What is a surfactant, and how they affect the environment?

Water is the most abundant on our planet universal solvent.Sooner go late any substance entering into contact with it, it undergoes the hydrolysis reaction and decomposes.

However, in some cases, this process should be accelerated, without waiting for his passing at a natural rate.For this purpose surfactants.

What is surfactant?These are chemical compounds that increase the flow of water and to improve its ability to wet various physical body.The effectiveness of this process prevents the surface tension - a thin film of liquid molecules, separating it from the surrounding gaseous medium.This layer is quite durable, it creates a barrier to the penetration of water into the objects that you need for some reason to satiate its molecules.

main reason why people tend to wet various items - a desire to cleanse them from pollution, that is to wash or wash off.Soap - the most important and the oldest surfactant, by which humanity accomplishes this, but the achievements of modern chemistry have shown that such a surfactant is no longer the most effective way.Despite the large number of produced and consumed soap, laundry and dishwashing it is rarely used today.Since the late forties of the XX century, new detergents that have a truly miraculous power, exhibited for the destruction of the surface tension.

Classification of surfactants in their chemical composition, molecular structure and the nature of impacts includes:

- nonionic surfactants.

- amphoteric surfactants.

- cationic surfactants.

- Anionic surfactants.

For all its practical and economic utility of surface-active substances produced by the modern chemical industry in a truly titanic amounts represent a certain threat to the ecology of the planet.Although there is substance, which is split into carbohydrates after use.It can be said that such a surfactant, established on the basis of alkylpolyglucosides, safe for the environment.

the main share of manufactured detergents and washing powders are resistant to degradation and maintain their properties for a long period.Getting into the ponds and oceans, they eventually can be so strongly affect the main properties of the fluid of the planet, it will be life-threatening.Even today (because of the abundance of used detergents) to the water, including drinking, from the soil get stubborn particles of heavy metals, harmful effects on the body.These harmful inclusions could not so actively dissolve in water penetrating into it from the soil, if it were not present surfactants at concentrations threatening.

It would seem, what's the problem?It is simply to ban the production of detergents, other than those which are based on safe alkylpolyglucosides.But not all so simple.The fact that such a surfactant is too expensive, and detergents containing it is not everyone can afford.The fact that the consequences of thoughtless application of chemicals can be catastrophic, producers and consumers rarely think.