SLES Manufacture Technology Description

Online SLES Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

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In this page you will find free data about sodium lauryl ether sulfate, including:

  • What is sodium lauryl ether sulfate
  • How to make sodium lauryl ether sulfate
  • sodium lauryl ether sulfate uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of sodium lauryl ether sulfate production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate Manufacture

Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (also known as SLES and sodium laureth sulfate) is a clear and viscous liquid that is among the most important anionic surfactants. On an industrial scale, SLES is mainly produced by the ethoxylation of dodecanol, followed by the sulfation of the resulting ethoxylate and neutralization to the sodium salt.

Like other fatty alcohol sulfates and fatty alcohol ether sulfates, SLES has uses that are basically related to its surface-active properties. SLES molecules include both hydrophilic and hydrophobic functional groups. In fact, the possibility of altering those properties allows chemical processors to tailor these compounds to be used in a broad range of applications that demand good activity (that is, foaming and detergency), stability over a wide pH range, water solubility, chemical compatibility and so on. With such versatility, these chemicals are widely used in cosmetic products and in industrial cleaners.

Technology Description

The following paragraphs describe describe a process for SLES production from chlorosulfonic acid, lauryl ethoxylate and sodium hydroxide. The figure below presents a simplified flow diagram of the process.

Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate Manufacture Technology - Process Flow Diagram


Initially, the lauryl ethoxylate is batch-sulfated by ...


The sulfation product is fed to a ...


The HCl evolved during the sulfation is ...


SLES is packed in ...

Sodium lauryl ether sulfate production pathways

SLES production is primarily based on ...

Economic Performance

The total operating cost (raw materials, utilities, fixed costs and depreciation costs) estimated to produce SLES was about ...

To access a report with more content about this process click here.