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  • pH sensitive surfactants

    Posted by Anonymous on June 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    It’s generally known that nonionic surfactants are not sensitive to pH changes.But I have read that some of them -those which have for example ester linkage- could be sensitive. My question is about basic chemistry - why ester bond is sensitive to pH, what changes  if we increase or decrease pH? Thank you in advance for yor answers.

    DRBOB@VERDIENT.BIZ replied 6 years, 11 months ago 1 Member · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply

    June 16, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    If you get a basic Organic Chemistry book you will see that esters, of the type you mention, regardless of charge are subject to a first order hydrolysis as a result of nucleophilic attack by OH ions on the alkaline side at the electrophilic C=O (carbonyl group which attaches both acid and alcohol potions of the ester molecule. .On the other hand sulphuric acid esters such as sodium lauryl sulfate are subject to hydrolysis on the acid side via a similar  mechanism.The latter are carbon to oxygen bonds ie C- O-SO3 bonds(sulpguric acid esters): carbon inked directly to S bonds ie C-SO3 such as LABS and oelifin sulfonates are not affected by to that extent by Ph This is only the tip of the iceberg so take a course.

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