Fadzlina Abdullah1*, Nur Aainaa Syahirah Ramli1, Fumiya Niikura2 And Zulina Abd. Maurad1
1Advanced Oleochemical Technology Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43 000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Functional Material Science Research Laboratory, Lion Corporation, 2-1 Hirai 7-Chome, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo 132-0035, Japan. *Corresponding author :

Received 8th May 2021 ; accepted 18nd October 2021
Available online 20th December 2021

ABSTRACT. Palm-based methyl ester sulphonate (MES) is an anionic surfactant derived from renewable resources by sulphonation of palm methyl ester with sulphur trioxide and can be used as an alternative to the conventional linear alkylbenzenesulphonate. MES has been shown to possess favourable environmental characteristics, water hardness tolerance, with excellent detergency and foaming properties that are useful in detergent industry. Due to its great potential as surfactant in consumer products, it is crucial to determine its physical properties to protect consumer safety and the ecosystem. Physical properties are important aspects of a chemical because they play a significant role in determining its possible applications. Therefore, this study aims to determine the physical properties of various homologues of palm-based MES, such as C12-, C14-, C16-, and C16:18MES. The selected physical properties included physical appearance (form, colour, and odour), functional groups via Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, density, melting point, and flammability. The sulphonation process to produce MES was confirmed through sulphonationcation interactions from the FTIR spectra. A better understanding of the properties and applicability of MES in different areas can be assessed through the study of their physical properties. Information on these properties is important, whereby the specifications of palm-based MES can be used to find the best formulation for its applications and support the regulatory requirements of importing countries, e.g., Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACh), to facilitate market penetration.

KEYWORDS.Anionic surfactant; Palm-based; methyl ester sulphonate; Detergent; properties.

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