Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants can be used as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants. Surfactants are usually amphiphilic organic compounds, which means that they contain both hydrophobic groups and hydrophilic groups. Thus, surfactants contain both water-insoluble and water-soluble components. In the case where water is mixed with oil, the surfactant will diffuse into the water and adsorb at the interface between air and water or at the interface between oil and water. Water-insoluble hydrophobic groups can stick out of the bulk aqueous phase into the air-oil phase, while the water-soluble groups remain in the aqueous phase. Surfactants have a class of flexible applications due to a series of physicochemical effects, and are used in wide range of fine chemical products. In addition to being detergents in daily life, other applications of surfactants can cover almost all fine chemical fields.
Anionic surfactants are surface actives that ionize negative charges in water. In the production of surfactants, anionic surfactants occupy the maximum variety and quantity.
Cationic surfactant is a positively charged surfactant and refers to a hydrophilic base whose molecules are dissolved in water and attached to a lipophilic base.
Non-ionic surfactants, consisting of a hydrophilic head group and a hydrophobic tail, carry no charge and are relatively non-toxic.
Amphoterics are surfactants with ionic charge and they can change between anionic properties, the isoelectric neutral stage and the cationic properties depending on the pH value.
Polymer Surfactants, Silicone Surfactants, Fluoro Surfactants, Natural surfactants.