Surface-Active Properties of Succinic Acid
G. V. Mitrofanova and V. A. Ivanova
Mining Institute, Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russia
Received January 13, 2010
Abstract—Surface activity, capability for micelle formation of sodium and calcium salts of succinic acid
monoalkyl esters and monoalkyl amides in aqueous solutions, and their waterproofing action in the
microflotation of the calcium-containing mineral apatite were studied. The results obtained have been
compared with similar data for saturated monocarboxylic acids.
INORGANIC SYNTHESIS AND INDUSTRIAL
ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2011, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 361–367. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.
Original Russian Text © G.V. Mitrofanova, V.A. Ivanova, 2011, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2011, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 369–375.
Earlier studies have shown that the use of bifunc-
tional carboxyl-containing compounds, monoesters
(EFK reagent) and monoamides of alkyl-(alkenyl)
succinic acids [1, 2] is promising for the flotation of
apatite-containing ores. The presence of two functional
groups different in natures, carboxylic and amide or
ester, in a molecule causes a variation in the character
of the reagent interaction with a mineral .
Effectiveness of the action of the EFK reagent on the
flotation of apatite–nepheline and apatite–carbonate–
silicate ores in the water-rotation conditions has been
confirmed in pilot and industrial trials. The process of
obtaining such reagents is fully practically feasible.
However, though the esterification stage does not give
rise to difficulties by virtue of high reactivity of alkyl-
(alkenyl)succinic anhydrides, their synthesis is rather
From these positions it was of interest to consider
monoalkyl ester and monoalkyl amide derivatives of
nonsubstituted succinic acid as reagents-collectors,
since their synthesis is technologically simple and
accessible. Earlier surface characteristics of the similar
reagent, monodecylsuccinate, used as an emulsifying
agent  were studied.
The aim of this work was to find regularities of the
influence of the molecular structure and the functional
group nature of succinic acid monoalkyl derivatives on
surface characteristics of these compounds on the gas-
liquid and a solid-liquid phase boundaries.
Monoalkyl esters (С
-ES) and monoalkyl amides
-NS) of succinic acid differing by the size of the
alkyl radical in the functional group composition were
synthesized by the reaction of succinic anhydride with
various amines and alcohols. Their common formula is
The synthesized compounds were purified by re-
crystallization from benzene or ethanol and identified
by acid–base titration data and by melting points mp
The molecule of a succinic acid monoalkyl deriva-
tive can be presented as a molecule of monobasic
carboxylic acid with a heteroatom (N or O) of a
functional group introduced in its hydrophobic part.
The comparison of obtained monoalkyl esters and
monoalkyl amides of succinic acid and of saturated
monobasic carboxylic acids with approximately the
same length of a hydrophobic part of a molecule
allows us to follow the influence of the heteroatom
presence in a chain and of the second functional group
nature on their surface activity and waterproofing
Surface activity of solutions of the compounds
under consideration on the liquid-gas interface was
X = –О– or –NH–, n = 10–16.