Introduction to Surfactants

Originally delivered Dec 9, 2015
Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
  • Level:
  • Duration:
    1 hour
  • PDHs:

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This session is a basic introduction to the types of surfactants found in industry, their properties, and how those properties translate into improved performance in specific applications.

Surfactants can be found in a wide range of products we use every day such as personal care products, cleaners, pharmaceuticals, enhanced oil recovery and paint. The term surfactant is derived from the term surface active agent and is defined as a substance which at low concentration has the property of absorbing onto the surfaces or interfaces of a system and altering the surface or interfacial energies of those surfaces (or interfaces). Fatty acid salts (soap) were the earliest surfactants developed by Man and was in common use by the Sumerians by 2500 BC. Modern surfactants are much more effective but still serve many of the same functions in modern cleaning formulations. Other common uses include the use of surfactants to stabilize oil water emulsions such as food products (salad dressings) and personal care products (lotions).


Christopher Tucker

Chris Tucker is a Fellow in the Formulation Science Group within Dow’s Core R&D function. He is responsible for technical leadership for the Formulation Science group and maintaining world class capabilities that are leveraged by various businesses across The Dow Chemical Company.

Chris joined the Central Research function within Dow in 1982 after receiving his BA from Kalamazoo College. He has worked primarily in the area of colloid and interface science including new surfactant synthesis, ionomers, microemulsions, consumer and industrial product formulation, reaction media,...Read more

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