What are detergents? What change has been made in detergents to make them easily bio-degradable? Explain the cleansing action of detergents.
(i) Detergents are sodium salt of a long chain benzene sulphonic acid, which has cleansing properties in water. The detergents are prepared from linear hydrocarbons to make them easily biodegradable.
(ii) The detergent entraps the dirt particles by attaching the hydrocarbon part of detergent to the greasy or oily particles. These greasy dirt particles then get dispersed in water and the cloth gets cleaned.