VS.

Surfactant vs. Detergent

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Surfactantnoun

(chemistry) A surface active agent, or wetting agent, capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid; typically organic compounds having a hydrophilic "head" and a hydrophobic "tail".

Detergentnoun

Any non-soap cleaning agent, especially a synthetic surfactant.

Surfactantnoun

(biochemistry) A lipoprotein in the tissues of the lung that reduces surface tension and permits more efficient gas transport.

Detergentadjective

Having the power to clean.

Surfactantnoun

a substance capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved

Detergentadjective

Cleansing; purging.

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Surfactantnoun

a substance which tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved.

Detergentnoun

a surface-active chemical widely used in industry and laundering

Surfactant

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, or dispersants.

Detergentnoun

a cleansing agent that differs from soap but can also emulsify oils and hold dirt in suspension

Detergentadjective

having cleansing power

Detergentnoun

a water-soluble cleansing agent which combines with impurities and dirt to make them more soluble, and differs from soap in not forming a scum with the salts in hard water

‘packets of detergent’; ‘liquid detergents’;

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Detergentnoun

any additive with a similar action to a detergent, e.g. an oil-soluble substance which holds dirt in suspension in lubricating oil.

Detergentadjective

relating to detergents or their action

‘staining that resists detergent action’;

Detergent

A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with cleansing properties in dilute solutions. These substances are usually alkylbenzene sulfonates, a family of compounds that are similar to soap but are more soluble in hard water, because the polar sulfonate (of detergents) is less likely than the polar carboxylate (of soap) to bind to calcium and other ions found in hard water.

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