CHOLINE COMPOUNDS AND THEIR USE AS SURFACTANTS

CHOLINE COMPOUNDS AND THEIR USE AS SURFACTANTS

CHALLENGE

Particularly in the field of cosmetics and detergents, manufacturers are looking for new surfactants, which are environmentally friendly and biocompatible, and in addition gentle and sensitive in perso- nal care.

The choline compounds, developed by the University of Regensburg, exhibit excellent surfactant properties, especially concerning water hardness insensitivity and beneficial features for skin care.

So far, fatty acids mainly up to a chain length of C12 were used for the production of surfactants. Since the investigated choline surfactants are highly soluble in water, also longer chain fatty acids can be employed. Therefore, a broad range of renewable raw materials like palm oil, which consists of 44% of palmitic acid (C16), is accessible. Thereby, conventional manufacturing processes can still be applied.

INNOVATION

The   present  inventon  shows  how  a  new  promising  green  and  highly  watersoluble  sufactant  can  be  designed  based  on  recent  progress   in   the   knowledge   of   counterion-headgroup  binding  and  crystallization  behavior.  The  result  is  the  combination  of  a  most  classical surfactant anion, dodecylsulfate (DS), with choline  (Ch),  a natural green cation.  The  advantage of the physiological metabolite choline is its bulky structure that prevents ChDS from easy crystallization and thus leads to a considerable lowering of the Krafftpoint down to 0°C.

COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

The present choline compounds are ready for the usage as anionic surfactant in personal care and household cleaning products. Alternative to the common sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and to conven- tional ethoxylated anionic surfactants like sodium laureth sulfate (LES).

Feasible application in degreasing, emulsifying, controlling viscosity, gelling, dispersing, solubilising and lubricating in technical and medical processes and products.

Commercial advantages:

  • milder to skin compared to sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), in combination with a reduced sensi- tivity to water hardness
  • low production costs compared to ethoxylated anionic surfactants
  • enhanced washing ability and solubilizing power due to high water solubility
  • renewable raw materials including long chain fatty acids can be used for synthesis

Figure 1: Schematic illustration of possible alcohol binding sites, respectively solubilization mechanism, for alcohol with varying chain length.

DEVELOPMENT STATUS

Proof of Concept. Ready to use.

REFERENCE

(1) doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2012.10.003

Dr. Katharina Stoiber
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kstoiber@baypat.de
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