What are surfactants | surfactants meaning | types of surfactants | surfactant examples | anionic su
The compound that lower the surface tension between two phases, like between two liquids, a gas and a liquid, or a liquid and a solid are called surface-active agent or surfactant. In aqueous solutions surfactants behave like organic compounds that are amphiphilic, meaning they contain both hydrophobic groups (their tails) and hydrophilic groups (their heads). The arrangement of the hydrophilic head is at the interface of water and the hydrophobic groups aligns toward oil. Therefore, a surfactant contains both a water-insoluble (or oil-soluble) component and a water-soluble component. Surfactants will diffuse in water and adsorb at interfaces between air and water or at the interface between oil and water, in the case where water is blended with oil. This property allows surfactants to act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants.