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Nonionic surfactants

Oxiteno’s ALKEST® TW line of polysorbates are mild, nonionic surfactants comprised of polyethoxylated esters of 3,6-sorbitan. Being derived mainly from natural materials, many of these versatile surfactants are water-soluble products that are used as emulsifiers, solubilizers, wetting agents, and dispersants throughout the food, cosmetics, and personal care industries.

These surfactants consist primarily of partial fatty acid esters (oleate, stearate or laurate) of sorbitol-derived cyclic ethers (sorbitans and sorbides) polymerized with approximately 20 molecules of ethylene oxide per molecule of polysorbate.


Oxiteno offers an array of options that can be sourced from non-GMO and RSPO certified materials, including oleic acid (Polysorbate-80), lauric acid (Polysorbate-20), and stearic acid (Polysorbate-60). The physical state of these various polysorbates range from semi-solid (Polysorbate-60) to viscous liquids (Polysorbate-80 and -20), which allows the chemist variability during the formulation process.

Other distinctions between these products include their unique hydrophilic-lipophilic balances (HLB) which range from 14.9-to-16.7 (Polysorbate 60 and 20, respectively). This HLB value can be a critical tool to begin preliminary assessments for an oil-in-water emulsification. However, when used in combination with Oxiteno’s line of compatible and low-HLB sorbitan esters (ALKEST® SP series), a vast assortment of formulation possibilities is now achievable, ranging from water-in-oil to oil-in-water emulsifications.


  • Textiles;
  • Plastics & Polymers;
  • Silicone emulsions;
  • Leathers;
  • Water treatment;
  • Mining;
  • Packaging.