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α-Sulfo Fatty Methyl Ester Sulfonate: A Review on Chemistry, Processing Technologies, Performance, and Applications in Laundry Detergents
Journal of Surfactants and Detergents  (IF1.902),  Pub Date : 2021-04-04, DOI: 10.1002/jsde.12509
Parthiban Siwayanan, Zhen Hong Ban, Xinchi Zhang, Anupreetha Parthiban

α-Sulfo fatty methyl ester sulfonate (α-MES) is one of the anionic surfactants that is currently used commercially in the cleaning industry. Although the fundamental studies on α-MES were initiated as far back as the 1950s, it was only recognized as a class of surfactant in the 1980s. In the initial stage of development, α-MES has been associated with many technical impediments, which created a fear factor for the detergent industry to consider this oleo-based anionic surfactant for commercial production. However, all the technical adversities have been resolved after five decades of continuous active research and development activities. This paper will review the history, chemistry, process development, processing technologies, performance, commercial production, and applications of oleo-based based α-MES with special emphasis on palm oil-based α-MES. The paper also will highlight the challenges and adversities faced by the technology developers and product formulators toward the commercialization of α-MES as an active ingredient in the production of powder and liquid laundry detergents.