Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) is now the world’s largest-volume synthetic surfactant, which includes the various salts of sulfonated alkylbenzenes. It’s widely used in household detergents as well as numerous industrial applications.

LABSA is an anionic surfactant, with molecules belonging to a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic group. This is a nonvolatile chemical compound, synthesized through the process of sulfonation. The sulfonation process includes reagents like sulfuric acid, chlorosulfonic acid, sulfamic acid, and diluted sulfur trioxide.

The starting material LAB (linear alkylbenzene) is a product of the alkylation of benzene with n-paraffins. The catalyst is either hydrogen fluoride (HF) or aluminum chloride (AICI3). LAS is further produced by the sulfonation of LAB with oleum in batch reactors.