Classification of Cationic Surfactants

Most of the cationic surfactants with commercial value are derivatives of organic nitrogen compounds, and their positive ion charges are carried by nitrogen atoms, and there are also some new cationic surfactants whose positive ion charges are carried by atoms such as phosphorus, sulfur, iodine, and arsenic. According to the chemical structure of cationic surfactants, it can be mainly divided into four types: amine salt type, quaternary ammonium salt type, heterocyclic type and loxane salt type.
Amine salt type
Amine salt type cationic surfactant is a general term for primary amine salt, secondary amine salt and tertiary amine salt surfactant. Their properties are very similar, and many products are mixtures of primary and secondary amines. Such surfactants are mainly salts of fatty amines and inorganic acids, which are only soluble in acidic solutions. Under alkaline conditions, amine salts easily react with bases to generate free amines and reduce their solubility, so the scope of use is limited.
Quaternary ammonium salt type
Quaternary ammonium salt type cationic surfactant is the most important variety of cationic surfactant, and its properties and preparation methods are different from amine salt type. Such surfactants are soluble in both acidic and alkaline solutions, have a series of excellent properties, and are compatible with other types of surfactants, so they are widely used.
Heterocyclic
The heterocyclic rings contained in the cationic surfactant molecules are mainly nitrogen-containing morpholine rings, pyridine rings, imidazole rings, piperazine rings and quinoline rings.
salt type
Cationic surfactants can be classified into surfactants containing N, P, As, S, I and other elements according to different heteroatoms, but this classification method is rarely used. According to the atoms carrying positive charges, cationic surfactants also include salts, sulfonium salts, iodine salts, and salt compounds.

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