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Uses of Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB)

Published Date : October 11, 2018


Linear alkyl benzene is also referred to as LAB and is a flammable, relatively non-toxic compound. It has been prevalently used as a precursor of various bio degradable detergents. It is the intermediate compound generated during the production of surfactants that are used in detergents. Linear alkyl benzene has been used for the production of linear alkyl benzene sulfonate. The alkyl benzene sulfonate compounds are the basic raw materials used for the preparation of detergents.

Synthesis of Linear Alkyl Benzene:

LAB’s are synthesized by the reaction of linear mono olefins with benzene in the presence of a catalyst. The linear mono olefins are produced by the oligomerization process of ethylene. The alternate way to produce linear olefins is through the conversion of hydro treated kerosene to linear mono olefins. The hydro treated kerosene is typically employed as a feed stock for high purity linear paraffins (n-paraffins). The catalysts used in the manufacture process encompass aluminium chloride and hydrogen fluoride. These catalysts aid in the alkylation of benzene with linear mono olefins.

Detrimental aftermath for the usage of inappropriate catalyst:

Amendment of Clean Air act has subsequently debased the production route implicating the usage of hydrogen fluoride. Hydrogen fluoride’s usage has been attributed with discredit towards the release of poisonous gas. However, the commercial production of route encompassing hydrogen fluoride was once said to have yield bountiful benefactors. Nowadays, the usage of solid catalyst system has propelled the production rate through the elimination of catalyst neutralization and hydrogen fluoride release.


Linear alkyl benzene compounds are either delivered directly to the end users or they are converted to linear alkyl benzene sulfonate. LAB’s have various applications scattered in a wide number of fields. Properties like high light yield, transparency, high flash point and low radioactive impurities patronize the usage of linear alkyl benzenes in neutrino detectors. The various other applications include agricultural herbicides, wetting agents, ink solvents, electric cable oil, emulsion polymerization and paint industry. The bid degradability of linear alkyl benzene sulphonic acid procured from linear alkyl benzene has been pondered influential in terms of growth for the usage. Cleaners demand the usage of linear alkyl benzenes. Products that incorporate the usage of LAB’s in the cleaning sector entail laundry powders, house hold cleaners, heavy duty laundry liquids, light-duty dish washing liquids and industrial cleaners.

Environmental concern:

Numerous environmental assessment procedures conducted over the years have extolled the safeness for the usage of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) compounds. Hence, they are pondered risk free for the environment and human health.