Volume 3, like the preceding volumes, focuses on the diversity of surfactants, both in terms of chemical structure and physico–chemical / surface active properties. These properties may be predictable for simple molecules but, for most commercial surfactants (which may be regarded as multi–component blends), this is not so easy. Yet it is important to develop a greater understanding of the interactions within a multi–component mixture, in order to select the most appropriate product for a particular application in which a combination of surface active properties is required.
A special feature of this volume is the initial chapter, in which the end uses of surface active agents are classified by industrial sector and the surfactant properties required for each application are presented in detail. The result is a unique guide to the influence of chemical structure on performance in end use, highlighting the benefits of particular surfactants and illustrating how some of the newer classes of surfactant may overcome the deficiencies of previously used products.