linear sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, and a soap.
Cationic detergents Cationic detergents that are similar to the anionic ones, with a hydrophilic component, but, instead of the anionic sulfonate group, the cationic surfactants have quaternary ammonium as the polar end. The ammonium sulfate center is positively charged. Non-ionic and zwitterionic detergents Non-ionic detergents are characterized by their uncharged, hydrophilic headgroups. Typical non-ionic detergents are based on polyoxyethylene or a glycoside. Common examples of the former include Tween, Triton, and the Brij series. These materials are also known as ethoxylates or PEGlyates and their metabolites, nonylphenol. Glycosides have a sugar as their uncharged hydrophilic headgroup. Examples include octyl thioglucoside and maltosides. HEGA and MEGA series detergents are similar, possessing a sugar alcohol as headgroup. Zwitterionic detergents possess a net zero charge arising from the presence of equal numbers of +1 and −1 charged chemical groups. Examples include CHAPS. See surfactants for more applications. History
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2015)
In World War I, there was a shortage of oils. Synthetic detergents
were first made in Germany.
Major applications of detergents
^ "IUPAC Gold Book - detergent". Goldbook.iupac.org. 2012-08-19.
^ a b Eduard Smulders, Wolfgang Rybinski, Eric Sung, Wilfried Rähse,
Josef Steber, Frederike Wiebel, Anette Nordskog, "
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