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Surfactants widely used in Industrial Processes - Fatty Alcohol Ethoxylate, Fatty Acid Ethoxylate

Ethoxylates are popular surfactants used in industrial processes. These are produced from ethoxylation process. In an ethoxylation process ethylene oxide is made to react with compounds having labile hydrogen. Fatty alcohols and fatty acids are the two popular categories of compounds which are usually used in industrial ethoxylation processes for formation of surfactants.

Surfactants are surface active agents which are widely used as detergents, cleaning agents, emulsifier and wetting agents in industrial processes. They have number of applications in form of solubilizers, coupling agents, fiber lubricants, leveling agents, dyeing assists and are often used in formation of other forms of surfactant products.

Fatty alcohol and fatty acid ethoxylates are two popular variants of surface active surfactant products used in cleaning, emulsifying, wetting, scouring and various other applications in industries.

Fatty Alcohol Ethoxylate

The fatty alcohol ethoxylates are the non-ionic surfactants which are widely used in washing detergents both domestic and industrial. These are used as wetting and cleaning agents in cosmetics, agriculture, textile, paper, oil and various other process industries. However the main application of these ethoxylated alcohols in cosmetics and textile industries is for emulsification and solubilizing agent. Fatty alcohol ethoxylate is a bi-product formed from the ethoxylation of fatty alcohols. In this ethoxylation process the fatty alcohol groups like lauryl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, oleyl cetyl alcohol etc are made to react with ethylene oxide thereby leading to the formation of fatty alcohol ethoxylates like lauryl alcohol ethoxylate, stearyl alcohol ethoxylate, behenyl alcohol ethoxylate etc. All of these ehtoxylate products vary in physical appearance and have different properties like pour point, cloud point, density, viscosity, and flash point depending on the level of ethoxylation process from which they are formed.

Fatty Acid Ethoxylate

Fatty acid ethoxylates are formed from ethoxylation process where fatty acids are made to react with ethylene oxide. This ethoxylation process is known as fatty acid ethoxylation. The ethoxylate bi-products formed from this ethoxylation process are non ionic surface active agents used in domestic as well as industrial formulations.  These are widely applied in processes as emulsifying softeners, wetting agents, cleaning agents and dispersants. The most popular application of these fatty acid ethoxylates is in textile industry. They are used as spin finishing agents in various textile formulations. The ethoxylates based on stearic acid have applications in cosmetics industries as emulsifiers in oil-in-water type creams and lotions. Likewise some of the popular variants of ethoxylated fatty acid formulations used in industries are coconut fatty acid ethoxylate, lauric acid ethoxylate, oleic acid, myristic acid ethoxylates.

Rimpro India is one of the leading suppliers of surfactant and specialty chemicals in India. Both household as well as industrial products including ethoxylates, glycols, emulsifiers, cosmetic self emulsifying waxes, oilfield chemicals, surface active agents and much more are offered at much economical costs by Rimpro. Textile surfactants for applications like lubricating, dyeing, scouring, finishing are available here. It also offers surfactants for paper, rubber, leather, paints, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and refining industries.

This article has been written by Govindbhai Mathurdas Patel