Anionic Surfactants




Made from a fatty acid chloride and N-methyl glycine:

RCOCI + CH3NHCH2COOH    →   RCON(CH3) CH2COOH (catalyzed by alkali) + NaCl

The product as made contains sodium chloride which can be removed. Most commercial products contain considerable amounts of sodium chloride.

General properties

  • General

More acidic than fatty acids and therefore there is less need to avoid free acid and pH control is easier; similar properties to isethionates.

  • Solubility

Sodium salt not very soluble in acid or neutral pH but quite soluble in alkali; TEA salt more soluble at neutral pH.

  • Compatibility

  • with other surfactants: Good compatibility with anionic, non-ionic, and cationics where they do not adversely affect the bactericidal properties; compatible with quaternaries and phenolic biocides.
  • with aqueous ions: Excellent, e.g. good foam with TEA salt in hard water.
  • Chemical stability

Stable in acid and moderate acid at normal temperatures; unstable in strong acid or acid at high temperatures, loses foaming characteristics and thickens appreciably.

  • Functional properties

Foams well even in presence of sebum and oils; foams better in hard water than soft water; good lime soap dispersant; some bacteriostatic activity claimed.


  • Household products

Toothpaste ingredient, enzyme inhibiting, strong foamer, good detergent; liquid soaps.

  • Personal care

Foaming agent in shampoos, boosts lather of alkyl sulfates in presence of sebum and good foaming in the presence of soaps; detoxifying agent in shampoos; addition to anionics improves mildness, conditioning and foaming; shaving preparations; foam baths; facial cleansers.

  • Surgical scrubs

  • Corrosion inhibitor


Activity 30% for Na salt

40% for TEA salt

Acid value 50-60 mg KOH/g
Sodium chloride 1-5%

Leave a Reply