Surfactants made from natural, renewable sources, such as like plant-based oils, have less environmental impact than ones made from nonrenewable sources. Scientists are seeking new applications for surfactants derived from natural sources — soy in particular — with potential applications in personal care products, laundry detergents, and environmental bioremediation.
As ballooning consumer interest in cleaning products sourced from renewable resources dovetails with public efforts to limit toxic environmental contamination, surfactants made from high oleic soybean oil seem poised to reshape the market.
- How surfactants lower surface tension at the interface between polar and nonpolar materials.
- Why surfactants from petrochemical derivatives have been widely adopted, but have problems.
- How chemists are now developing high oleic soybean oil-based surfactants for use in household detergent markets where more dangerous alternatives have been banned.