Surfactants are molecules that contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic groups, usually in the form of a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. Surfactants are used in detergents where they can form micelles around hydrophobic dirt molecules and wash them away. Triton X-100 is a surfactant with a hydrophilic polyethylene oxide chain that can be separated on a Primesep D reverse-phase HPLC column based on the number of oxide units in the chain. The mobile phase is water, acetonitrile (MeCN, ACN) and sulfuric acid as buffer. UV detection at 210nm.
Triton X-100 is a non-ionic surfactant which has a hydrophilic polyethylene oxide group (on average it has 9.5 ethylene oxide units), and a hydrocarbon lipophilic or hydrophobic group. Obelisc N HPLC columns are used to separate oligomers of Triton X-100. Separation is achieved by hydrophilic interaction chromatography. This method can be used in determination of oligomers of Triton X-100 in detergents, liquid, paste, and powdered cleaning formulations. This separation can be monitored with almost any detection technique (ultra-violet, ELSD, LC/MS, RI, CAD, etc.)