Difference Between Dispersant and Surfactant l Dispersant vs Surfactant

The key difference between dispersant and surfactant is that the dispersant improves the separation of particles in a suspension whereas the surfactant is a substance that can lower the surface tension between two phases of matter.

A dispersant is a form of surfactant. But all surfactants are not dispersants. A surfactant can act as a detergent, wetting agent, emulsifier, foaming agent apart from acting as a dispersant. Usually, both of these are organic compounds.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Dispersant
3. What is Surfactant
4. Side by Side Comparison – Dispersant vs Surfactant in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What is Dispersant?

A dispersant is a liquid or gas used to disperse small particles in a medium. We call it “plasticizers” as well. There are two forms of them; non-surface active polymers and surface active substances. We add these substances into a suspension in order to avoid the formation of clusters of particles. This improves the separation of particles in order to avoid the cluster formation. Moreover, this process prevents the particles from settling. Most of the times, a dispersant is consist of one or more surfactant substances.

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