Comparison between surface and volumetric properties of short-chain alcohols and some classical surfactants
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Measurements of the dynamic surface tension of the aqueous solutions of methanol, ethanol, propanol, CTAB and SDDS at their given concentrations were made. From the obtained results and the literature data it was concluded that the adsorption of short-chain alcohols at the water-air interface is somewhat similar to that of classical surfactants. For that reason the relationship between the Gibbs standard free energy of adsorption of short-chain alcohols and classical surfactants at that interface was established. The correlation between the chemical potential of mixing of alcohols and surfactants was also analysed. This analysis concerned the critical aggregation concentration (CAC) of alcohols and the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of surfactants. The chemical potential of surfactant mixing was calculated from the literature CMC data for the homologous series of alkyl sulfates, alkyl sulfonates, alkyl ammonium chlorides, alkyl trimethylammonium bromides, and alkyl pyridinium bromides. The influence of the hydrophobic chain length of alcohol and surfactant molecules on the Gibbs standard free energy of their adsorption at the water-air interface and their chemical potential of mixing were considered. It appeared that there is a linear dependence between these thermodynamic functions and the number of carbon atoms increased by 1 in the hydrocarbon chains of these compounds. This confirms clearly our conclusion that the behaviour of short-chain alcohols and classical surfactants at the water-air interface and in the bulk phase of aqueous solutions is similar.
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