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  • Partial phase behavior and micellar properties of tetrabutylammonium salts of fatty acids: unusual solubility in water and formation of unexpectedly small micelles.

Partial phase behavior and micellar properties of tetrabutylammonium salts of fatty acids: unusual solubility in water and formation of unexpectedly small micelles.

Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids (2006-02-08)
Raoul Zana
ABSTRACT

The tetrabutylammonium (TBA) salts of fatty acids, from dodecanoic acid (C12) to octacosanoic acid (C28), have been prepared by direct neutralization of the fatty acid by TBA hydroxide. Unexpectedly, all of these surfactants have been found to be soluble in water under the form of micelles at a sufficiently high temperature. For instance, the solubility of TBA octacosanoate in water is of about 7 wt % at 46 degrees C. Starting from TBA docosanoate, the aqueous solutions of the surfactants gelled below a certain temperature. The gelling temperature increased linearly with the fatty acid carbon number. Upon increasing temperature, the TBA octocosanoate showed a relatively complex phase behavior that has been investigated. The micellar solutions of these surfactants did not cloud at high temperatures, up to 98 degrees C, contrary to TBA alkylsulfates. The aggregation numbers of micelles of the various TBA alkylcarboxylates have been measured and found to be smaller than those for the maximum spherical micelle that a surfactant with the same alkyl chain length can form. The micelle micropolarity and microviscosity (as sensed by fluorescent probes) decreased and increased, respectively, with the fatty acid carbon number.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Octacosanoic acid, synthetic, ≥98%