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Adsorption of polyhydroxyl based surfactants

by Matsson, Maria

Abstract (Summary)
Adsorption on solid surfaces from solution is a fundamental property of a surfactant. It might even be the most important aspect of surfactant behavior, since it influences many applications, such as cleaning, detergency, dispersion, separation, flotation, and lubrication. Consequently, fundamental investigations of surfactant adsorption are relevant to many areas.The main aim of this thesis has been to elucidate the adsorption properties, primarily on the solid/water interface, of a particular class of polyhydroxyl based surfactants: the alkyl glucosides. By the use of ellipsometry, the equilibrium and kinetic aspects of adsorption on titanium dioxide with respect to structural effects has been studied. Furthermore, the effects of small amounts of cationic surfactant additives on the adsorption on silica have been investigated. The results have been compared with similar studies for other nonionic surfactants.We have found that the surfactant structure has a strong effect on the adsorption properties. An increase in the surfactant chain length increases the cooperativity of the system. An increase in the head group polymerization decreases the cooperativity and the plateau adsorbed amount at equilibrium. The effect of surfactant structure on the adsorption kinetics depends on the concentration relative to the cmc, while the there is a decrease in the rate of desorption with increasing hydrophobic chain length independent of the concentration. The adsorption/desorption process is concluded to be diffusion driven, as suggested by the model used. When comparing these results with studies on ethylene oxide based surfactants, we conclude that the two types of surfactants exhibit similar trends on surfaces onto which they adsorb.Adsorption from binary surfactant solutions is even more interesting than adsorption from single surfactant solutions, since it brings us one step closer to the systems used in applications. In addition, adsorption from a mixture can be very different from adsorption from any of the single surfactants in the mixture. Alkyl glucosides alone do not adsorb on silica, but addition of small amounts of a cationic surfactant to the alkyl glucoside solution allows for adsorption on silica. A comparison between the adsorption and bulk properties has shown that mixed micellization explains most, but not all, effects of the coadsorption properties. Changing the pH in the mixed systems reveals that a surfactant with a pH-dependent charge and the ability to adapt its charge to the environment, e.g. a surface, enhances the adsorbed amount over a wider range of pH values than a purely cationic surfactant.It is well known that alkyl glucosides and ethylene oxides adsorb differently on different types of hydrophilic surfaces. As a consequence, replacing ethylene oxides with alkyl glucosides might not be all straight-forward; however, we have shown that the effect of the surface can be eliminated by the use of a cosurfactant.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Chemistry; Physical chemistry; Surface and colloid chemistry; Physical chemistry; surface chemistry; adsorption; surfactant; nonionic; alkyl glucoside (APG); ellipsometry; kinetics; alkyl amine oxide (DDAO); alkyl ammonium bromide (DTAB); solid/liquid interface; synergism; coadsorption.

ISBN:91-7178-146-3

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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