Question
Tue November 15, 2011 By: Mohammed Hashim

pls discuss soap and micelles

Expert Reply
Wed November 16, 2011

A detergent is a non-soapy cleaning agent which are capable of reacting with water to dislodge the foreign durt and dust particles from a solid surface (clothes or floor).

Examples of detergents are CH3(CH2)10CH2OSO3-Na+ (sodium lauryl sulphate2), CH3(CH2)16CH2OSO3-Na+ (sodium stearyl sulphate)

 

The long non-polar end is hydrophobic while the polar end containing the carboxylate ion, is hydrophillic end. So, in water the hydrophobic end gravitate towards and surround the dirt and the short polar end containing the carboxylate ion, face the water away from the dirt. A number of soap molecules surround or encircle dirt and grease in a clustered structure. This clustered structure is called 'micelles'.

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