ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2016, Vol. 89, No. 4, pp. 559−565. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © Z.H. Asadov, G.A. Ahmedova, R.A. Rahimov, A.Z. Asadova, I.G. Nazarov, 2016, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2016, Vol. 89,
No. 4, pp. 442−448.
INORGANIC SYNTHESIS AND INDUSTRIAL
Abstract—Nonionic surfactants were synthesized at various molar ratios of propylene oxide and lauric acid.
Propoxylation products were identiﬁ ed by a number of physico-chemical analytical methods. The tensiometric
method was used to measure the surface tension of aqueous solutions of the products at interface with air, ﬁ nd their
high surface activity, and determine certain colloidal-chemical parameters (critical micelle concentration, surface
pressure, maximum adsorption, minimum cross-sectional area of a molecule, change in the Gibbs free energy in
micelle-formation and adsorption processes). Laboratory studies of the oil-collecting capacity of these substances
were carried out for the example of a thin oil ﬁ lm on the surface of water with varied degree of mineralization.
Synthesis and Study of Nonionic Surfactants
Based on Propylene Oxide and Lauric Acid
Z. H. Asadov
, G. A. Ahmedova
*, R. A. Rahimov
, A. Z. Asadova
, and I. G. Nazarov
Mamedaliev Institute of Petrochemical Processes, National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan,
ave. Khojaly 30, Baku, AZ 1025 Azerbaijan
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Baku Branch, str. Firudin Aghayev 14, Baku AZ 1065 Azerbaijan
Received March 24, 2016
The world’s production of surfactants steadily grows,
with the share of nonionic surfactants in the overall output
permanently increasing. These substances ﬁ nd wide
application in various industries, including oil extracting
and oil processing branches [1–3]. Particular attention in
the development of new surfactants is paid to production
of surfactants with linear molecular structure, which
are easily biodegraded in natural conditions and do not
contaminate the environment . It is known that nonionic
surfactants have a number of advantages over those of
the ionogenic type . Most of nonionic surfactants are
obtained by addition of ethylene oxide to carboxylic
acids, aliphatic alcohols, alkyl phenols, amines, and
other compounds with a reactive hydrogen atom [4, 6, 7].
Ethylene oxide enters into reactions with acid at various
molar ratios. The properties of surfactants can be affected
by varying the molar fraction of ethoxylated units . The
number of nonionic surfactants synthesized on the basis
of propylene oxide (PO) is comparatively large. There
have been published reports of synthesis and studies of
PO-based surfactants [8, 9]. It was noted that the reagents
exhibit a high oil-collecting and oil-dispersing capacity
if surfactants have residues of saturated monocarboxylic
acids containing both hydrophobic (alkyl radical) and
hydrophilic (carboxy group) moieties.
The goal of our study was to synthesize nonionic
surfactants based on PO and lauric acid (LA), determine
the main physico-chemical parameters of these propoxy-
derivatives, including surface-active characteristics, and
analyze their oil-collecting capacity.
Propylene oxide was used in the form of a reagent
product of Alfa Aesar A brand (Johnson Matthey
Company, United States) with purity of 99%, and LA,
as a reagent product of pure grade from Novocherkassk
plant of chemical reagents (Russia). Sodium hydroxide
was taken as a reagent product of analytically pure grade
(Chemapol, Czech Republic).
LA was propoxylated with PO in a special-purpose
autoclave equipped with a stirrer and controlled heat-
ing system. The unreacted PO was removed from the
reaction mixture by heating the product at moderate
temperature until a constant-composition mass was