Erucic acid: From waste to wonder with novel surfactants

Erucic acid is a byproduct of grease processing that is often wasted. However, new research has shown that it can be used to develop novel surfactants that have a wide range of potential applications.

One such surfactant is adamantyl trimethylammonium erucate (AdEr). AdEr has been shown to have a lower critical micelle concentration (CMC) and larger micellar aggregation sizes than choline erucate (ChEr),
another erucic acid-based surfactant. This means that AdEr is more effective at forming micelles, which are groups of molecules that can be used to solubilize oil and water in each other.

AdEr has a number of potential applications, including:

  • Detergents: AdEr could be used to develop new detergents that are more effective at cleaning clothes and dishes.
  • Cosmetics: AdEr could be used to develop new cosmetics that are more effective at moisturizing and protecting the skin.
  • Pharmaceuticals: AdEr could be used to develop new drug delivery systems that are more effective at delivering drugs to the body.

This research is a promising step forward in the development of new, sustainable, and effective surfactants from erucic acid.

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