The Second Version

04/07/12

The Wonderful World of Surfactants

Surfactants are chemicals with a moltitude of uses. The most known ones are detergents and emulsifiers, but they can be used in many other ways.

One curious aspect is, the surfactant know as sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate, or DSS or sodium docusate is widely used in oil industry as a modifier for drilling muds and as an ingredient of oil spill dispersants.

But it is also used in medicine as stool-softener laxative and to soften impacted cerumen in ears (although the efficacy of these last preparations seems to be scarce). Ah, the knowledge!

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