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Chemistry In Focus

7th Edition
Tro + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning,
ISBN: 9781337399692

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Chemistry In Focus

7th Edition
Tro + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning,
ISBN: 9781337399692
Chapter 15, Problem 3E
Textbook Problem
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Why are soaps and detergents called surfactants?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

The reason for the fact that soaps and detergents are called surfactants is to be explained.

Concept Introduction:

 Surface tension is the tendency of a fluid surface due to which it obtains the least surface area. Surface tension refers to the tendency of a fluid surface which makes it acquire the least possible surface area. At liquid-air interfaces, surface tension results from the greater attraction of liquid molecules to each other (cohesion) than to the molecules in the air (adhesion).

 A surfactant is used to decrease the surface tension in various phenomena. Because of surface tension, surfactants are called surface-active agents. Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants.

Explanation of Solution

Surfactants are normally organic compounds, which are amphiphilic, meaning they have a dual nature, the hydrophilic polar head group that is soluble in water and the hydrophobic non-polar tail group that is insoluble in water. Because of hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts, surfactant form various shapes of aggregations, like cylindrical or spherica...

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Chapter 15 Solutions

Chemistry In Focus
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