Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulphonic Acid (LABSA)
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), developed to become a biodegradable replacement for nonlinear alkyl benzene sulfonate (BAS), has considerably replaced BAS in household detergents throughout the world.
Active matter content %
Inorganic acid %
Free oil %
Color (Klett) %
Average molecular weight
10 °C (50 °F, 283.15 °K)
greater than 440 °F at 760 mm Hg (USCG, 1999)
Stable under ordinary conditions
Solubility in water
180 - 190
stored in a dry and cool place.
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) is now the world’s largest-volume synthetic surfactant, which includes the various salts of sulfonated alkylbenzenes. It’s widely used in household detergents as well as numerous industrial applications.
LABSA is an anionic surfactant, with molecules belonging to a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic group. This is a nonvolatile chemical compound, synthesized through the process of sulfonation. The sulfonation process includes reagents like sulfuric acid, chlorosulfonic acid, sulfamic acid, and diluted sulfur trioxide.
The starting material LAB (linear alkylbenzene) is a product of the alkylation of benzene with n-paraffins. The catalyst is either hydrogen fluoride (HF) or aluminum chloride (AICI3). LAS is further produced by the sulfonation of LAB with oleum in batch reactors.
As a compound of homologs, LABSA comprises various alkyl chain lengths (C10 to C13 or C14) together with phenyl positional isomers of 2 to 5-phenyl. The phenyl proportions are dictated by the starting materials and reaction conditions. Each of those contains an aromatic ring. Sulfonated at the para position, it’s attached to a linear alkyl chain at any position, with the exception of terminal one (1-phenyl).
The chemical and physical properties of LABSA differ based on the length of the alkyl chain. This results in a variety of formulations, adequate for many applications. The resulting surfactants are often used in the chemical industry to improve contact between water and minerals.
The majority of other applications are featured in industrial, institutional, and commercial cleaners. LABSA is also used as an emulsifier and as a wetting agent.
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid is a highly usable synthetic surfactant due to its relatively low cost and good performance. Additional advantages are featured in the ability to be dried to a stable powder. Its straight chemical chain makes it biodegradable, adding to the environmental consciousness factor. Although some of the competitive surfactants have advantages of greater hard-water tolerance or better compatibility with enzymes, LABSA has overall more favorable properties and is often more affordable.
Commonly, the percentage range of LABSA in detergent powder is 5%-28%. The amount of 5%-12% is usually considered low-class quality. The range of 12%-16% is a mid-class quality, while 16%-28% belong to the high-class grade.
Stable. Hygroscopic. Incompatible with bases, metals, and oxidizing agents.
Recommended storage: Dry, tight-closed, ideally in its original packaging, in low to moderate temperatures and in a dry and cool place, kept away from direct sun and water.
LABSA is commercially prepared by sulfonating linear alkylbenzene (LAB).
Wetting agent, emulsifier for agricultural herbicides, emulsion polymerization. Surfactants are broadly used in the industry to advance connections among polar and non-polar media, improving links of oil and water, or water and minerals.
LABSA is a significant ingredient in the manufacturing of washing, detergent, and cleaning powders, as well as detergent cake, liquid and oil soaps, scouring bars, and a variety of anionic specialty formulations. It’s used as a washing and mercerizing agent in the textile industry. Finally, LABSA has application as a wetting agent/emulsifier in small quantities along with other surfactants, for foaming of toilet soaps.
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid is principally used in the production of household detergents, including laundry powders, laundry liquids, dishwashing liquids, and various household cleaners.
Over 80% of LABSA is used in household detergents. Small volumes are also applied in personal care manufacturing.
Soluble in water, alcohols, glycols, glycol ethers, esters, ketones, aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons.
- Dodecylbenzene Sulfonic Acid (Strait Chain)
- Laurylbenzenesulfonic Acid
- n-Dodecylbenzene Sulfonic Acid
- Alkylbenzene sulfonate, Sodium Salt
- Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonic Acid
Ask an expert
Did we forget something? Do you have a specific issue that needs a solution? Consider it done! Our professionals are at your service 24/7, ready to answer every question in a clear and concise manner.
Have more questions?
Contact our product manager now, to get fast and in-depth answers.