Published: March 1984
This report covers the technology and costs of manufacturing three types of nonionic surfactants: alcohol ethoxylates, alkylphenol ethoxylates, and fatty amine oxides. Also covered is the manufacture of alkylphenol intermediates for the production of alkylphenol ethoxylates.
Four processes are presented: one for alcohol and alkylphenol ethoxylates, two for alkylphenols, and one for fatty amine oxides. Section 4 evaluates the process used in the largest of the world's ethoxylation plants ; ethylene oxide reacts with either an alcohol or an alkylphenol to give the alcohol ethoxylate or the alkylphenol ethoxylate. Section 5 addresses a recently developed process for making an alkylphenol; propylene trimer and phenol react over an ion-exchange resin catalyst to form nonylphenol. Section 6 evaluates an older process for producing an alkylphenol; propylene trimer and phenol react in the presence of a boron trifluoride catalyst to make nonylphenol. Section 7 presents a process to produce fatty amine oxides; linear alpha-olefin reacts with hydrogen bromide to give an alkylbromide. The alkylbromide reacts with dimethylamine to give an alkyl dimethylamine, which is subsequently contacted with hydrogen peroxide to form the alkyl dimethylamine oxide.
Technical information for these processes was derived from texts, technical literature, and patents. Information for the section on industry status was gathered from government and trade publications and from SRI International's Chemical Economics Handbook.