The mechanism of solubilization in detergent solutions

J. A. Shaeiwitz, A. F.C. Chan, E. L. Cussler, D. F. Evans

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The kinetics of the solubilization of lauric acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and monopalmitin have been studied in detergent solutions as a function of concentration, temperature, and fluid flow. The detergents used were sodium dodecyl sulfate (an anionic surfactant), decyltrimethylammonium bromide (a cationic surfactant), sodium taurocholate (a trihydroxy bile salt), sodium taurodeoxycholate (a dihydroxy bile salt), and Triton X-100 (a nonionic surfactant). At low temperature, solubilization can be described by a five-step mechanism in which micelle desorption and diffusion are rate controlling. At temperatures above the fatty acid penetration temperature, solubilization is governed by formation of a liquid crystalline phase at the fatty acid-detergent solution interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1981

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was primarily supported by the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolic and Digestive Diseases Grant SR01-AM16143. Other support came from the National Science Foundation Grants CPE80-17376 and CPE80-14567.


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