Question: Who Discovered Surfactants


The history of soap has ancient origins: the first evidence of the manufacture and use of soap dates back to the Babylonian civilization.

The Leblanc process was an early industrial process for the production of soda ash (sodium carbonate) used throughout the 19th century, named after its inventor, Nicolas Leblanc.

Ernest Solvay In 1861 developed the Solvay process. The process was an improvement over the earlier Leblanc process.

The formulations of detergents currently in use are complex and diversified depending on their intended use.

anionic: these have a negative electrostatic charge and are the most common. Compounds such as alkyl benzene sulphonates, alkyl sulphates, alkyl ethoxy sulphates and alcohol ethoxy sulphates belong to this class;

cationic: these have a positive electrostatic charge. Compounds such as quaternary ammonium salts and quaternary esters belong to this class;

non ionic: these have no net electrostatic charge, so they are less sensitive to the hardness of the water. Polar compounds such as ethoxylated alcohols and alkylamine oxides belong to this class;

amphoteric: these are able to assume a positive or negative electrostatic charge, depending on the type of solution in which there are present. Compounds such as betaines and alkylamino-oxides belong to this class.

Nicolas Leblanc