Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 28  September 2016 p.  387-392
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2016.2803.15

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE ECOTOXICITY OF PALM-BASED METHYL ESTER SULPHONATES (MES) TO TILAPIA AND Daphnia magna

Author(s): RAZMAH, G*; SITI AFIDA, I*; ZULINA, A M*; NOORAZAH, Z* and HAZIMAH, A H*

Methyl ester sulphonates (MES) is a surfactant derived from plant resources, suitable as active ingredient in detergents. MES possesses good surface-active properties, good detergency and tolerant to water hardness. In this study, the ecotoxicity of MES was evaluated through the 48 hr Daphnia magna immobilisation test and the 96 hr fish acute toxicity test with Tilapia. MES samples with different alkyl chain lengths (C14, C16 and C16:18) produced by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and commercial MES (C16:18) were tested. Results from all tests indicated that Daphnia was more sensitive to toxic effects from MES than was Tilapia. There is also significant difference in ecotoxicity responses for palm-based MES of various chain lengths regardless of the species tested. The ecotoxicity increased as the hydrophobicity of the MES increased due to increase of alkyl chain length. However, less than 30% of MES is used in detergent products and will not pose environmental effects on aquatic organisms. MES is therefore suitable for environmental compatible cleaning products in view of its ecotoxicity that is on par to the widely used anionic surfactants, such as linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS). The use of MES in cleaning products may help the industry to fulfil its social responsibility to a cleaner and better environment.

Keywords: , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
E-mail: razmah@mpob.gov.my


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