An Overview of Detergent

Topics: Surfactant, Detergent, Water Pages: 34 (9471 words) Published: April 14, 2013


At First my heartiest air towards to ALLAH, then thanks to our course teacher Mr.Rajib saha who give me chance to work regarding Detergent.

A detergent is an agent used for cleaning. Detergents are synthetic surfactants, which is produced from petrochemicals rather than fatty acids and oils. They are very effective in hard, soft as well as salt water. Detergents are the salts of long chain of hydrocarbons such as alkyl sulphates. A detergent has several advantages over soaps in which we can see in the following topics.   

Detergents are commonly said to be synthetic detergents because it is produced from synthetic chemicals and not from natural higher fatty acids and oils. Detergents possess all the properties as soaps and used in hard, soft and salt water. Detergents can produce foam hard water as well as rarely even in cold water.

Detergents are the salts of sodium consist of sulphonated long chain hydrocarbons. They can be treated with sulphuric acid and alkali for neutralization.


   Ability of a detergent to lift soil (dirt and grease) from a surface by displacing it with chemicals (called surfactants) which adhere more readily to the surface being cleaned than to the soil.

Detergent :
 Basic detergents are surface active compound. The compound which get orient at the interface (Between water and air) and reduce interfacial tension/surface (The tendency of water of drawing the molecules from the surface towards the body is known as surface tension) are called active compound or detergent. Or A substance that consists the removal of dirt. The removal is affected by emulsification or dissolution of the dirt particles and the substance normally has the power of suspending the dirt in cleaning liquid.

Extensive Definition
A detergent (as a noun) is a material intended to assist cleaning. The term is sometimes used to differentiate between soap and other surfactants used for cleaning. As an adjective pertaining to a substance, it (or "detersive") means "cleaning" or "having cleaning properties"; "detergency" indicates presence or degree of cleaning property. Detergents are surface-active agents (surfactants) containing a hydrophobic portion, which is more soluble in oil-like solutions, and a hydrophilic portion, which is soluble in water. Detergents will migrate to the interface of a solvent reducing its surface tension. At low concentration, detergents will form monolayers; at higher concentration, also called the critical micellar concentration (CMC), they tend to aggregate to form micelles or clusters. Detergents are distinguished by their physicochemical properties. These properties must be carefully considered when choosing a detergent for purification or analytical techniques. Examples of Detergent

The History of Detergents...

Detergents were developed due to the problems that occurred when organic soap was used in areas of hard water. Hard water contains the ions of Calcium and Magnesium in high amounts and these are substituted onto the soap molecule in place of sodium. The salts of Calcium and Magnesium are insoluble and form a precipitate, this is what leaves a 'ring' around the bath.  Other problems were encoutered in the textile industry where acid solutions are used in the dying process. The free H+ ions replace the sodium ion reforming the fatty acid which affects the application of dyes and leaves spots on fabrics. The first synthetic detergents were developed following the first world war by the Germans so that fat could be used for other purposes. The first synthetic detergents were Short-chain Alkyl Napthalene Sulphonates which were later discovered to be only moderately good detergents and so were improved,...
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