Renewable Resources for Surface Coatings, Inks, and Adhesives
Their amphiphilic character gives surfactants enormous versatility when they form interfaces or arrange themselves on surfaces. Surfactants are used to wash and clean, wet, emulsify, and disperse, create and destroy foam, to manufacture certain plastics and polymers, as well as water-based polymer dispersions for the coatings, inks, adhesives, fibre and fabrics, leather, paper, ceramics, and construction industries. In most applications, surfactants are not recycled, but remain with the dispersed material, although, depending on the application, they can be slowly washed out and released into the environment. Therefore, there is a great interest in biodegradable, eco-compatible, non-toxic surfactants, and in most countries, surfactants are subject to national or supra-national regulations. These requirements are being met by green surfactants based on renewable raw materials.