Anionic Surfactants


Phosphate esters are anionic surfactants which are produced by phosphation of (ethoxylated) aliphatic or aromatic alcohols. By use of special production processes, mono phosphate esters, di-esters or mixtures of mono-and di-esters can be produced. Optionally, the acidic phosphate esters can be neutralised using organic or inorganic bases.

The properties of phosphate esters can be adjusted by the following factors:

  • the type of alcohol used as raw material
  • the degree of ethoxylation of the alcohol
  • the mono / di-ester ratio
  • the type of neutralising agent.

Compared to other anionic surfactants, phosphate esters offer specific advantages including stability over a broad pH range, good solubility and corrosion inhibiting properties. Phosphate esters are highly suitable to use as emulsifying agents, wetting agents, anti-statics, corrosion inhibitors and hydrotropes in cleaning formulations.



Elementis Specialties offers a variety of sulphates and sulphonates based on natural or synthetic alcohols and alkyl (phenol) polyglycol ethers.

Sulphates are often used because of their excellent emulsifying, wetting, lime soap dispersing, and foaming properties, and their high electrolyte tolerance. The alkylethersulphates show improved water solubility and water hardness resistance over the alkylsulphates which show good solubilisation properties. Both alkylsulphates and alkylethersulphates can be used in emulsion polymerisation, cosmetic formulations, detergents and textile industry.

Sulphonated (sulphated) castor oil, also known as Turkey Red oil, is completely dispersible in water and an excellent dispersant/emulsifier for many applications. The performance of the sulphonated castor oil can be tuned by the degree of sulphonation and/or the degree of saponification of the castor oil, as well as the choice of neutralizing agent. Sulphonated castor oil can be used in formulating lubricants, pigment dispersions, cosmetics and detergents.

Salts of dodecylbenzene sulphonic acids have excellent emulsifying properties in many applications. In particular, calcium soaps - available in a wide variety of solvents - are widely used in crop protection formulations.



Elementis Specialties offers a range of sulphosuccinates. The properties of sulphosuccinates can be adjusted by varying the alkyl group, the way of sulphonation and the variance in sulphosuccinate mono- and di-esters. By use of different solvents, a.o. VOC-free sulphosuccinates are made available. Also, production of sulphosuccinamates belongs to the possibilities.

Sulphosuccinic di-esters are highly effective wetting agents which are used in many branches of industry. Both sulphosuccinates, mono- and di-esters are applied as emulsifying agents in polymerisation processes.


Other Surfactant Product Areas:   → Nonionic Surfactants
  → Cationic Surfactants
  → Amphoteric Surfactants
  → Other Specialty Products
  → Defoamers