Chemical Structure / July 19, 2018 / Laney Wolfe
Several sulfonic acids occur naturally—for example, the essential nutrient taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid; NH2CH2CH2SO3H), the sulfobacins and other sulfonolipids (the biologically active products from bacterial cultures that contain 15- to 17-carbon chains attached to the carbon and nitrogen of 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid), and the echinosulfonic acid C (an α-hydroxysulfonic acid containing two brominated indole rings).
SLES is prepared by ethoxylation of dodecyl alcohol. The resulting ethoxylate is converted to a half ester of sulfuric acid, which is neutralized by conversion to the sodium salt. The related surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate or SDS) is produced similarly, but without the ethoxylation step. SLS and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) are commonly used alternatives to SLES in consumer products.
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