Walmart speeds up delivery in race with Amazon

Retail colossus Walmart on Tuesday began offering free next-day deliveries of online purchases, aiming to counter rival Amazon in the race to get orders to consumer doorsteps.

Everyday enzymes, now grown in plants

The jeans you wear, the orange juice you drink, the laundry detergent you use: None would be possible without the activity of enzymes. Currently the enzymes used in industry are produced through an expensive, laborious process, ...

A splash of detergent makes catalytic compounds more powerful

Researcher David Rosenberg examines images of a white powder under a powerful scanning electron microscope. Up close, the powder looks like coarse gravel, a heap of similar but irregular chunks. Then he looks at a second ...

Panning for silver in laundry wastewater

Silver nanoparticles are being used in clothing for their anti-odor abilities but some of this silver comes off when the clothes are laundered. The wastewater from this process could end up in the environment, possibly harming ...

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Detergent

A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with "cleaning properties in dilute solutions." In common usage, "detergent" refers to alkylbenzenesulfonates, a family of compounds that are similar to soap but are less affected by hard water. In most household contexts, the term detergent by itself refers specifically to laundry detergent or dish detergent, as opposed to hand soap or other types of cleaning agents. Detergents are commonly available as powders or concentrated solutions. Detergents work because they are amphiphilic - partly hydrophilic (polar) and partly hydrophobic (non-polar). Their dual nature facilitates the mixture of hydrophobic compounds (like oil and grease) with water. Because air is not hydrophillic, detergents are also foaming agents to varying degrees. Completely non-polar solvents known as degreasers can also remove hydrophobic contaminants but may not dissolve in water because of a lack of polar elements.

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