Definition - What does Anionic Surfactant mean?
Anionic Surfactant is a surface active substance that contains wash active and degreasing abilities on the surfaces of metals. It lowers the surface tension of water and thus removes the dirt from the surfaces of the metals. Anionic Surfactant is one of the classifications of surfactants. In anionic surfactant, the hydrophilic part consists of negatively charged group. Examples of Anionic Surfactants are the basic soaps.
Petropedia explains Anionic Surfactant
Anionic surfactants are found in sulfonates or sulfate groups of chemicals for example sodium laureth sulfates. The anionic surfactants help in lowering the surface tension of the water or any other liquid as they act as active surface agents. An Anionic surfactant binds the impurities and dirt particles suspended in the fluid which makes it a useful and efficient cleansing agent. At times these surfactants also produce foam or lather when mixed and rinsed in water by creating large number of gas bubbles and thus are used in cosmetics industry in the preparation of shampoos, toothpaste and fire suppressing agents, etc.