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Title:
USE OF TERTIARY AMINES AND ALKYL ALCOHOL BLENDS TO CONTROL SURFACTANT COMPOSITION RHEOLOGY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/113841
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A surfactant composition includes a surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate having a C8-C20 backbone ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10 moles of ethylene oxide and is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives. The surfactant composition also includes water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 35 weight percent. The surfactant composition further includes an alkyl alcohol present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent. The surfactant composition also includes a tertiary amine present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition and having three arms wherein each arm includes from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide functionality. The surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 10,000 cps measured at 20°C.

Inventors:
PIORKOWSKI DANIEL THOMAS (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/063662
Publication Date:
June 10, 2021
Filing Date:
December 07, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HENKEL IP & HOLDING GMBH (DE)
PIORKOWSKI DANIEL THOMAS (US)
International Classes:
C11D3/30; C11D1/29; C11D1/72; C11D1/86; C11D17/08
Foreign References:
US20190169118A12019-06-06
KR20110051444A2011-05-18
EP3572494A12019-11-27
US20180312788A12018-11-01
US20180216037A12018-08-02
US20160024440A12016-01-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DENG, Bojuan et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A surfactant composition comprising:

A. a surfactant component comprising an alcohol ethoxy sulfate having a C8-C20 backbone that is ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10 moles of ethylene oxide and is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition;

B. water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of said surfactant composition;

C. an alkyl alcohol present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of said surfactant composition; and

D. a tertiary amine present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition and having three arms wherein each arm comprises from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide functionality, and wherein said surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 10,000 cps measured at 20°C.

2. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein a weight ratio of said actives of said surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of said tertiary amine is about 42: (3 to 9): (5 to 30).

3. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality.

4. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein a weight ratio of said actives of said surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of said tertiary amine is about 42: (3 to 9): (5 to 30), wherein said surfactant is sodium laureth sulfate, wherein said alkyl alcohol is ethanol, wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality, and wherein said viscosity is less than about 8,800 cps.

5. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein a weight ratio of said actives of said surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of said tertiary amine is about 42: 6: 12, wherein said surfactant is sodium laureth sulfate, wherein said alkyl alcohol is ethanol, wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality, and wherein said viscosity is less than about 8,800 cps.

6. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein a weight ratio of said actives of said surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of said tertiary amine is about 42: 6: 18, wherein said surfactant is sodium laureth sulfate, wherein said alkyl alcohol is ethanol, wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality, and wherein said viscosity is less than about 4,800 cps.

7. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said tertiary amine is present in an amount of from about 12 to about 18 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition.

8. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality and wherein said tertiary amine is present in an amount of about 12 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition.

9. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality and wherein said tertiary amine is present in an amount of about 18 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition.

10. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said tertiary amine has the following chemical formula:

11. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said alcohol ethoxy sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate ethoxylated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide and is present in an amount of about 40 to about 45 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition.

12. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 6 weight percent based on a total weight of said surfactant composition.

13. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said alcohol ethoxy sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate ethoxylated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide.

14. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein a weight ratio of said alkyl alcohol : actives of said tertiary amine is about (3 to 9) : (5 to 30)

15. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein a weight ratio of said alkyl alcohol : actives of said tertiary amine is about 6 : (12 to 18).

16. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said alkyl alcohol is ethanol and wherein a weight ratio of said actives of said surfactant component : ethanol : actives of said tertiary amine is about 42: (3 to 9) : (5 to 30).

17. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said alkyl alcohol is ethanol and wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality.

18. The surfactant composition of claim 1 wherein said alcohol ethoxy sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate ethoxylated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide, wherein said alkyl alcohol is ethanol, and wherein each arm of said tertiary amine has about 4 to about 15 moles of ethylene oxide functionality.

19. A surfactant composition exhibiting approximate Newtonian behavior under shear and comprising:

A. a surfactant component comprising an alcohol ethoxy sulfate having a C8-C20 backbone that is ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10 moles of ethylene oxide and is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition;

B. water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of said surfactant composition;

C. an alkyl alcohol present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of said surfactant composition; and a tertiary amine present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition and having three arms wherein each arm comprises from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide functionality, and wherein said surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 4,800 cps measured at 20°C.

20. A method for modifying rheology of a surfactant composition, said method comprising the steps of: providing a surfactant component comprising an alcohol ethoxy sulfate having a C8-C20 backbone that is ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10 moles of ethylene oxide; providing an alkyl alcohol; providing a tertiary amine having three arms wherein each arm comprises from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide functionality, and combining the surfactant component, the alkyl alcohol, and the tertiary amine to form the surfactant composition, wherein the surfactant component is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, wherein the alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, wherein the tertiary amine is present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, wherein the surfactant composition comprises water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 35 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition and wherein the surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 10,000 cps measured at 20°C.

Description:
USE OF TERTIARY AMINES AND ALKYL ALCOHOL BLENDS TO CONTROL SURFACTANT COMPOSITION RHEOLOGY

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Utility Application 16/706,721 filed December 7, 2019 and entitled “USE OF TERTIARY AMINES AND ALKYL ALCOHOL BLENDS TO CONTROL SURFACTANT COMPOSITION RHEOLOGY”, which is incorporated herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present disclosure generally relates to a surfactant composition and a method of controlling the rheology of the composition. More specifically, the disclosure relates to inclusion of a tertiary amine in a surfactant composition including an alkyl alcohol and an alcohol ethoxy sulfate surfactant.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Many current detergent compositions include surfactants, such as sodium laureth sulfate. However, these types of surfactants typically increase in viscosity upon dilution with water. For example, detergent compositions that that include sodium laureth sulfate are known to be potentially difficult to work with because of the tendency to increase in viscosity and form near solid masses that can be difficult to dissolve. For example, such detergent compositions can have viscosities upon dilution with water that approach and exceed 100 Pa.s when measured at a shear rate of 0.41 1/sec using commonly available rheometers. One commercially available product exhibits non-Newtonian characteristics and is difficult to handle due to its high viscosity of about 33 Pa.s when measured at a shear rate of 1.08 1/sec using commonly available rheometers.

[0004] If these surfactants increase in viscosity in unit dose packs, the compositions are not suitable for cleaning various surfaces and stains because the surfactants do not homogeneously disperse in water. Moreover, even if the surfactants undergo an increased viscosity phase and then break apart, their cleaning effectiveness is still reduced. Accordingly, there remains an opportunity for improvement. Furthermore, other desirable features and characteristics of the present disclosure will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description of the disclosure and the appended claims, taken in conjunction this background of the disclosure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] This disclosure provides a surfactant composition that includes a surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate having a C8-C20 backbone that is ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10 moles of ethylene oxide and is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of said surfactant composition. The surfactant composition also includes water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. The surfactant composition further includes an alkyl alcohol present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. The surfactant composition also includes a tertiary amine present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition and having three arms wherein each arm comprises from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide functionality. The surfactant composition also has a viscosity of less than about 10,000 cps measured at 20°C.

[0006] This disclosure also provides a surfactant composition exhibiting approximate Newtonian behavior under shear. In this embodiment, the surfactant composition includes the surfactant component, the water, and the tertiary amine described above. Moreover, in this embodiment, the surfactant composition includes ethanol as the alkyl alcohol. In this embodiment, the surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 4,800 cps measured at 20°C.

[0007] This disclosure further provides a method for modifying rheology of a surfactant composition. The method includes the steps of providing the surfactant component, providing the alkyl alcohol, and providing the tertiary amine. The method also includes the step of combining the surfactant component, the alkyl alcohol, and the tertiary amine to form the surfactant composition. Upon formation, the surfactant component is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, the alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, and the tertiary amine is present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. Moreover, upon combination, the surfactant composition includes water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. In the method, the surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 10,000 cps measured at 20°C.

[0008] The surfactant composition exhibits superior and unexpected results. More specifically, the tertiary amine surprisingly reduces the viscosity of the surfactant composition which allows for simple formulations to be produced, less alcohol to be used, less chemical waste to be generated, and decreased production costs to be realized. More specifically, the tertiary amine allows less of the alcohol to be used which enables more efficient and effective material handling and final product batching. The inclusion of the tertiary amine in the surfactant composition also creates a less expensive and more efficient method of introducing the tertiary amine into a final detergent product without the need of a dedicated ingredient tank, which reduces production costs and complexities. Moreover, the tertiary amine allows the surfactant composition to maintain a consistent low viscosity profile.

[0009] Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that by incorporating the tertiary amine as a rheology modifying agent, the surfactant composition shows a trend of changing the behavior of the fluids from non-Newtonian, when the rheology modifier is not added, to approximately Newtonian, when the rheology modifier is added. In other words, the present disclosure provides a surfactant composition with Newtonian or approximately Newtonian behavior upon inclusion of the rheology modifying agent.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The present disclosure will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following Figures, wherein:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a line graph of Viscosity of Formulae 1-6 of the Examples as a Function of Shear Rate illustrating the non-Newtonian behavior of various comparative compositions of the disclosure and the approximate Newtonian behavior of various surfactant compositions including the rheology modifying agent of this disclosure when subjected to varying shear rates, as also set forth in the Examples. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The following detailed description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the disclosure. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any theory presented in the preceding background or the following detailed description.

[0013] Embodiments of the present disclosure are generally directed to detergent compositions and methods for forming the same. For the sake of brevity, conventional techniques related to surfactant compositions may not be described in detail herein. Moreover, the various tasks and process steps described herein may be incorporated into a more comprehensive procedure or process having additional steps or functionality not described in detail herein. In particular, various steps in the manufacture of surfactant compositions are well-known and so, in the interest of brevity, many conventional steps will only be mentioned briefly herein or will be omitted entirely without providing the well-known process details.

[0014] In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a surfactant composition with a consistent, low viscosity profile. The surfactant composition may comprise a particular surfactant, water, an alkyl alcohol, and a particular tertiary amine, as described in detail below. Of the components, the tertiary amine is a rheology modifying agent. The surfactant composition may be used downstream to form a detergent composition, e.g. a detergent composition that is used in a unit dose pack detergent product.

[0015] In another aspect, the present disclosure provides a method for modifying rheology of a surfactant composition. The method includes the steps of providing the surfactant component, providing the alkyl alcohol, and providing the tertiary amine. The method also includes the step of combining the surfactant component, the alkyl alcohol, and the tertiary amine to form the surfactant composition. Upon formation, the surfactant component is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, the alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, and the tertiary amine is present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. Moreover, upon combination, the surfactant composition includes water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. In the method, the surfactant composition has a modified and consistent low viscosity of less than about 10,000, 9,500, 9,000, 8,800, 8,500, 8,000, 7,500, 7,000, 6,500, 6,000, 5,500, 5,000, or 4,800, cps measured at 20°C. For example, this viscosity can be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. The viscosity can be alternatively measured using any method chosen by one of skill in the art.

[0016] It was unexpectedly discovered that, as a result of incorporating the rheology modifying agent, i.e., the tertiary amine, the surfactant composition shows a trend of changing from a non-Newtonian fluid to a Newtonian, or approximately Newtonian, fluid. A Newtonian fluid is a fluid wherein the ratio between shear stress changes linearly in proportion to the stress to which it is exposed. This proportion is known as viscosity. A Newtonian fluid exhibits a consistent viscosity level. More specifically, Newtonian fluids also typically exhibit a commensurate, linear increase in shear stress with increases in shear rate, while non-Newtonian fluids exhibit a non-linear relationship between shear stress and shear rate. Various non-Newtonian fluids can exhibit shear thickening (i.e., an increase in viscosity with increased shear rates) or shear thinning (i.e., a decrease in viscosity with increased shear rate). Non-Newtonian fluids that exhibit shear thinning may have a yield point. The yield point is an oscillation stress at which steeper declines in viscosity are produced, as indicated by shear modulus (G’) decline, with further increases in the oscillation stress beyond the yield point also producing the steeper decline in shear modulus. At oscillation stress below the yield point, changes in shear rate with stress have a minimal to no impact on the viscosity of the material. At oscillation stress above the yield point, the material begins to exhibit rapid viscosity decreases with increased levels of stress.

[0017] It was also unexpectedly discovered that incorporation of the rheology modifying agent in the surfactant composition, along with the alkyl alcohol, also lowers the viscosity of the surfactant composition as compared to when the rheology modifying agent and the alkyl alcohol is not added. The consistent, low viscosity profile is advantageous for downstream use in a detergent composition and/or unit dose detergent product.

Surfactant Composition [0018] This disclosure provides the surfactant composition, first introduced above and hereinafter referred to as a composition. The composition may be, include, consist essentially of, or consist of, a surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate, an alkyl alcohol, water, and a tertiary amine, as each is described below, e.g. in any one or more of the amounts described in greater detail below.

[0019] In one embodiment, the composition comprises the surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate, an alkyl alcohol, water, and the tertiary amine.

[0020] In another embodiment, the composition consists essentially of the surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate, an alkyl alcohol, water, and the tertiary amine.

[0021] In still another embodiment, the composition consists of the surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate, an alkyl alcohol, water, and the tertiary amine.

[0022] In one embodiment, the composition comprises the surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate and present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition; water present in a total amount of from about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition; an alkyl alcohol present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition, and a tertiary amine present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition, each as described in greater detail below.

[0023] In another embodiment, the composition consists essentially of the surfactant component including an alcohol ethoxy sulfate and present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition; water present in a total amount of from about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition; an alkyl alcohol present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition, and a tertiary amine present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition, each as described in greater detail below. [0024] In still other embodiments, the composition may comprise, consist essentially of, or consist of, any combination of components described herein, in any amounts described herein.

[0025] In further embodiments, the composition is free of, or includes less than 1, 0.5, 0.1, 0.05, or 0.01, weight percent of, any one or more of the optional components or additives described below and/or those such as, but not limited to, cationic surfactants, amphoteric(zwitterionic surfactants), etc.

[0026] The composition of this disclosure is typically described as a surfactant composition because it includes more highly concentrated components than a typical “detergent” composition. For example, the surfactant composition can be described as a type of surfactant masterbatch or component that is then used to form a detergent or detergent composition in a downstream production process. The surfactant composition of this disclosure may be further diluted and/or combined with other components to form an eventual detergent composition, as would generally be defined in the art.

Surfactant Component

[0027] As first introduced above, the composition includes the surfactant component. The surfactant component can include a single surfactant or two or more surfactants. The surfactant component includes an alcohol ethoxy sulfate, which may be described as an anionic surfactant. The alcohol ethoxy sulfate has a C8-C20 backbone that is ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10 moles of ethylene oxide. Alternatively, the alcohol ethoxy sulfate may be described as having a C8-C20 backbone and about 1 to 10 moles of ethylene oxide units bonded thereto. The metal may be any metal but is typically sodium or potassium. The backbone of the surfactant component may have any number of carbon atoms from 8 to 20, e.g. 10 to 18, 12 to 16, 12 to 14, 14 to 16, or 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, carbon atoms. Various mixtures of alcohol ethoxy sulfates may also be used wherein different length backbones are utilized. The backbone is ethoxylated with from about 1 to about 10, about 2 to about 9, about 3 to about 8, about 4 to about 7, about 5 to about 6, or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10, moles of ethylene oxide. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0028] In various embodiments, the alcohol ethoxy sulfate is further defined as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) having the formula: CH3(CH2)ioCH2(OCH2CH2)nOS03Na wherein n is from about 1 to about 10. In another embodiment, the alcohol ethoxy sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate ethoxylated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0029] The surfactant component is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80, about 25 to about 75, about 30 to about 70, about 35 to about 65, about 40 to about 60, about 45 to about 55, about 45 to about 50, about 40 to about 45, or about 35 to about 45, weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition. In other embodiments, the surfactant component is present in an amount of about 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, or 45, weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0030] The entire weight of the surfactant component may be the weight of the alcohol ethoxy sulfate itself without any additional surfactants included in this weight. Alternatively, other surfactants may be included in this weight percentage. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

Water:

[0031] Water is present in the composition in an amount of from about 10 to about 50 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition. In various embodiments, water is present in a total amount of from about 15 to about 45, about 20 to about 40, about 25 to about 35, about 25 to about 30, about 20 to about 50, about 25 to about 45, about 30 to about 40, or about 35 to about 40, weight percent based on a total weight of the composition. Typically, the terminology “total amount” refers to a total amount of water present in the composition from all components, i.e., not simply water added independently from, for example, the surfactant component and/or the tertiary amine. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0032] An independent source of water, such as DI water, may be used to dilute the composition. This water may be independent from any water present in the composition as originating from one or more components. In other words, the composition includes water originating from the components themselves. However, to further dilute the composition, the independent water source may be used. Alternatively, an independent source of water may be excluded.

Alkyl Alcohol:

[0033] The composition also includes an alkyl alcohol. The alkyl alcohol may be any alcohol that includes an alkyl group. For example, the alkyl group may include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, or more, carbon atoms. For example, the alkyl group may be methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, etc., such that the alcohol is methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, etc. Alternatively, the alkyl alcohol may include two or more such alcohols. In varying embodiments, the alkyl alcohol includes blends of higher carbon chain length alkyl alcohols such as C8-C12, C10-C14, C16-C18, alcohol, etc. Typically, the alkyl alcohol is ethanol. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0034] The alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition. In varying embodiments, the alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of about 4 to about 9, about 5 to about 8, about 6 to about 7, or 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10, weight percent based on a total weight of the composition. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

Tertiary Amine:

[0035] The composition also includes a tertiary amine. This tertiary amine is liquid to minimize any stability and crystallization issues that may arise if a solid compound was used. For example, the tertiary amine may contribute to the excellent flowability and usability of the composition in various cleaning environments. The tertiary amine is typically utilized as a rheology modifying agent. The tertiary amine typically has three branches of ethoxylation that attached to a central nitrogen atom. The tertiary amine may be further described as an amine ethoxylate. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the tertiary amine is an amine ethoxylate that has 3 branches of ethoxylation.

[0036] The tertiary amine is present in an amount of from about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition. In various embodiments, the tertiary amine is present in an amount of from about 10 to about 25, about 15 to about 20, weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition. In other embodiments, the tertiary amine is present in an amount of from about 12 to 18 or about 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18, weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0037] The tertiary amine has three arms wherein each arm comprises from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide functionality. In other words, the tertiary amine can have the formula N-(Arm)3 wherein each “Arm” is an ethylene oxide group. Each arm may independently have from about 1 to about 25 moles of ethylene oxide therein. For example, each arm may independently have from about 2 to about 24, about 3 to about 23, about 4 to about 22, about 5 to about 21, about 6 to about 20, about 7 to about 19, about 8 to about 18, about 9 to about 17, about 10 to about 16, about 11 to about 15, about 12 to about 14, about 13 to about 14, about 4 to about 15, about 5 to about 14, about 6 to about 13, about 7 to about 13, about 8 to about 12, about 9 to about 11, or about 10, moles of ethylene oxide therein. In still other embodiments, each arm may independently have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, or 25, moles of ethylene oxide therein. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0038] The tertiary amine may be a single compound or a combination of compounds. In various embodiments, the tertiary amine has a weight average molecular weight of less than about 3,400, 3,000, 2,750, 2,500, 2,250, 2,000, 1,750, 1,500, 1,250, 1,000, 750, 500, 250, or 125, g/mol, or any ranges thereof. Moreover, in various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0039] The tertiary amine may be any known in the art that meets the aforementioned description. In various embodiments, an amine ethoxylate (as one example of a tertiary amine) is commercially available from BASF asunder the tradename of Plurafac, e.g. Plurafac LF1430.

4

Weight Percents/Ratios of Various Components:

[0040] The surfactant component, alkyl alcohol, water, and tertiary amine are generally present in amounts within the weight ranges set forth above. However, in additional embodiments, these weight ranges may be narrower and/or specific weight ratios may be utilized. These weight ranges and/or ratios may be representative of embodiments that produce special, superior, and unexpected results, such as those demonstrated in the Examples. Relative to all of the paragraphs set forth immediately below, in various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0041] In various embodiments, the surfactant component is present in an amount of about 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, or 45, weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition, and the alkyl alcohol (such as ethanol) is present in an amount of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 , or 12, weight percent based on a total weight of the composition. In further embodiments, the tertiary amine is present in an amount of from about 12 to about 18, e.g. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18, weight percent actives based on a total weight of the composition. In such embodiments, water may be present in an amount of from about 10 to about 35 weight percent based on a total weight of the composition.

[0042] In other embodiments, a weight ratio of the actives of the surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine is about 42: (3 to 9) : (5 to 30). In other embodiments, a weight ratio of the actives of the surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine is about (40 to 45) : (3 to 9) : (5 to 30). In one embodiment, the ratio is about 42:6:12. In another embodiment, the ratio is about 42:6:18.

[0043] In other embodiments, the surfactant component, such as sodium laureth sulfate ethoxy lated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide, is a 70% actives, 30% water solution, the alkyl alcohol is ethanol, and the tertiary amine is as described above. In related embodiments, a weight ratio of the surfactant component (including water and actives) : ethanol : actives of the tertiary amine is about 60:6:12 or about 60:6: 18. In similar embodiments, the surfactant component has a viscosity of less than about 8,800 cps (e.g. less than or equal to about 8811 cps) or less than about 4800 (e.g. less than about 4769 cps) measured at 20°C. Again, for example, this viscosity can be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns.

[0044] In another embodiment, a weight ratio of the actives of the surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine is about 42: (3 to 9): (5 to 30), wherein the surfactant is sodium laureth sulfate, wherein the alkyl alcohol is ethanol, wherein the tertiary amine is as described above, and wherein the viscosity is less than about 8,800 or about 4,800 cps.

[0045] In a further embodiment, a weight ratio of the actives of the surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine is about 42: 6: 12, wherein the surfactant is sodium laureth sulfate, wherein the alkyl alcohol is ethanol, wherein the tertiary amine is as described above, and wherein the viscosity is less than about 8800 cps.

[0046] In another embodiment, a weight ratio of the actives of the surfactant component : alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine is about 42: 6: 18, wherein the surfactant is sodium laureth sulfate, wherein the alkyl alcohol is ethanol, wherein the tertiary amine is as described above, and wherein the viscosity is less than about 4,800 cps.

[0047] In still another embodiment, the tertiary amine is as described above and is present in an amount of about 12 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition.

[0048] In a further embodiment, the tertiary amine is as described above and is present in an amount of about 18 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition.

[0049] In another embodiment, the alcohol ethoxy sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate ethoxylated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide and is present in an amount of about 40 to about 45 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition.

[0050] In a further embodiment, the alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 6 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition.

[0051] In an additional embodiment, the alkyl alcohol is ethanol and is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 6 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition

[0052] In another embodiment, the alkyl alcohol is ethanol and wherein a weight ratio of the actives of the surfactant component : ethanol : actives of the tertiary amine is about 42: (3 to 9): (5 to 30).

[0053] In still another embodiment, the alkyl alcohol is ethanol and the tertiary amine is as described above.

[0054] In a further embodiment, the alcohol ethoxy sulfate is sodium laureth sulfate ethoxylated with about 2 to about 4 moles of ethylene oxide, wherein the alkyl alcohol is ethanol, and the tertiary amine is as described above.

[0055] In still other embodiments, the weight ratio of the alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine contributes to the superior and unexpected results associated with the instant disclosure. For example, the alkyl alcohol may be any described herein singularly or in combination with one another while the tertiary amine may be any described above. In various non-limiting embodiments, the weight ratio of the alkyl alcohol : actives of the tertiary amine is about (3 to 10) : (5 to 30), e.g. (3 to 9) : (5 to 30). For example, the first value may be about 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 or any fractional value therebetween. The second value may be about 5, 6, 7...28, 29, or 30, or any fractional value therebetween. In one embodiment, the weight ratio is about 6 : (12 to 18). In another embodiment, the weight ratio is about 6:12. In a further embodiment, the weight ratio is about 6: 18. These ratios may be considered and utilized independent of any amount of the actives of the surfactant component. Any and all weight ratios described in this specification may alternatively be utilized independently from the actives of the surfactant component.

[0056] In all of the aforementioned non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

Physical Properties:

[0057] Typically, compositions that include alcohol ethoxy sulfates and water have viscosity issues. However, the composition of the instant disclosure has decreased viscosity as compared to what would otherwise be expected. For example, the composition of this disclosure has a viscosity of less than about 10,000, 9,500, 9,000, 8,800, 8,500, 8,000, 7,500, 7,000, 6,500, 6,000, 5,500, 5,000, or 4,800, cps measured at 20°C. Again, this viscosity can be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. In various embodiments, the cone is part number 511406.901. However, the shear rate, time, temperature, geometry cone, values for degree:min:sec, and truncation gap may all vary and be chosen by one of skill in the art. For example, the shear rate may be measured as is set forth in the Examples and Figures. In various non-limiting embodiments, all values, both whole and fractional, between and including all of the above, are hereby expressly contemplated for use herein.

[0058] Although the viscosity of the composition is described above as being measured at 20°C, for example using an AR2000-EX Rheometer, the viscosity may be alternatively measured using other techniques. For example, the viscosity may be measured using a Brookfield viscometer and any one or more spindles, as is chosen by one of skill in the art. In various embodiments, the composition has one or more of the aforementioned viscosities measured using a DV2T Brookfield viscometer at 20 rpm and 70°F using spindle LV02(62).

[0059] Typically, a surfactant component such as sodium laureth sulfate (e.g. 70% actives in 30% water) has a viscosity of about 32,000 cps measured at 20°C. This viscosity may be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1 :59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. This is too thick/viscous to be commercially useful. If such a surfactant component is diluted with ethanol in a weight ratio of about 60: 12 of surfactant: ethanol, such a mixture typically has a viscosity of about 230 cps measured at 20°C. This viscosity may be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. However, such a mixture requires additional shipping and handling protections due to the amount of ethanol included therein. Furthermore, if such a mixture is created with less ethanol, e.g. in a weight ratio of 60:6 of surfactant: ethanol, such a mixture typically has a viscosity of about 18,000 cps measured at 20°C. This viscosity may be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1 :59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. This is again too thick/viscous to be commercially useful. Moreover, if such a surfactant component is diluted with a tertiary amine without ethanol in a weight ratio of about 60:12 of surfactanttertiary amine, such a mixture typically has a viscosity of about 34,000 cps measured at 20°C. This viscosity may be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. This is also too thick/viscous to be commercially useful. Accordingly, the surfactant composition of this disclosure provides particularly special unexpected results associated with minimized viscosity when the surfactant component is combined with the alkyl alcohol (such as ethanol), water, and the tertiary amine of this disclosure. This combination provides special and unexpected rheology controlling results that are superior to what would otherwise be expected by those of skill in the art.

[0060] In various embodiments, the tertiary amine surprisingly reduces the viscosity of the surfactant composition which allows for simple formulations to be produced, less alcohol to be used, less chemical waste to be generated, and decreased production costs to be realized. More specifically, the tertiary amine allows less of the alcohol to be used which enables more efficient and effective material handling and final product batching. The inclusion of the tertiary amine in the surfactant composition also creates a less expensive and more efficient method of introducing the tertiary amine into a final detergent product without the need of a dedicated ingredient tank, which reduces production costs and complexities. Moreover, the tertiary amine allows the surfactant composition to maintain a consistent low viscosity profile.

[0061] Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that by incorporating the tertiary amine as a rheology modifying agent, the surfactant composition shows a trend of changing the behavior of the fluids from non-Newtonian, when the rheology modifier is not added, to approximately Newtonian, when the rheology modifier is added. In other words, the present disclosure provides a surfactant composition with Newtonian or approximately Newtonian behavior upon inclusion of the rheology modifying agent.

Additional Embodiments:

[0062] This disclosure also provides a surfactant composition exhibiting approximate Newtonian behavior. The terminology “approximate Newtonian behavior” is as is understood by those of skill in the art, wherein Newtonian behavior is as described above. The surfactant composition includes the surfactant composition, alkyl alcohol, water, and the tertiary amine described above.

Method for Modifying Rheology of the Detergent Composition:

[0063] As first introduced above, this disclosure further provides a method for modifying rheology of the surfactant composition. The method includes the steps of providing the surfactant component, providing the alkyl alcohol, and providing the tertiary amine. The method also includes the step of combining the surfactant component, the alkyl alcohol, and the tertiary amine to form the surfactant composition. Upon formation, the surfactant component is present in an amount of from about 20 to about 80 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, the alkyl alcohol is present in an amount of from about 3 to about 10 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition, and the tertiary amine is present in an amount of about 5 to about 30 weight percent actives based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. Moreover, upon combination, the surfactant composition includes water present in a total amount of about 10 to about 35 weight percent based on a total weight of the surfactant composition. In the method, the surfactant composition has a viscosity of less than about 4,800 cps measured at 20°C. This viscosity may be measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1 :59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns.

EXAMPLES

[0064] The following compositions are formulated and evaluated to determine viscosity.

[0065] Composition 1 (comparative) is sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) as a 70% by weight actives mixture in 30% by weight water supplied as Steol CS270 by Stepan. The weight ratio of SLES:ethanol:tertiary amine is 100:0:0 by total weight.

[0066] Composition 2 (comparative) is 60 g of the aforementioned SLES (70% actives) combined with 12 g ethanol. The weight ratio of SLES: ethanol bertiary amine is 60: 12:0 by total weight. The weight ratio by actives is 42: 12:0.

[0067] Composition 3 (comparative) is 60 g of the aforementioned SLES (70% actives) combined with 12 g of the tertiary amine. The weight ratio of SLES: ethanol :tertiary amine is 60:0:12 by total weight. The weight ratio by actives is 42:0:12.

[0068] Composition 4 (inventive) is 60 g of the aforementioned SLES (70% actives) combined with 6 g ethanol and 12 g of the tertiary amine. The weight ratio of SLES: ethanol :tertiary amine is 60:6:12 by total weight. The weight ratio by actives is 42:6:12. [0069] Composition 5 (comparative) is 60 g of the aforementioned SLES (70% actives) combined with 6 g ethanol. The weight ratio of SLES:ethanol:tertiary amine is 60:6:0 by total weight. The weight ratio by actives is 42:6:0.

[0070] Composition 6 (inventive) is 60 g of the aforementioned SLES (70% actives) combined with 6 g ethanol and 18 g of the tertiary amine. The weight ratio of SLES: ethanol :tertiary amine is 60:6:18 by total weight. The weight ratio by actives is 42:6:18.

[0071] The tertiary amine is Plurafac LF1430, which is commercially available from BASF.

[0072] More specifically, these Compositions are evaluated using an AR2000-EX Rheometer, with a test method of increasing the shear rate from 0.41 to 10 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 (degree:min:sec), and a truncation gap of 52 microns (cone is part number 511406.901).

[0073] The measured viscosities are reported in Table 1 below and illustrated in Figure 1 wherein Compositions 1, 2, 3, and 5 (Comps. 1, 2, 3, and 5) are comparative and Compositions 4 and 6 (Comps. 4 and 6) are inventive and represent non-limiting embodiments of this disclosure.

TABLE 1

[0074] As shown in the data above, the addition of ethanol significantly reduces the rheology of SLES when the ratio is 60 parts SLES Blend A to 12 parts ethanol. This is represented by Composition 2. However, inclusion of this amount of ethanol requires that additional shipping and handling precautions be taken which increases commercial costs. Therefore, this composition is not commercially efficient.

[0075] When the ratio is 60 parts SLES Blend A to 6 parts Ethanol represented by Composition 5, the viscosity at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s is reduced from about 32,980 cP (Composition 1) to about 18,620 cP (Composition 5). This viscosity is still too high to be commercially useable and efficient.

[0076] When an additional 12 parts of the tertiary amine is utilized, represented by Composition 4, the viscosity drops from about 18,620 cP (Composition 5) to about 8,811 cP (Composition 4). As a benchmark, a currently available commercial product has a viscosity of about 2,400 cP measured using an AR2000-EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. Accordingly, Composition 4 represents an excellent performing product. [0077] When 18 total parts of the tertiary amine is utilized, represented by Composition 6, the viscosity drops from about 18,620 cP (Composition 5) to about 4,769 cP (Composition 6). Again, Composition 6 also represents an excellent performing product.

[0078] Therefore, the data associated with Compositions 3 and 5, shows that a blend of 60 parts (70% actives) SLES and 12 parts of the tertiary amine (Composition 3), without ethanol, and 60 parts (70% actives) SLES and 6 parts ethanol (Composition 5), without the tertiary amine, are each not as effective at reducing viscosity as a blend of 60 parts (70% actives) SLES and 12 parts tertiary amine and 6 parts ethanol (Composition 4) or as a blend of 60 parts (70% actives) SLES and 18 parts tertiary amine and 6 parts ethanol (Composition 6).

[0079] The data set forth above also demonstrates that comparative Compositions 1, 3, and 5 behave as non-Newtonian fluids, as evidenced by the viscosity measurements set forth in Table 1. Even with the addition of 6 g of ethanol, Composition 5 still acts as a non-Newtonian fluid. Only addition of 12 g of ethanol allows Formula 2 to behave in an approximately non-Newtonian fashion. Accordingly, one of skill in the art would not expect that using half the amount of ethanol, i.e., 6 g of ethanol, such as in Compositions 4 and 6, would allow these compositions to behave in an approximately non-Newtonian fashion. Again, this is evidenced by the viscosity measurements set forth in Table 1.

[0080] In sum, one of skill in the art would expect that the combination of the ethanol and the tertiary amine would not significantly reduce the viscosity of the compositions. This is especially true in view of the comparison of Comparative Compositions 2 and 5 with Inventive Compositions 4 and 6. Comparative Compositions 2 and 5 demonstrate that it requires about 12 g of ethanol to reduce the viscosity to useable levels. However, Inventive Compositions 4 and 6 show that through use of the tertiary amine, the viscosities of the Compositions are surprisingly reduced using only 6 g of ethanol. This is wholly unexpected. Moreover, and as explained above, it is also unexpected that use of the tertiary amine would allow the Compositions to behave in an approximately Newtonian manner thereby allowing for easier preparation, handling, and shipping of not only these Compositions but also of downstream compositions, such as detergent compositions. [0081] This data also shows that it was found that the addition of the tertiary amines into sodium laureth sulfate can reduce viscosity, enabling much easier handling. It was also found that blends of the tertiary amines and ethanol in sodium laureth sulfate can reduce the viscosity down to about 4769 to 8811 cP when measured using an AR2000- EX Rheometer at a shear rate of 1.08 1/s over 5 minutes at 20°C with a geometry cone of 40 mm, 1:59:49 degree:min:sec, and a truncation gap of 52 microns. This combination utilizes about half of the ethanol as comparative composition. For these reasons, the tertiary amines utilized herein can reduce the amount of ethanol needed to handle sodium laureth sulfate at commercial facilities thereby enabling safer material handling and final product batching. Also, the tertiary amines can be introduced into downstream products without the need of a dedicated ingredient tank because it can be introduced with the sodium laureth sulfate. Without intending to be bound by any theory, it is also believed that this tertiary amine may be particularly suitable for enhancing pac haptics and reducing water migration.

[0082] While at least one exemplary embodiment has been presented in the foregoing detailed description, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations exist. It should also be appreciated that the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments are only examples, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing an exemplary embodiment. It being understood that various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in an exemplary embodiment without departing from the scope as set forth in the appended claims.