Nonionic surfactants are surfactants whose molecules contain ether groups that do not dissociate in aqueous solution as the main hydrophilic group, and their surface activity is reflected by neutral molecules. Nonionic surfactants have high surface activity, good solubilization, washing, antistatic, calcium soap dispersion and other properties, less irritation, and excellent wetting and washing functions. The applicable pH range is wider than that of general ionic surfactants, and it can also be used together with other ionic surfactants. Adding a small amount of nonionic surfactants to ionic surfactants can improve the surface activity of the system. Nonionic surfactants can be divided into polyoxyethylene type, polyol type, alkanolamide type, polyether type, amine oxide type, etc. according to the structure of the hydrophilic group.
The advantages of nonionic surfactants are: excellent wetting and washing functions, strong detergency, good emulsifying, penetrating properties, and foaming, foam stabilization, antistatic, sterilization and other effects; high stability, It is not ionized in aqueous solution, and is not affected by strong electrolytes, strong acids, strong alkalis, and calcium and magnesium ions in hard water; it has good compatibility with other types of surfactants, and is compatible with anionic and cationic surfactants. All are compatible; non-toxic, non-irritating, good biodegradability, is a new generation of "green products".
Most nonionic surfactants are in liquid and slurry state, and their solubility in water decreases with increasing temperature. Nonionic surfactants have good washing, dispersing, emulsifying, foaming, wetting, solubilizing, antistatic, level dyeing, anticorrosion, bactericidal and protective colloid properties. In textile, paper, food, plastic, leather, fur, glass, petroleum, chemical fiber, medicine, pesticide, paint, dye, fertilizer, film, photography, metal processing, mineral processing, building materials, environmental protection, cosmetics, fire protection and agriculture, etc.
Nonionic surfactants are a class of surfactants that were later used in production. However, since its application in the 1930s, it has developed very rapidly and has been widely used, with many properties exceeding that of ionic surfactants. With the development of the petroleum industry, the sources of raw materials are abundant, the process is continuously improved, and the cost is decreasing day by day.