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The Problem of Purity in Evaluating Surfactant Performance

Das Reinheitsproblem bei der Bewertung der Leistungsfähigkeit von Tensiden
  • Ramasubramania Iyer


Labeled surfactants have impurities in the form of un-reacted molecules or distributed products which is a constraint in evaluating its performance. This short review deals with the purity issue of surfactants and is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the methods of purification employed for obtaining a surface chemically pure surfactant for evaluation. In the second part the use of surface chemically impure surfactant in application areas of formulations is presented to highlight the impending impact on reproducibility of results.


Gekennzeichnete Tenside besitzen Verunreinigungen in Form von nichtreaktiven Molekülen oder verteilten Produkten, die eine Bewertung der Leistungsfähigkeit einschränken. Dieser Kurzüberblick befasst sich mit der Reinheitsfrage von Tensiden und ist in zwei Teile geteilt. Der erste Teil handelt von den Methoden der Reinigung, die eingesetzt werden, um oberflächenchemisch reine Tenside für eine Bewertung zu erhalten. Im zweiten Teil wird der Einsatz von oberflächenchemisch verunreinigten Tensiden mit Rezepturen aus den Anwendungsgebieten vorgestellt, um die drohenden Auswirkungen auf die Reproduzierbarkeit der Ergebnisse hervorzuheben.

1Dr. Ramasubramania Iyer, Department of Chemical Engineering University of Queensland Australia 4072 Phone: 61 7 33 65 90 62 Fax: 61 7 33 65 41 99 E-Mail:

Dr. Ramasubramania Iyer graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Chemical Technology with Oils and Fats specialization from University of Mumbai, India ( He worked in ICI (India) making emulsifiers and studying its effect on stability of concentrated emulsions. He has co-authored several papers and patents, which includes a US patent. After a long stint in ICI(India) he moved to Australia, and was awarded a PhD in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Queensland ( for studying the surface chemistry aspects of charged fly ash particles and the role of the diffuse double layer in providing resistance to flow and leaching of dense and dilute fly ash slurries. He has published several papers in the area of colloid and surface chemistry and is at present working in the Chemical Engineering Department at University of Queensland, Australia as a postdoctoral fellow on carbon dioxide sequestration in coal.


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Received: 2005-5-6
Published Online: 2013-05-08
Published in Print: 2005-12-01

© 2005, Carl Hanser Publisher, Munich

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