Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 16 No. 1, June 2004, p. 39-44 RAZMAH Ghazali* ; SALMIAH Ahmad*
The biodegradability of palm stearin-based methyl ester sulphonates (MES) was studied and compared with that of linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS). Palm-based MES was readily biodegradable, degrading faster than LAS. The length of its carbon chain affected its biodegradability – the longer the chain, the lower the biodegradability. The acute fish toxicity of palm-based MES was determined using Tilapia nilotica (a local fish) and compared with LAS and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). The toxicity of MES was found to be comparable to those surfactants. The acute toxicity of MES increased with its carbon chain length. Palm-based MES ‘s biodegradability and acute fish toxicity are comparable to or better than the current high volume anionic surfactants and can provide for their replacement in the future.KEYWORDS:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
P. O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.