Surfactants for particulate soil removal in dry-cleaning with high-pressure carbon dioxide

M. J.E. Van Roosmalen*, G. F. Woerlee, G. J. Witkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The removal of particulate soils from textile in dry-cleaning with CO 2 is insufficient compared to perchloroethylene (PER). Especially the removal of relatively small particles (<20 μm) poses a problem. Various anionic and amine based surfactants have been investigated to enhance the removal of particulate, but also of non-particulate soils in dry-cleaning with high-pressure CO2. The cleaning performance index for relatively small particulate soil (CPIpart) increased from 24% (when no surfactants were used) to a maximum of 51% (when surfactants were used), which shows that particle removal is possible in CO2 dry-cleaning. The use of these surfactants, however, does not bring particle removal up to the level of PER (CPIpart of 68%). The removal of non-particulate soils in CO2 with water, surfactant and co-solvent is better than in PER. The overall results using the investigated surfactants are promising; the overall result increases from 70% (when no surfactants are used) to 87% (when surfactants are used) compared to the level when using PER. Surfactant particles were formed in all experiments. In the case of the amines, these particles may be formed by reaction. The formed charged surfactant particles are probably responsible for the removal of the soil particles from the textile. The charged surfactant particles may adhere to the soil particles and/or fabric, thereby establishing an element of repulsion and/or a steric barrier. The use of a co-solvent (iso-propanol) had a positive effect on the removal of particulate and non-particulate soils when using amines. However, when anionic surfactants were used, the addition of a co-solvent had a pronounced negative effect on particulate soil removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the Ministry of Economic Affairs; The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment; and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the financial support of the project EET K98044.


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Co-solvent
  • Dry-cleaning
  • Particulate soil
  • Surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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