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' Patented use. 24, 1
2,412,944 '
-mirnon or rnonucmo a DETERGENT
Frederick c. Bersworth, Verona, N. .1.
No Drawing. Application June 9, 1944,
Serial No. 539.595 '
' 2 Claims.
(01. 252-117)
This invention relates to detergent comp'osi- ;
tions and more particularly to detergent compo
sitions suitable for use in hard, saline, and hard
saline water, and is an improvement invention
of the invention described'and claimed in co 5
pending application Serial No. 539,595, ?led June
9, 1944, which application is assigned to the same
solution is also miscible in all proportions with
alkali metal-fatty acid soap compounds to form
a plurality of detergent compositions that are
also suitable for use in hard water'of various de
grees of hardness, in water containing strong
neutral electrolytes, and in hard-saline water,
such as seasvater.
As a speci?c embodiment of this invention, but
assignee as the present invention.
not as a limitation thereof, the invention will be
One of the objects of the present invention
is to provide a detergent composition for use in 10 described as it has been adapted to the forma;
tion of a detergent composition consisting of an
hard, saline, and hard-saline water.‘
equilibrium mixture of an acid-alkali metal salt
Another object is to provide a composition hav
of ethylene diamine tetracarboxylic acid and the
ing detergent and deionization properties for use
alkali metal salt of stearlcacid. In this example
alone or in combination with alkali metal-fatty
acid soap compounds in hard, saline and hard 15' an aqueous solution of the tetrasodium salt of
saline water.
ethylene diamine tetracarboxylic acid contain
ing one molar weight (or 380 grams) in 3% liters
of water (3500 c; c.) having 9. PH of about 10.5 is
agent‘ compatible with alkali metal-fatty acid
digested under a re?ux condenser with 11/2 molar
soap compounds in aqueous solutions.
Other objects will be apparent as the invention 20 weights (427.5 grams) of stearic acid, at elevated
Still another object is to provide a deionlzation
' ‘
is more fully hereinafter disclosed.
In accordance with the disclosure of my co
pending application Serial No. 539,595, above
noted, I have discovered that the only alkali
temperatures approximating the boiling point of
the solution for an extended time interval until
the pH of the solution approximates 8. The re
sulting solution is ?ltered while hot, to remove
metal salts utillzable as deionization agents and 25 therefrom any unsaponi?ed fatty acid, and then
electrolyte-carrying agents with alkali metal
fatty acid soap compounds in aqueous solutions
are the acid-alkali metal salts of the aliphatic
is cooled to atmospheric temperatures. At atmos~
pheric temperatures the solution solidi?es to a
substantially transparent jelly which is 'com
amino , polycarboxylic acids, particularly those
pletely soluble in cold or warm water.
To materially shorten the time interval of heat
amino acids containing more than two carboxylic
acid groups attached directly to amino nitrogens,
such as the acid-alkali metal salts of ethylene
diamine tetracarboxylic acid which in molar
weight aqueous solution have a PH between 7 and
9.5, preferably those having a pH of approxi
ms to obtain the saponi?cation ofthe stearic
acid by the free alkali present in the aqueous
solution of the tetra salt, the solution may be
heated in an autoclave under a pressure of steam
35 approximating 20 pounds.
The chemical reaction involved in this process
is essentially one of saponi?cation of the stearic
In accordance with the present invention 1 form
acid by the caustic alkali set free in aqueous so
a detergent composition consisting of an equilib
lution by ionization of the tetrasodium salt of
rium mixture of the acid-alkali metal salt of the
amino acid, particularly ‘ethylene dianiine tetra 40 the amino acid. This salt in aqueous solution has
a pH of about 10.5 and, in accordance with my
carboxylic acid, and a mono-basic fatty soap acid,
experiments, the tetra salt in aqueous solutions
such as stearic acid, in aqueous solution having
of about this concentration hydrolyzes with lib
a pH within the range '7‘to 9.5 but preferably
eration of two molecules of caustic alkali per
approximating a pH of about 8, by saponifying the
fatty acid in an aqueous solution of the tetra 45 molecule of tetra salt present. Stearic acid, in
an amount somewhat in excess of that approxi
alkali metal salt of the amino-acid until the pH
mately suihcient to combine with one of the mole
of the solution approximatesv 8 or is within the
mately 8,
. ‘
-. cules of caustic alkali liberated by the tetra salt,
This equilibrium solution of amino acid, fatty
is preferably employed, to shorten the time in
acid and caustic alkali, having a pH of about 8, 50 terval of heating required to obtain, by saponi?
is a detergent composition suitable for use in hard
cation of the stearic acid, a lowering of the pH
water of various degrees of hardness, in water
of the solution to the desired ?gure of pH 8 with
containing neutral electrolytes such as sodium
in the range 7 ‘to 9.5.
chloride or sodium sulfate, and also in hard-saline
The saponi?cation reaction proceeds to an equi
water such as sea water. The said equilibrium 55 librium composition consisting essentially oi the
range 7 to 9.5.
~ acid-trisodium salt of the amino acid and the
sodium salt of the fatty acid in aqueous solution
at a pH of about 8. Lower and higher pH equi
librium solutions may be obtained by appropri
ate variations in the relative percentages of the
tetra salt and fatty acid, and by variations in
reaction time and reaction pressures, as one v
skilled in the art may perceive.
water soluble alkali metal salts of the fatty acid,
thereby lowering the pH of the solution to with
in the range 7 to 9.5 and preferably to a pH of
about 8. The precise amount of fatty acid re
quired to obtain this desired result will vary with
respect to variation in the amount of free alkali
liberated by the amino acid salt in aqueous so
lution, or present in the solution in addition
Alternatively, I may form substantially the
same detergent composition by digesting at ele 10 In place of a soap fatty acid, I may also em
vated temperatures, one molar weight of the
- ploy a large number of other organic acids, such
amino acid and 11/2 molar weights of the stearic
as the di-basic acids and poly-basic acids to neu
acid in an aqueous caustic alkali solution of the
tralize the free alkali of the solution and to ob
same approximate volume containing about 4
tain Various equilibrium mixtures having a pH
molar weights of caustic alkali (NaOH), until a
within the range speci?ed which, while not nec
solution having a pH of approximately 8 is ob
essarily being detergent compositions, are mis
cible in all proportions with alkali metal-fatty
The detergent composition obtained by the
acid soap compounds to form a detergent compo~
practice of the above disclosed method is miscible
sition containing the deionizing and electrolyte
in all proportions with alkali metal-fatty acid
carrying acid-alkali metal aliphatic polycarbox
soap compounds to form detergent compositions
ylic acid complex of the present‘invention and of
suitable for use in a plurality of different types
the invention of my co-pending application Be
and kinds of hard waters, electrolyte-carrying
rial No. 539,595, above identi?ed.
waters and in hard-saline waters.
Having hereinabove described the present in
As an illustration, in accordance with usual 25 vention generically and speci?cally and given one
laundry practice a soap solution containing 10
speci?c example of the same, it is believed ap
to 15% alkali metal-fatty acid soap compounds
parent that the same may be widely varied with
is usually employed to which soap solution vari
out essential departure therefrom and all such
ous water softening agents in proportion to the
modi?cations and adaptations of the same are
hardness of the water being used may be added 30 contemplated as may fall within the scope of the
to form a stock soap solution. In accordance with
the present invention, from 5 to 10% (dry weight)
of the detergent composition of the above spe
ci?c example, based on the weight of the soap
compounds present in the soap solution, is added
to the soap solution for use with medium to hard
water; from 10 to 15% of the composition is
added for use with hard to very hard water and
following claims:
What I claim is:
1. The method of forming an aqueous solution
containing about one molar weight of the tri
sodium salt of ethylene diamine tetracarboxylic
acid and about 1 molar- weight of the sodium
salt of stearic acid which comprises dissolving
_ about one molar weight of the tetrasodium salt
with water containing moderate amounts of elec
of the said amino acid in a volume of water, add
trolytes; and from 15 to 25% of the composition 40 ing thereto about 11/2 molar weights of stearic
is added for extremely hard water or for water
acid, and heating the solution for an extended
containing relatively large amounts of electro
time interval until the pH of the solution is sta
' lytes and for hard-saline water, such as sea wa
bilized at a pH of about 8, and ?ltering the so
lution while hot to remove the excess stearic acid
The addition of the detergent composition of
present therein.
the present invention to soap solutions or to solid
' 2. The method of producing a detergent com
and liquid soap compounds presents no particu
position consisting of a water soluble mixture of
lar problem as the detergent is miscible in all
an acid alkali metal salt of an aliphatic amino
proportions with such soap compounds. In gen
polycarboxylic acid having more than two car
eral, identically the same practice as has here 50 boxylic acid groups attached directly to amino
tofore been followed in the soap art is followed in
nitrogens with at least one of the carboxylic groups
the forming of bar, ?ake, powder, or liquid soap
in excess of two unneutralized by alkali metal
compositions including the detergent composi
and an alkali metal salt of a monobasic fatty
tion of the present invention or in the forming
soap acid, which comprises forming an aqueous
of concentrated aqueous soap solutions.
solution of the fully neutralized alkali metal salt
In the adaptation of the present invention to
of said amino acid, adding thereto the mono
the forming of detergent compositions consisting
basic fatty soap acid in such an amount required
of a mixture of the acid-alkali metal salts of any
to combine with at least one of the alkali metal
of the other aliphatic amino polycarboxylic acids
ions of each molecule of the salt of said amino
heretofore recognized in the art as strong de 60 acid and to lower the pH of the solution to a
ionizing agents and the alkali metal salt of a. soap
pH within the range '7 and 9.5, heating the so
fatty acid, substantially the same procedure is
lution for an extended time interval to solubilize
followed as hereinabove described, namely thev the mono-basic fatty soap acid as the alkali metal
aqueous solution of the fully neutralized salt of - salt of mono-basic fatty soap acid, and ?ltering
the amino acid is digested with the said fatty soap 65 the solution while hot to remove the excess mono
vacid until the free alkali‘content of the aqueous
basic fatty soap acid present therein.
solution has been substantially removed there
from by reaction with the said fatty acid to form
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