Determination of hlb values of some commercial non-ionic surfactants

Réka Kothencz, Roland Nagy, L. Bartha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the last decades the researches on surfactants have become increasingly important. Non-ionic surfactants are used more and more areas as household chemicals or in the cosmetic industry. The raw materials of the surfactants are extremely varied. In the past 35 years, the market share of non-ionic surfactants has increased to 40% of the total surfactant production. The non-ionic surfactants are compatible with different types of materials therefore they can be applied in various packages. The HLB (Hydrophile-Lipophile Balance) is an empirical expression for the relationship of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups of a surfactant. The higher the HLB value the more water-soluble the surfactant. The HLB values of environmentally friendly non-ionic surfactant family (Tween) were determined by an own-developed and improved method. The difference between the theoretical HLB value specified by the manufacturer and the experimentally determined HLB value were studied. The improved laboratory method was developed to determine the HLB value of the non-ionic surfactants for several applications. For the characterization, the solubility of various surfactants and the turbidity of their solutions were measured and the average hydrodynamic diameter of the aqueous solution of surfactants was also determined. The relationship between the HLB values and other colloidal properties of surfactants was investigated. It was found that there is a significant relationship between the chemical structure of surfactants and their colloid characteristics that can contribute to the efficient selection method of surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference Surveying Geology and Mining Ecology Management, SGEM
Issue numberBOOK 6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016
Event16th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference, SGEM 2016 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Nov 2 2016Nov 5 2016



  • HLB
  • Non-ionic surfactant
  • Particle size
  • Turbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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