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LINEAR ALKYLBENZENE (LAB) Definition

LINEAR ALKYLBENZENE (sometimes also known as LABs) is a family of organic compounds. Linear alkylbenzene (LAB) was introduced in the mid-1960s as a raw material for cleaning products. Since then, continuing and explosive research on its biodegradation and on its environmental and human toxicity has been performed. The efficiency of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate as surfactant is clearly established, and it is one of the safest and most cost-effective products in widespread commercial use. The aim of the present paper is to survey the most important developments and understandings of the chemistry of LAB production and of its physical and environmental properties. The expected consequence of this analytical survey is to envisage the continuous challenges for the detergents industry in catalytic production of LAB, better control of selectivity, replacement of corrosive and mineral liquid acid catalyst by heterogeneous acid catalyst and the maintenance of competitiveness of LAB with respect to natural alcohols. Since the 1960s, LABs have emerged as the dominant precursor of biodegradable detergents.

LAB is produced via the alkylation of benzene with normal olefins derived from a variety of sources such as kerosene (normal paraffins) or ethylene.


LINEAR ALKYLBENZENE (LAB) Applications

  1. LAB is sulfonated to produce linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS),(more) a biodegradable surfactant. LAS replaced branched dodecylbenzene sulfonates, which were phased out because they biodegrade more slowly.
  2. Used in several neutrino detectors.
  3. Used in all kinds of detergent formulations like powder, liquid, gel, admixtures, bars and tablets.
  4. Used in agricultural herbicides.
  5. Used in Emulsion polymerization.
  6. Used in wetting agents.
  7. Used in electric cable oil.
  8. Used in ink solvents, and paint industry.
  9. Used as a replacement for dodecylbenzene sulfonate, a non-biodegradable surfactant.
  10. Used as primary cleaning agent in household detergents


LAB CHARACTERISTICS

  1. Good optical transparency (≈20 m).
  2. High light yield.
  3. Low amount of radioactive impurities.
  4. High flash point (140 °C).
  5. Easy safe handling.
  6. Performs well in deep underwater environments.
  7. Good biodegradability in the environment.

CHARACTERISTICS

TEST METHOD

SPECIFICATION

TYPICAL VALUE

Density at 15.6°C , gr/cm3

ASTM D-4052

0.8575-0.8700

  1. 8602

Saybolt Color

ASTM D-156

+29 min

>+30

Bromine Index , mg Br/100gr of Sample

ASTM D-1492

15 max

2

Doctor Test

ASTM D-4952

Negative

Negative

Moisture , ppm

UOP 481

200 Max

31

Refractive Index at 20°C

ASTM D-1218

1.480-1.490

  1. 484

Total Normal Paraffin , wt%

UOP 698

0.5 Max

  1. 34

2-Phenyl Alkanes , wt%

UOP 698

20 Max

  1. 26

Linear Alkyl Benzene , wt%

UOP 698

92 Min

  1. 1

Carbon Distribution , wt%

 

< LAB 10

LAB 10

 

LAB 10 + LAB 11

 

LAB 12

 

LAB 13 + LAB 14

 

LAB 14

 

> LAB 14

UOP 698

 

 

1 max

15 max

 

33-51

 

26-40

 

15-28

 

1 Max

 

0.5 Max

 

 

  1. 45
  2. 5

 

  1. 0

 

  1. 0

 

  1. 1

 

  1. 11

 

  1. 27

Average Molecular Weight

UOP 698

238-244

  1. 4

Sulfonatability , wt%

UOP 429

98 Min

  1. 0

Tetralins , wt%

ECOSOL , UOP-929

1 Max

<0.5

Acid Wash Color , T%

EM 07203

15 Min

  1. 6
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