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Surface and interface:

• Surface: the boundary between “liquid & gas” or “solid & gas”.
• Interface: the boundary between “solid & solid”, “liquid & liquid” or “solid &
Surface tension (γ):
• It is the force “in dyne” acting along the surface of the liquid at any line 1 cm in
• Unit: dyne /cm.
𝑊 𝑒𝑟𝑔 𝑑𝑦𝑛𝑒
𝛾= = =
∆𝐴 𝑐𝑚2 𝑐𝑚

There are two types of forces (adhesion and cohesion forces):

• Adhesion forces: are the forces which act between different molecules.
• Cohesion forces: are the forces which act between similar molecules.

Factors affecting the surface tension:

1. Chemical nature of liquid:
• Each liquid has different surface tension because each liquid has different
2. Temperature:
• ↑ temperature → ↓ viscosity → ↓ surface tension.
3. Presence of solutes:
• Addition of ionic solutes e.g. NaCl → ↑ surface tension.
• Addition of non-ionic solutes e.g. amine soaps → ↓ surface tension.
➢ Non-ionic solutes are adsorbed “more concentrated” at the liquid surface.

Methods for measuring surface and interfacial tension:

1. Capillary rise method:
Two opposing forces occur:
• Upward force (due to surface tension) → liquid rises in the tube.
• Downward force (gravity force) → depression of liquid.
𝛾 = ½ r h ρ g (dyne /cm)

• r = radius of capillary tube
• h = the height of the liquid in the capillary tube
• ρ = the density of the liquid
• g = acceleration due to gravity

2. Stalagmometer:
Standard method (drop number method):
• Surface tension of water = 72.8 dyne/cm
𝛾1 𝑛2
𝛾2 𝑛1
Drop weight method:
𝑚𝑔 = 2𝜋𝑟 𝛾

3. Ring method (tensiometer):

𝑚𝑔 = 2𝜋(𝑟1 + 𝑟2 ) 𝛾

• They have the ability to concentrate at the surface of liquid and reduce the
surface tension and therefore termed surface-active agents (SAA).

Hydrophilic lipophilic Balance (HLB):

• HLB: is a relative balance between the hydrophilic portion of surfactant
molecules to its lipophilic portion.
• The higher the HLB of a surfactant, the more hydrophilic it is.
➢ Spans having low HLB are lipophilic & can be used as W/O emulsifiers.
➢ Tweens having high HLB are hydrophilic & can be used as O/W emulsifiers.

Classification of Surface Active Agents:
1. Anionic surfactants:
• The active part is anion.
➢ Soaps (sodium stearate C17H35COO Na), Sodium dodecyl sulfate & Sulfonic acid
2. Cationic surfactants:
• The active part is cation.
➢ quaternary ammonium compounds & simple amine salts.
3. Non-ionic surfactants:
• The active part is the whole molecule.
➢ Tweens & Spans.
4. Ampholytic surfactants:
➢ dodecyl-β alanine.

• it is the concentration of the solute at the surface layer of liquid or at the
interface between different immiscible liquids.
• Adsorbent: e.g. kaolin, activated charcoal, silica gel & resins.
• Adsorbate: e.g. oxalic acid.
Types of adsorption:
Physical adsorption (Physisorption) Chemical adsorption (Chemisorption)
The adsorbate is attached to the The adsorbate is attached to the
adsorbent through weak Van der adsorbent by primary chemical bonds
Waals forces. e.g. H – bonding, ionic bonds.
Reversible. Irreversible.
Low heat of adsorption: < 10 KJ/mol. High heat of adsorption: > 20 KJ/mol.
Exothermic. Endothermic or exothermic.
It does not occur at a temperature It can occur at higher temperatures.
higher than the boiling point of
Forms multilayers. Forms monolayer.

Applications of adsorption:
1. Decolorizing agent: e.g. charcoal is used to remove the yellow color of sugar.
2. Deodorizing agent: e.g. charcoal is used to remove the bad or undesirable odor.
3. Adsorption of toxins (antidote): e.g. kaolin & charcoal are used to adsorb GIT
4. Drying agents: e.g. water is strongly adsorbed by silica gel or alumina.
5. Adsorption chromatography: for separation of different substances.

Adsorption isotherms:
1. Freundlich adsorption isotherms:
𝑥 1
log 𝑌 = log = log 𝐾 + log 𝑃
𝑚 𝑛
x: mass of adsorbate.
m: mass of adsorbent.
Y: mass of gas adsorbed “adsorbate” per gram of adsorbent.
P: the pressure of gas.

2. Langmuir adsorption isotherms:

𝑃 1 𝑃
= +
𝑌 𝑏 𝑌𝑚 𝑌𝑚