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Comprehensive Guide to Diluting SLES 70% to 28%: Techniques, Processes, and Applications

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Understanding Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES)

Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) is a surfactant widely used in many cleaning and hygiene products. This compound has the ability to effectively remove dirt and oils and creates a rich, foaming lather which enhances user experience.

The Importance of Diluting SLES 70% to 28%

SLES is commonly purchased in concentrated form (70%) and diluted down to the required concentration for various applications. One common dilution is 28%, widely used in industries like cosmetics, personal care, and cleaning products manufacturing. Dilution aids in controlling the product’s viscosity and ensuring optimal application effectiveness.

The Dilution Process

The Basic Principle of Diluting SLES 70% – The Mass Balance Concept

In the process of diluting SLES, the principle of mass conservation is foundational. If you have x amount of a 70% SLES solution and you introduce y amount of diluent, the total mass of SLES remains unchanged. This is referred to as the mass balance concept, and it’s vital to successful dilution.

Mathematical Approach to Dilution

Dilution can also be understood and executed using the mathematical formula: x×70%+y×0% = (x+y)×28%. This formula takes into account the diluent’s 0% SLES content. The result gives one the required amount of diluent needed to achieve the desired 28% concentration.

Application of the Mathematical Approach

For example, if you want to dilute 100 ml of a 70% SLES solution down to a 28% concentration, you would plugin into the formula to achieve y = 100×(70%−28%)/28%. The result, y≈150ml, indicates the amount of diluent required to achieve a 28% SLES dilution. This calculation demonstrates the ease and precision of diluting SLES using the mathematical approach.

Dealing with Viscosity Differences While Diluting

Transitioning from a 70% to a less than 27% concentration involves significant viscosity differences, which demands specific pumping technologies. The higher concentrations form a viscous gel, making the process a bit complex.

The Importance of Aeration During Dilution

While diluting SLES, it’s crucial to control aeration; the introduction of air can increase viscosity. Therefore, aeration control is a critical factor in achieving successful SLES dilution.

Techniques for Diluting SLES

In-Line Mixing

In-line mixing is a powerful way to dilute SLES, using a high-shear mixer on a recirculation basis to achieve uniform and stable dilution with minimal aeration.

Batch Processing

Surfactants like SLES can be diluted either in batches or continuously. The choice between the two depends on the quantities required and the production setup.

Use of High Shear Rotavator for Uniform Mixing

Uniformity of the mix is key in dilution, especially when dealing with high active surfactants like SLES. A high shear rotavator gives a uniform mix, ensuring the diluted solution retains its foaming properties while reducing the viscosity for easier handling.

The Role of Additives in SLES Dilution

Common Additives Used

Several additives may be employed in the dilution process, chiefly to improve product performance, enhance stability, or achieve a specific viscosity.

Impact of Additives on SLES Properties

Additives can significantly influence the physical and chemical properties of SLES solutions. The right blend of additives can ensure optimal performance of SLES in the final product.

Interplay of Additives and SLES in Varying Concentrations

The choice and quantity of additives may vary depending on the targeted SLES concentration. Lower concentrations (e.g., 28%) might require different additives compared to higher ones due to alterations in viscosity and solubility.

Commercial SLES Solutions

Differences Between SLES 70% and SLES 28%

SLES 70% is a concentrated solution, with high viscosity and strong cleaning action. On the other hand, SLES 28% is a more diluted solution with reduced viscosity, suitable for applications that require gentle cleaning action.

Commonly Seen Dilution Ranges

Commercially, SLES dilution usually ranges from 17.5% to 28%. The resulting solutions serve as vital ingredients in liquid detergent, shampoo, dish-washing detergent, and cleaning compound cosmetic products.

Effect of Dilution on SLES Stability

Dilution affects SLES stability, influencing product shelf-life and effectiveness. Diluted SLES solutions need to be stored in stable conditions to maintain their action over time.

Specifics of SLES Dilution

Process variations from 70% to 27% SLES Dilution

The process of diluting SLES from 70% to 27% concentration often involves a significant reduction in viscosity, necessitating the use of specific pumping technologies to manage the change effectively.

Conversion of SLES 70% Gel to Liquid Form

Dilution enables the transition of SLES from a highly viscous gel at 70% concentration to a relatively less viscous liquid at 28%. Proper handling during this process ensures the integrity of the product is preserved.

Factors Influencing the SLES Dilution Process

Several factors such as temperature, mixing speed, and aeration influence the SLES dilution process. Mastery of these factors results in optimal dilution and ultimately, superior product performance.

Handling Concentrated SLES Solutions

Challenges in Handling 70% SLES

Due to its viscous nature, concentrated SLES solutions can be challenging to handle. They require special storage and handling conditions to maintain their integrity.

The Need for Dilution Before Process Usage

70% SLES must be diluted before it can be used in manufacturing processes, primarily to reduce its concentration and viscosity and to make it compatible with other ingredients in the formulation.

The Influence of Dilution on SLES Properties

Effect on Viscosity

Dilution significantly reduces the viscosity of SLES, easing its handling and application.

Effect on Gel Formation

When diluted to concentrations below 27%, SLES transforms from a viscous gel to a liquid-like form.

Effect on Physical and Chemical Properties

Dilution also influences other physical and chemical properties of SLES such as foaming ability and stability, pH levels, and the surfactant’s compatibility with other ingredients.

The Use of SLES in Various Industries

SLES in the Production of Detergents and Cosmetics

SLES plays a critical role in many detergents and cosmetics due to its excellent emulsifying, dispersing, and foaming properties.

SLES in Cleaning Compound Cosmetic Products

SLES is a key component in a variety of cleaning compound cosmetic products, contributing to the product’s cleaning power and user experience.

SLES in Toothpaste Production

SLES 28% is often used in toothpaste production, appreciated for its capacity to be easily diluted with salts and its good foaming character.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is SLES 70% Diluted to 28%?

SLES is diluted to 28% for many applications requiring a milder cleaning action. These can include personal care and cleaning products where gentler action is preferred.

How Can I Dilute SLES Fast?

Fast dilution of SLES can be achieved using a high-shear in-line mixer on a recirculation basis. This process quickly breaks down the high viscosity gel structure of concentrated SLES, leading to a uniform and stable diluted solution.

What Happens if Dilution Exceeds 27%?

If the concentration upon dilution exceeds 27%, SLES forms a highly viscous gel. This gel could be challenging to handle, thus appropriate care must be taken.

What is the Preferred Dilution Technique for Commercial Use?

The preferred dilution technique largely depends on the production setup and the final SLES concentration desired. In-line mixing is often used for large volume production, while batch processing can be suitable for smaller volumes or customized formulations.


Summary of Key Points

Diluting SLES from 70% to 28% involves understanding the basic principles of SLES dilution, using the right techniques, managing the influence of additives, and being mindful of the change in properties post-dilution. Properly diluted SLES has extensive applications in various manufacturing processes.

General Guidance for Best Practices in SLES Dilution

Achieving effective SLES dilution calls for careful control of the dilution environment, mastering techniques like in-line mixing, and the appropriate selection of additives. Understanding the interplay of these factors can ensure the successful production of high-quality SLES dilution for a range of applications.

Written by:
Jun Xie
Jun Xie
Jun is the head of R&D at Yeser Chemicals. He holds a master's degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology. After joining Yeser Chemicals in 2013, he has been dedicated to researching and developing new coconut-based green surfactants and their safe uses in Home & Personal care products. In addition to serving as the Head of R&D at Yeser Chemicals, Jun is the director of the Guangdong Green Surfactant Engineering Technology Research Center and a member of the Standard Committee of Guangdong Daily Chemical Chamber of Commerce.

Yeser Chemicals is a leading producer of CAPBCDEACMEAEGDS, and other various Coconut-derived surfactants.

By self-manufacturing and 3rd-party toll-manufacturing, we provide a long list of safe ingredients, including surfactants, conditioners, thickeners, etc.,  used in Home & Fabric Care, Personal Care, and Cosmetics.

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