Adsorption of whitening agents on cellulose fibers - Monitored by streaming potential measurements, calorimetry and fluorescence

Karin Stana Kleinschek, Ciril Pohar, Volker Ribitsch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluorescent whitening agents (FWA) are used to improve the whiteness of cellulose fabrics. It is well known but not completely understood that the fluorescence decreases (chemical and physical mechanisms of distinguishing) above a certain FWA concentration ccrit. This reduction of fluorescence correlates very well with the alteration of the adsorption process studied by calorimetry and zeta potential measurements. The results obtained by these methods indicate that the adsorption mechanism is different at concentrations below and above ccrit. The reduction of the intensity of fluorescence, the degree of whiteness and the zeta potential are caused by the adsorption of a second layer of fluorescent whitening agents. This second layer reduces the zeta potential due to a shielding effect and reduces the whiteness and fluorescence by a bathochromic shift of the reflection curves. The final effect is a reduction of the total reflection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1178
Number of pages5
JournalColloid & Polymer Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • adsorption
  • calorimetry
  • Cotton fibers
  • degree of whiteness
  • dye
  • fluorescence
  • zeta potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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