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SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate

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INCI Name: Laureth-10
Chemical Name: Alcohols, C12-13, branched and linear, ethoxylated 1 - 2.5 moles ethoxylated
Function: Surfactant (Nonionic), Wetting Agent, Emulsifier, Surfactant
CAS Number: 160901-19-9
Chemical Family: Alcohol Ethoxylates
Ingredient Origin: Petrochemical, Synthetic
Labeling Claims: Biodegradable
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Identification & Functionality

SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate Features & Benefits

Benefit Claims
Labeling Claims

Applications & Uses


Physical Form
Turbid liquid
Miscible In
Typical Properties
ValueUnitsTest Method / Conditions
Colour (APHA) at 50°Cmax. 50mg Pt/lDIN EN 1557
Cloud Point (10% in25% BDG-solution)70-72°CDIN EN 1890
pH (5% in water)5-7-DIN EN 1262
Polyethylene Glycols Contentmax. 2% massMPL 2002.0
Viscosity at 50°Capprox. 17mPasDIN ISO 6388
Density at 50°Capprox. 0.95g/mlDIN 51757
Water Contentmax. 0.2% massDIN 51777
Setting Pointapprox. 3°CDIN ISO 3841
Hydroxyl Numberapprox. 138mg KOH/gDIN EN 13926
Solubility and Gel Formation With Water


The solubility of the SAFOL 23E ethoxylates is determined by the chain length of the water soluble polyethylene glycol ether chain. Accordingly, the solubility increases at a higher degree of ethoxylation. Lower ethoxylates , e.g. SAFOL 23E3, are only sparingly soluble in water as these molecules are dominated by the hydrophobic alcohol part. SAFOL 23E3 is soluble in non-polar organic solvents and can be applied as emulsifier.

Gel formation with water

The gel phases typically occur at medium concentrations and can have significant stability even when additional water is added.

Product 0% water 10% water 20% water 30% water 40% water 50% water 60% water 70% water 80% water 90% water
SAFOL 23E3 Liquid Liquid Liquid Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Cloudy Liquid Cloudy Liquid
SAFOL 23E5 Liquid Liquid Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Cloudy Liquid Cloudy Liquid
SAFOL 23E6.5 Liquid Liquid Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Liquid Liquid Liquid
SAFOL 23E7 Liquid Liquid Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Liquid Liquid Liquid
SAFOL 23E9 Cloudy Liquid Liquid Liquid Liquid Gel or paste Gel or paste Gel or paste Liquid Liquid Liquid

The diagram, which is only intended as a guide to possible physical states on mixing with water, shows that the addition of 10 % of water to the SAFOL 23E grades always gives a homogenous and clear product. This fact is taken into account in our sale products SAFOL 23E7-90 % and SAFOL 23E9-90 %.

Surface Active Property

One of the most characteristic properties of surface active agents is their ability to reduce the surface tension of water. The SAFOL 23 ethoxylates provide an excellent surface tension reduction already at low concentrations. By adding SAFOL 23 ethoxylates the water surface tension of 72 mN/m can be reduced to values below 30 mN/m. Table 8 illustrates the surface activity at different surfactant concentrations in aqueous solution.

The Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) is a further characteristic property of a surfactant. The CMC is the concentration at which single surfactant molecules start to build micellar aggregates.

    Surface tension in mN/m at 25 °C in D.I. water   Critical micelle concentration (CMC)
Surfactant Concentration 0.01 g/l 0.1 g/l 1.0g/l mg/l
SAFOL 23E3 26.5 * 26.5 * 27 * 6
SAFOL 23E5 29 * 27.5 * 27.5 * 13
SAFOL 23E6.5 32 27.5 28 18
SAFOL 23E7 32 28 28.5 18
SAFOL 23E9 36.5 30.5 31 32


Regulatory & Compliance

Technical Details & Test Data

Free Alcohol Content


SAFOL 23E products have a high active content of fatty alcohol polyethylene glycol ethers. Depending on the degree of ethoxylation, the products also contain varying amounts of starting alcohol. The free fatty alcohol, the portion of which decreases with increasing degree of ethoxylation, supports the cleaning action of the ethoxylates and contributes to foam regulation.

Sasol SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate Free Alcohol Content

Viscosity vs Temperature
Viscosity as a function of temperature Rotary viscometer in plate-plate geometry according to DIN 53018, shear rate D=10 1/s

The viscosity profile of alcohol ethoxylates is important for transport and storage issues. The ethoxylates of the SAFOL 23E series with short EO chains are liquid with low viscosity at room temperature. Within the product series the viscosity increases continuously with increasing degree of ethoxylation. Viscosities measured at 20 °C and 50 °C according to Brookfield method . Viscosity was also determined over a range of temperatures. Temperature dependent viscosity of the SAFOL 23 ethoxylates is shown in Figure 5 (determined at a constant shear rate). The viscosity of the ethoxylates increases rapidly at lower temperatures. The product grades SAFOL 23E7-90 % and SAFOL 23E9-90 % contain ca. 10 % water and are homogeneous clear liquids at room temperature.

Sasol SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate Viscosity vs Temperature

Wetting Efficiency

Wetting efficiency on textiles

The wetting times of the SAFOL 23E products were determined in aqueous solutions on cotton fabrics. The wetting performance, which corresponds to the time taken for a cotton disk to sink in aqueous solution, is a function of the degree of ethoxylation. The shorter the sinking time, the better the wetting efficiency

The SAFOL 23 ethoxylates provide excellent wetting power on textiles, the best values being observed for SAFOL 23E5 to SAFOL 23E7

Sasol SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate Wetting Efficiency - 1

Wetting efficiency on hard surfaces

The wetting performance on hard surfaces such as metal or plastics can be assessed by contact angle measurements. The contact angle indicates how far a droplet of a surfactant solution spreads on the given surface. The lower the contact angle the better the wetting efficiency on the surface.

The contact angles of SAFOL 23E surfactants dissolved in water at a concentration of 1 g/l are displayed on different surfaces. The best wetting performance is found for the SAFOL 23E ethoxylates with 6.5 to 7 moles EO.

Sasol SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate Wetting Efficiency - 2

Foaming Profile

Foaming profile SITA foam method, 1 g/l in D.I. water, 20 °C

SAFOL 23E ethoxylates are moderately foaming surfactants. Figure 11 shows the foaming profile determined by the SITA Foam method (foam generated by a rotating disk). At room temperature the foam level of the ethoxylates increases with increasing degree of ethoxylation. When compared to the market standards, the SAFOL 23E foaming profile is well within the typical range for fatty alcohol ethoxylates.

Sasol SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate Foaming Profile

Packaging & Availability

Regional Availability

Packaging Information

Road tankers

Storage & Handling

Storage And Handling
  • Stored in Stainless steel vessels (Steel No: 1.4541 or 1.4571)
  • The effects of extreme temperatures (cold, heat) may cause the product to become turbid, viscous, congeal or separate. In such cases mixing at slightly elevated temperatures (30°C-40°C) will restore the product for use.

Precautions for safe handling 

Advice on safe handling

  • Wear personal protective equipment.
  • Avoid contact with skin and eyes.

Advice on protection against fire and explosion

  • Normal measures for preventive fire protection.
  • Do not spray on a naked flame or any incandescent material.

Fire-fighting class

  • B: Fires involving liquids or liquid containing substances. Also includes substances which become liquid at elevated temperatures.

Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities

Requirements for storage areas and containers

  • Keep tightly closed in a dry and cool place.

Storage class (TRGS 510)

  • 10-13: German Storage Class 10 to 13

Other data

  • Stable at normal ambient temperature and pressure.
SAFOL 23E5 Ethoxylate