Polyoxyethylene Alcohols
Structural Formula Vector Image
Title: Polyoxyethylene Alcohols
Additional Names: Polyethylene glycol fatty alcohol ethers; ethoxylated fatty alcohols; macrogol fatty alcohol ethers; alcohol ethoxylates; POE alcohol ethers
Literature References: Nonionic surfactants prepared by ethoxylation of fatty alcohols with ethylene oxide. Of the general structure R(OCH2CH2)nOH where R is a long chain alkyl group or mixture of alkyl groups. Prepn and reaction mechanism: J. D. Malkemus, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 33, 571 (1956); W. Satkowski, C. G. Hsu, Ind. Eng. Chem. 49, 1875 (1957); R. D. Fine, J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 35, 542 (1958). Compounds with a broad range of properties can be prepared by varying the fatty alcohol (lipophile) used and the degree of polymerization of the polyethylene glycol (hydrophile) segment. CFTA-assigned names based on fatty alcohol segment include ceteth (cetyl alc), laureth (lauryl alc), myreth (myristyl alc), oleth (oleyl alc), steareth (stearyl alc), trideth (tridecyl alc). The average number of ethylene oxide units in the polyethylene glycol segment is indicated by an appended number (e.g. ceteth-20). Additional products prepared from fatty alcohol mixtures include ceteareth (cetyl/stearyl alcs), laneth (lanolin alcs). Trademarks for some commercially available series of compounds: Alfonic (Vista) , Bio Soft (Stepan) (E, EA, EN), Brij (ICI) , Dehydol (Henkel) , Ethosperse (Lonza) , Eumulgin (Henkel) (B, O), Hetoxol (Heterene Chem.) , Lipocol (Lipo) , Macol (PPG) (LA, SA, TD), Polychol (Croda) , Rhodasurf (Rhone-Poulenc) , Tergitol (Union Carbide) (S, TMN), Trycol (Henkel) , Volpo (Croda) . Comprehensive description: W. B. Satkowski et al., "Polyoxyethylene Alcohols" in Nonionic Surfactants M. J. Schick, Ed. (Dekker, New York, 1967) pp 86-141. Effects of structure on properties: T. Kuwamura, ACS Symp. Ser. 253, 27-47 (1984). Review of properties and uses in household cleaning products: K. W. Dillan et al., Household Pers. Prod. Ind. 23, 32 (1986).
Properties: Liquids to waxy solids. Compds with one to five moles ethylene oxide are sol in oil and many hydrocarbons. Water soly increases with increasing ethylene oxide content. Properties of Brij surfactants: G. King, Drug Cosmet. Ind. 90, 24 (1962).
Derivative Type: Laureth 9 see Polidocanol
Derivative Type: Ceteth 20
Additional Names: Polyoxyethylene (20) cetyl ether
Trademarks: Brij 58 (ICI); Hetoxol CS-20 (Heterene Chem.); Lipocol C-20 (Lipo)
Properties: C16H33(OCH2CH2)nOH where the average value of n is 20. Waxy solid. Pour point ~39°; cloud point ~45°. Sol in water; 2% ethanol.
Use: Used as emulsifiers, wetting agents, antistats, solubilizers, defoamers, detergents, lubricants in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and other industrial applications.

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