Alkyl polyglycoside

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General chemical structure of an alkyl polyglucoside, a common form of alkyl polyglycoside.

Alkyl polyglycosides (APGs) are a class of non-ionic surfactants widely used in a variety of household and industrial applications. They are derived from sugars, usually glucose derivatives, and fatty alcohols.[1] The raw materials for industrial manufacture are typically starch and fat, and the final products are typically complex mixtures of compounds with different sugars comprising the hydrophilic end and alkyl groups of variable length comprising the hydrophobic end.[2] When derived from glucose, they are known as alkyl polyglucosides.


APGs are used to enhance the formation of foams in detergents for dishwashing and for delicate fabrics. In addition to their favorable foaming properties, they are attractive because they are biodegradable.[3]


Alkyl glycosides are produced by combining a sugar such as glucose with a fatty alcohol in the presence of acid catalysts at elevated temperatures.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b Karlheinz Hill; Wolfgang von Rybinski; Gerhard Stoll, eds. (2008). Alkyl Polyglycosides. Wiley-VCH. ISBN 978-3-527-61468-4. 
  2. ^ Iglauer, S. and Wu, Y. and Shuler, P. and Tang, Y. and Goddard, William A., III (2010). "Analysis of the Influence of Alkyl Polyglycoside Surfactant and Cosolvent Structure on Interfacial Tension in Aqueous Formulations versus n-Octane". Tenside Surfactants Detergents. 47 (2): 87–97. 
  3. ^ W von Rybinski; K Hill (1998). "Alkyl Polyglycosides—Properties and Applications of a new Class of Surfactants". Angewandte Chemie International. 37 (10): 1328–1345. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1521-3773(19980605)37:10<1328::AID-ANIE1328>3.0.CO;2-9. 
  4. ^ Vishal Y. Joshi, Manohar R. Sawant, Novel stereo controlled glycosylation of 1,2,3,4,6-penta-o-acetyl-b-D-glucopyranoside using MgO–ZrO2 as an environmentally benign catalyst, Catalysis Communications 8 (2007) 1910–1916