Abstract This work evaluates some surfactant properties of Balanites aegyptiaca roots and back. Percentage crude extract yield of 73 and 69.1 % was obtained for the roots and bark respectively. The crude extracts were characterized using fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and the absorption bands indicates the presence of saponins (with widely reported surfactant activities) in the extracts. The foam capacity of these extracts and the surface tension of their solutions were investigated, and these properties were compared with those of a commercial surfactant OMO (a detergent, product of Lever Brothers Nigeria). The extracts exhibits better foam capability compared to the commercial surfactant, while the surface tension of their solutions are only comparable with that of the commercial surfactant at low concentration. Further purification and modifications may however improve the lagging properties of the crude surfactant, thereby presenting it as a sustainable source of an environmental friendly raw material for the surfactant industries.
Keywords Balanites aegyptiaca, saponin-base surfactant, foam production, surface Tension