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Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate (ABS)

Alkylbenzene sulfonates are a class of anionic surfactants, consisting of a hydrophilic sulfonate head-group and a hydrophobic alkylbenzene tail-group. Along with sodium laureth sulfate they are one of the oldest and most widely used synthetic detergents and may be found in numerous personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.) and household-care products (laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, spray cleaner etc.).


  • They were first introduced in the 1930s in the form of branched alkylbenzene sulfonates (BAS). However following environmental concerns these were replaced with linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) during the 1960s.
  • Since then production has increased significantly from about 1 million tons in 1980, to around 3.5 million tons in 2016, making them most produced anionic surfactant after soaps.