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The difference between dispersants and surfactants

Views: 42     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-04-20      Origin: Site

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The main difference between dispersants and surfactants is that dispersants improve particle separation in suspension, 

while surfactants are substances that reduce surface tension between two phases of a substance.


Dispersant is a form of surfactant. But all surfactants are not dispersants. In addition to acting as dispersants,

surfactants can also act as stain removers, wetting agents, emulsifiers, and foaming agents. Usually, they're organic compounds.


What is a dispersant? Dispersants are liquids or gases used to disperse small particles in a medium.

We also call it a "plasticizer". They come in two forms. Non-surface active polymers and surface active substances. 

We add these substances to the suspension to avoid the formation of particle clusters. 

This improves particle separation in order to avoid cluster formation. In addition, the process prevents particles from settling. 

In most cases, dispersants consist of one or more surfactant substances.


What is a surfactant?

Surfactants are substances that reduce the surface tension between two phases of a substance. 

It reduces the surface tension between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. 

Most of the time, they are amphiphilic organic compounds. This means that these substances contain both hydrophilic 

and hydrophobic regions within the same molecule. Thus, they contain both water - and inwater-soluble regions.


What's the difference between a dispersant and a surfactant?

Dispersants are liquids or gases used to disperse small particles in a medium. 

Surfactants are substances that reduce the surface tension between two phases of a substance. 

However, dispersants are in the form of surfactants. The two substances have different functions. 

This means that dispersants prevent clusters of particles from forming in suspensions, 

while surfactants reduce surface tension between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. 

This is the main difference between dispersants and surfactants. Moreover, dispersants work by causing particles 

to adsorb orientations at the liquid-gas interface, while surfactants work by adsorbing at the solid-liquid interface. 

Thus, the repulsion between particles is ensured.


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