NC State
Ge, Y., Li, D., and Li, Z. (2014). "Effects of lignosulfonate structure on the surface activity and wettability to a hydrophobic powder," BioRes. 9(4), 7119-7127.


The wettability of a solid material is very important in many applications, such as food, agrochemical formulations, and cosmetics. Wettability can be improved by adding surface active agents, especially biocompatible surfactants derived from biomass. In this work, the surface activity (ability to lower the surface tension of an aqueous solution) and wettability toward a hydrophobic powder by a series of sodium lignosulfonates (NaLS) synthesized with different degree of sulfonation (QS) and weight-average molecular weights (Mw) were investigated by measuring the surface tension and contact angle. The results demonstrated NaLS with a larger Mw or lower QS had higher surface activity. Conversely, the wettability of the NaLS aqueous solution toward difenoconazole powder showed a reverse trend, i.e., NaLS with a smaller Mw or higher Qs improved the wettability to difenoconazole. The surface activity and wettability was controlled by the varying densities of the NaLS molecules at the water to air interface or the solid/liquid interface, which was dependent on the molecular structure of NaLS.
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