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Non-Ionic Surfactants

In 1992, we commissioned the first BUSS-Loop® Reactor for the production of non-ionic surfactants in Germany. Since then, a significant portion of the world’s non-ionic surfactants are produced with BUSS ChemTech Alkoxylation Technology.

Over several years in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, we invested (internally and externally) in the development of a process technology to handle the demanding reactions with ethylene oxide.

We ended up modifying the (then) current loop reactor, developed a modular process design, and a completely new safety concept based on experimental results. The patented Advanced BUSS-Loop® Reactor Technology was the result.

In the three decades that have followed, we have gained extensive experience  in the production of myriad non-ionic surfactants including derivatives of fatty-alcohols, -acids, -amines and -esters, alkyl phenols, castor oil, sorbitan esters, and many other  specialties.


Dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA) is a clear, almost colorless liquid with a characteristic, amine-like odor. It has a boiling point of 135°C and is soluble in water, benzene and many other organic solvents.

DMAPA is an important intermediate for the production of betaines, which find a use as co-tensides for body care products like shampoo and washing lotion and as dishwashing detergents. Because of the increasing consumption of personal care products in the growing middle class of many countries an increasing market demand for DMAPA can be expected in the coming years.

DMAPA is commonly produced commercially in two steps via the reaction of dimethylamine (DMA) with acrylonitrile (cyanoethylation) to dimethylaminopropionitrile followed by the catalytic hydrogenation of the nitrile to yield the product DMAPA.

BUSS ChemTech has developed an efficient process to produce DMAPA from dimethylamine and acrylonitrile based on BUSS-Loop® Reactor technology, which is applied in both reaction steps.

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Gianluca Premoli

Business Manager Reaction Technology

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Our first reactor based on our patented design was delivered in 1992. Since then, we have gained experience with hundreds of non-ionic surfactants.


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