Guide on Green Surfactants Thickening

green surfactants thickening

The demand for mild, skin-friendly surfactants is one of the drivers for the green surfactants market. These surfactants are likely to replace hasher conventional surfactants that may harm the skin. Furthermore, the increased awareness and regulation of 1,4 dioxane, a by-product found in many products has led to consumers seeking for sulfate-free options.

To cater to these demands, manufacturers are formulating products using green surfactants e.g. Alkyl Polyglucosides and amino acid surfactants and one major challenge they face is reaching their target viscosity.  The most common way to thicken surfactant-based formulations is to use Sodium Chloride. However, this only works well for surfactant systems based on Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Other gelling agents like Xanthan Gum, Cellulose types and Carbomer types are suitable for any formulation of high water content. Here, we have put together an overview on thickeners and a  guide on green surfactants thickening that will help you select the right thickener to achieve your desired viscosity.

Types of Thickening Agents for Surfactant Systems

Thickening agents for surfactant systems are usually classified into 2 groups:

  1. Hydrophobic thickeners with low molecular weight
    This group of thickeners are mainly non-ionic surfactants such as CDE K-82, Cocamide MEA, Eversoft AMCO, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Glyceryl laurate and Isostearamide MIPA.
  1. Hydrophilic thickeners with high molecular weight
    This group is based on highly ethoxylated oleochemical derivatives such as PEG 120 Methyl Glucose dioleate, PEG-N-Distearate (Sinopol 8KDS), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate and Oxiflow S6800.

Differences in Performance Between Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Thickeners

Flow Behaviour

Hydrophobic thickeners provide a shear thinning flow behaviour where viscosity decreases with increasing shear rate. In contrary, hydrophilic thickeners has a Newtonian flow behaviour where viscosity is independent of the shear rate.

flow behaviour of different thickeners
Temperature Dependence of Viscosity

For hydrophobic thickeners, the viscosity is mostly stable at higher temperatures and it decreases at lower temperatures. However, for hydrophilic thickeners, the viscosity decreases dramatically at higher temperatures and increases significantly at lower temperatures.

temperature dependence of viscosity of different thickeners

Green Surfactants Thickening Guide

green surfactants thickening guide

Try Our Recommendation!

Interested to try the thickeners mentioned in our green surfactants thickening guide? Contact us for free samples now!!

Related Posts