DOI: 10.3390/molecules29030690 ISSN: 1420-3049

Adsorption Properties and Wettability of Ethoxy- and Propoxy- Derivatives of 2-Ethylhexanol as Sterically Specific Surfactant Structures

Wiesław Hreczuch, Beata Konopczyńska, Marcin Stasiak, Adam Andrzejewski, Krystyna Prochaska
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

2-ethylhexanol, an oxo alcohol competitively priced on the global market, has not been explored intensively as a raw material for surfactants, due to its weak hydrophobic character. However, its sequenced propoxylation and ethoxylation yield an innovative amphiphilic structure, which exhibits unique interfacial activity. The paper presents the differences in the fractional composition of innovative surfactants derived from 2-EH alcohol prepared using alkali and dimetalcyanide catalysts, as well as examples of excellent adsorption and interfacial properties of the latter. The adsorption behavior of the synthesized compounds was explored using equilibrium surface tension (the du Noüy ring method), dynamic surface tension (the maximum gas bubble pressure method) and static/dynamic contact angle (the sessile drop method). The results from the adsorption tests conducted at the air/aqueous surfactant solution interface underwent comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analyses. Moreover, based on the experimentally obtained dynamic surface tension isotherms and the developed algorithm, the diffusion coefficients for these preparations were estimated, and it was shown that the diffusivity of these surfactants is higher compared to the commercial formulations. The study’s outcomes in the testing of wettability indicate that new synthesized nonionic and anionic surfactants constitute an interesting group of amphiphiles with a wide application potential as effective wetting agents, especially in relation to the polymer surface. It should therefore be emphasized that the innovative surfactants described in this article, derived from 2-EH alcohol and prepared using dimetalcyanide catalysts, can successfully compete with conventional preparations such as ABS (Dodecylbenzenesulfonic Acid) or AES (Alcohol Ethoxysulphate) acid salts.

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