NP-40 (also known as Tergitol-type NP-40 and nonyl phenoxypolyethoxylethanol[1]) is a commercially available detergent with CAS Registry Number 9016-45-9. NP-40 is an ethoxylated nonylphenol for non-ionic surfactants and can act as emulsifier and demulsifier agent.

Other names
Polyethylene glycol nonylphenyl ether; Nonyl phenoxypolyethoxylethanol; Nonoxynol-40
3D model (JSmol)
EC Number
  • 500-024-6
UN number 3082
Molar mass Variable
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Care should be taken to avoid confusing NP-40 with Nonidet P-40 (octyl phenoxypolyethoxylethanol) which is currently out of production. Nonidet P-40 ("Non-Ionic Detergent") was originally manufactured and trademarked by the Shell Chemical Company,[2] but was phased out of production in the early 2000s. Confusingly, biochemical protocols published between the 1960s[3] and 2000s refer to Shell's Nonidet P-40 as NP-40. Shell's original Nonidet P-40 had a hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) value of 13.5,[4] as opposed to 12.9 for the currently available IGEPAL CA-630,[5] indicating that the currently available compound is more potent than the compound used in older publications. Indeed, according to a 2017 report,[6] an additional dilution factor of 10 was required for the currently available NP-40 ("Nonidet P-40 substitutes") to match the activity of the previously available, and now discontinued, Shell's Nonidet P-40.

NP-40 is often used to break open all membranes within a cell, including the nuclear membrane. To break only the cytoplasmic membrane, other detergents such as IGEPAL CA-630 can be used.

NP-40 has applications in paper and textile processing, in paints and coatings, and in agrochemical manufacturing.

See also


  1. NP-40 Surfact-Amps Detergent Solution
  2. "Front matter". Annual Reports on the Progress of Chemistry. 57: P001. 1960. doi:10.1039/AR96057FP001.
  3. "CAB Direct".
  4. TERGITOL NP-9 Surfactant
  5. "Guide to Protein Purification, Volume 463 - 2nd Edition".
  6. Sinha, S.; Field, J.J.; Miller, J.H. (2017). "Use of substitute Nonidet P-40 nonionic detergents in intracellular tubulin polymerization assays for screening of microtubule targeting agents". Biochemistry and Cell Biology. 95 (3): 379–384. doi:10.1139/bcb-2016-0141. PMID 28177759.
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