Surfactant Analysis in Pharmaceuticals and Industrial Products

Surfactants and surface active agents analysis and testing for industrial products and pharmaceuticals

Intertek laboratories detect and quantify low levels of surfactants in solid and liquid products and formulations. A wide range of analysis capabilities with options appropriate to surface active agents in pharmaceutical and industrial applications are available. In addition to surfactants, specialist know-how in analysis of anti-foams and dispersants is typically applied to these products. 

Applications include analytical support for the manufacturing of existing products, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submissions for new product introduction and competitor product analysis. Intertek assists customers determine the presence of surfactants which are restricted in their application or use by the Detergent Directive or REACH Regulation.

Surfactants, Antifoams and Dispersing Agents analyzed:

  • Non-ionic surfactants: alkoxylate based on polyethylene glycol (PEGs) and Polypropyleneglycols (PPGs) (including nonyl phenol ethoxylates NPE)
  • Anionic surfactants: alkyl sulphates, alkyl benzene sulphonates, phosphate esters
  • Cationic surfactants: quaternary ammonium compounds
  • Amphoteric surfactants such as Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB)
  • Antifoams: silicone copolymers and acetylenic diols
  • Dispersants with a variety of structures and functionalities
  • Separation and characterisation and quantification of mixed surfactant systems in formulated products

Surfactant Analytical Techniques:

  • Comprehensive classical chemistry analysis, titrations, colorimetry
  • Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)
  • Other Mass Spectrometry instrumentation e.g. Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry
  • Solution state NMR Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Chromatography, including HPLC and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) with UV, Evaporative Light Scattering Detector (ELSD), Refractive Index (RI) detection, Gas Chromatography (GC) for chain length distribution
  • Surface Tension measurement
  • Product Identification
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