AOS — An anionic surfactant system: Its manufacture, composition, properties, and potential application

Research paper by M. E. Tuvell, G. O. Kuehnhanss, G. D. Heidebrecht, P. C. Hu, A. D. Zielinski

Indexed on: 01 Jan '78Published on: 01 Jan '78Published in: Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society


Several sulfonation parameters, believed to be critical to the manufacture of good quality a-olefin sulfonate (AOS), are related to product color and conversion. The interfacial properties for single carbon number AOS and the major components comprising AOS are investigated. Results, based on surface activity, indicate that AOS in the molecular weight range from C14 through C18 should be of value in formulating efficient cleaning agents. The data show that AOS is more effective for lowering Crisco®/solution interfacial energy than the more commonly used surfactants. The alkene-1-sulfonate component of AOS was found to be most effective in lowering interfacial energy with the hydroxyalkane-1-sulfonate component being significantly less effective but still more effective than alcohol ether sulfate or linear alkylbenzene sulfonate of comparable molecular weight. Hand dishwashing efficacy was found greatest for the hydroxyalkane-1-sulfonate component of AOS, but combinations of hydroxyalkane-1-sulfonates and alkene-1-sulfonates were shown to be synergistic for laundering applications. The presence of the -OH group in the hydroxyalkane sulfonate structure was shown to increase solubility and lower surface activity significantly more than the presence of unsaturation in the alkene sulfonate. Long, single branching in the a-olefin sulfonate and random internal olefin sulfonate are shown to reduce drastically the surface activity. The hydroxyalkane and alkene-1-sulfonates were rapidly biodegraded. Disulfonates and long, singly branched sulfonate were more slowly degraded. Both 1,3-sultones and 1,4-sultones were found to biodegrade rapidly.