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Polyethylene glycols are used in the preparation of which types of detergents?
A. Cationic detergent
B. Anionic detergent
C. Non-ionic detergent
D Soaps

Last updated date: 22nd Feb 2024
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Hint:The detergents which are formed by the polyethylene glycol do not contain any charge. These detergents are mostly esters in the form of alcohol and constitute high molecular mass.

Complete answer:
Detergents are cleansing agents which are soluble in water and thus combine with the impurities and make them more soluble in water and thus cleaning the cloth by removing the impurities. The detergents generally differ from soap as it does not form scum with the salts in hand water. Detergents are considered as ammonium or sulphonate salts of a long chain of carboxylic acid groups.
Detergents are classified into mainly three forms.
(i) Cationic detergent: Cationic detergents are characterized as quaternary ammonium salts of chlorides, bromides or acetates. The cationic part present in the detergent comprises a long chain of hydrocarbons and a nitrogen atom with a positive charge.
(ii) Anionic detergents: Anionic detergents are characterized as sodium alkyl sulfates and sodium alkylbenzene sulphonates. Sodium alkyl sulphates are sodium salts of long chain alcohol. The anionic detergents are formed by reacting alcohol with sulphuric acid and after that with sodium hydroxide. Sodium alkylbenzene sulphonates detergents are sodium salt of a long chain of alkyl benzene sulphonic acids. It is formed by Friedal – craft alkylation of benzene with long chain alkyl halides.
(iii) Non-ionic detergents: The non-ionic detergent by its name only contains no ions. The non-ionic detergents are formed by reaction between polyethylene glycol and stearic acid.
Therefore, the correct option is C.

There is one another type of detergent present known as zwitterion. In zwitterionic detergent, the polar head group contains both the negative charge and positive charge, thus the overall charge is neutral. The strength of action of zwitterion is intermediate between the ionic detergent and non –ionic detergent.
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