Hydrotropic agents are substances that modify the solubility of chemical compounds in water.
They increase the solubility of insoluble substances in water. Hydrotrope molecules are amphiphilic in nature, which means that hydrophilic and hydrophobic fragments are present in each molecule. They are capable of forming micelles above a certain concentration, called the minimum hydrotropic concentration. Their structure and properties are similar to those of surfactants, but they differ from them in the length of a hydrophobic tail, which is shorter in hydrotropes.
The main functions of hydrophobic agents include:
preventing precipitation of components from detergent formulations at low temperatures,
reducing viscosity due to micelle destabilisation in products having high surfactant concentrations,
reducing hygroscopicity in cosmetics and powder detergents.
Hydrotropic agents are used in the cosmetics industry, as well as in the production of detergents and cleaning agents.
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