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Soaps, Detergents and Acid Slurry

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soap is a salt of a fatty acid. Soaps are mainly used as surfactants for washing, bathing, and cleaning, but they are also used in textile spinning and are important components of lubricants. Soaps for cleansing are obtained by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strongly alkaline solution. Soaps are key components of most lubricating greases, which are usually emulsions of calcium soap or lithium soaps and mineral oil. When used for cleaning, soap allows insoluble particles to become soluble in water and then be rinsed away.

Types of soaps are-

1)     Glycerin soap

2)     Liquid soap

3)     Transparent soap

Types of soap packing are – small sachets, cartoons, poly pack, plastic bottles, tubes, paper wrap.


A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with "cleaning properties in dilute solutions. Detergents are commonly available as powders or concentrated solutions. Detergents, like soaps, work because they are amphiphilic: partly hydrophilic (polar) and partly hydrophobic (non-polar). Their dual nature facilitates the mixture of hydrophobic compounds (like oil and grease) with water.

Chemical classification of detergents is: Anionic detergents, Cationic detergents, on-ionic and zwitterion detergents.

Detergents are of various types- detergent powder, metal cleansers, liquid detergents, detergent (nirma type) detergent cake.



Acid slurry or alkyl benzene sulphonate is prepared by sulphonation of Linear Slkyl Benzene (LAB) with a suitable sulphonating agent. Acid slurry also known as Dodecyl Benzene Sulphoric Acid is extensively used for the manufacture of detergent powder and washing soap.  It is prepared by sulphonation of dodecylx benzene with sulphuric acid. There are two processes for the manufacture of acid slurry-continuous and batch.  For small scale plants, the batch process is more appropriate and it is more economical.  Acid slurry is extensively used in manufacture of synthetic washing detergent powders, cakes and liquids. It is widely used in the detergent industry as it is very cost effective and outstanding performance. Acid slurry is the most suitable chemical in the preparation of Liquid detergents as it is low in salt content and can easily dissolve in water. It is most important raw material for producing anionic surfactants.


The supply of soaps and detergents in the country is composed of domestic production and imports. Domestic production of soaps and detergents between was about 15,600 tons per year. The Indian laundry market is estimated to be Rs 5,000 crore in size. India is detergent’s 3rd largest market. The Indian Soap Industry includes about 700 companies with combined annual revenue of about $17 billion. 70% of India's population resides in the rural areas and around 50% of the soaps are sold in the rural markets. Today in the Indian economy the popular segments are 4/5ths of the entire soaps market. The penetration level of toilet soaps is 88.6%. Indian per capita consumption of soap is at 460 Gms per annum, while in Brazil it is at 1,100 grams per annum. The Indian Soap Industry includes about 700 companies with combined annual revenue of about $17 billion.


Further information:

Handbook on soaps, detergents and acid slurry describes the detailed information on subject. The major contents of this book are-acid slurry, detergent manufacturing, detergents of various types, inorganic components of detergent, manufacturing process and formulation of soaps, technology of soap manufacturing, soap making by continuous process, cleansing mechanism etc.

In order to get “Handbook on soaps, detergents and acid slurry” please visit-,,26,a,0,0,a/index.html



Source: NPCS Team

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