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On the Effect of pH on Spreading of Surfactant Solutions on Hydrophobic Surfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


Surfactants are invaluable in a number of agricultural applications in products such as pesticides and herbicides. In these products, surfactants are very often used in conjunction with acidifiers in order to improve their half-life. In this paper, we investigate how the change in pH affects surfactant wetting and spreading. We compare the performance of a conventional surfactant, Triton® X-100, with that of a trisiloxane superspreader, Silwet® L-77, on a number of polymer coated surfaces exhibiting various degrees of hydrophobicity. Silwet® L-77 in water based solutions showed very good wetting capability on all surfaces. However, its wetting ability was drastically reduced with the addition of acetic acid. On the other hand, Triton® X-100 was not affected by the addition of acid and exhibited the same spreading behaviour as in water-based solutions.

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