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By ; Nuriman Syakirah 409/13138


Definition Preparation Cleansing Action

Additives In Detergents

Are synthetic cleansing agents that use chemicals extracted mostly from petroleum instead of fatty acid. Detergents are sodium salts of sulphonic acid that has 12 to 18 carbon atoms per molecule. The types of detergents commonly used today are sodium alkybenzene suplhonates and sodium alkyl sulphates.

Preparation Process
There are THREE steps to prepare Sodium alkylbenzene sulphonates.

Step 1 : Alkylation
- Alkylation adds the benzene ring to a long chain alkene group to form alkylbenzene.

Step 2 : Sulphonation

- The alkybenzene is added with concentrated sulphuric acid to form alkylbenzene sulfonic acid and water.

Alkylbenzene + Concentrated Sulphuric Acid Alkylbenzene sulphonic acid + Water

Step 3 : Neutralisation - The alkybenzene sulphonic acid is neutralised by sodium hydroxide to form a stable salt (Detergent)

Alkylbenzene sulphonic acid + Sodium hyroxide Dodecylbenzene sulphonate + Water

There are TWO steps to prepare

Sodium alkyl sulphates

Step 1 : Reacting with concentrated sulphuric acid - The long chain alcohol reacts with concentrated sulphuric acid to form an alkyl sulphuric acid.

Alcohol + Sulphuric acid Alkyl sulphonic acid + Water

Step 1 : Neutralisation with sodium hydroxide - The alkyl sulphuric acid neutralised by sodium hyroxide to form sodium alkyl sulphate.

Alkyl sulphonic acid + Sodium hydroxide Sodium alkyl sulphate + Water

Cleansing action

Akylbenzene sulphonates, particularly sodium dodecylbenzene sulphonate is the most common detergent. When detergent dissolves in water, the molecule ionises into a sodium ion, Na+ and a detergent ion.



The detergent ion has a long hydrocarbon chain that is hydrophobic but soluble in grease and ionic end that a hydrophilic and water soluble.
Detergents are like soap surfacatants. It lowers the surface tension, improves the wetting ability of water, breaks down grease or oils by emulsifying the grease and oils and suspending them in water


Part 1

Part 2

Similarities and Differences of Soap and Detergent

Soaps Detergents

o Both are long molecules that when dissolved in water form ions that have an ionic part and a long hydrocarbon part. The ionic part is soluble in water and the hydrocarbon chain is solublle in grease.
o Both are surfactants (able to reduce surface tension of water, to emulsify ioils and grease) Soaps Not effective as cleansing agent in hard and acidic water Limited in variety of cleansing abilities. Made from natural fats and oils Biodegradable Ionic part carboxylate Detergents Effective as cleansing agent in hard or acidic water Can be modified for different cleansing needs Made from petroleum Usually not biodegradable Ionic part sulphate or sulphonate

Additives in detergent and their functions

Additives Phosphate Uses Make hard water soft (Ex : sodium tripolyphosphate, a substance which is currently ban) Enhance fabric appeareance and maintain whiteness or brightness

Flourescent whitening agents

Bleach Enzymes

Give pleasant scent to fabrics

Removes colour stains but does note affect the colour of the fabric dye. Break down complex stains such as proteins and blood into soluble and easily removable substances

Fabric softening agents

Impart softness in fabrics