ASTM-D4251 Standard Test Method for Active Matter in Anionic Surfactants by Potentiometric Titration

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Standard Test Method for Active Matter in Anionic Surfactants by Potentiometric Titration



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1.1 This test method describes a potentiometric titration procedure for determining the anionic active matter in detergents. It is intended for the analysis of anionic surfactants such as detergent range alkylbenzenesulfonates, α-olefin sulfonates, alcohol sulfates, and alcohol ethosulfates. It has not been tested for surfactant formulations.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Material Safety Data Sheets are available for reagents and materials. Review them for hazards prior to usage.

(A) Methylene blue method.
(B) Mixed indicator method.

Significance and Use

5.1 Anionic surfactants are the most widely used of the synthetic detergents. ASTM methods in current use for their determination involve two-phase aqueous/chloroform titrations with the organic dyes methylene blue (Test Method D1681) or disulphine blue/dimidium bromide (Test Method D3049) as indicators. One advantage of the potentiometric method is that it eliminates the use of chloroform whose use is restricted for environmental and toxicological reasons.

5.2 This test method is intended for use as described in 1.1.


active matter; anionic surfactants; titration ;; ICS Number Code 71.100.40 (Surface active agents)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

15.04 (Soaps and Other Detergents; Polishes; Leather; Resilient Floor Coverings)

To find similar documents by classification:

71.100.40 (Surface active agents)

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Document Number


Revision Level

1989 R16 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Aug. 15, 2016

Document Type

Test Method

Page Count

4 pages

Committee Number