Saturated, nucleate pool boiling of aqueous surfactant solutions on a horizontal, cylindrical heater has been experimentally investigated. Sodium dodecyl or lauryl sulfate (SDS or SLS), an anionic surfactant is employed. Boiling performance, relative to that for pure water, is found to be enhanced significantly by the presence of SDS, with an early onset of nucleate boiling. An optimum level of enhancement is observed in solutions at or near critical micelle concentration of the surfactant; the enhancement decreases considerably in higher concentration solutions. The dynamic surface tension measurements indicate a considerable influence of temperature on the overall adsorption isotherm. The diffusion kinetics of surfactant molecules and micelles is, therefore, expected to be quite different at boiling temperature than at room temperature. This greatly modifies the boiling mechanism, that is generally characterized by the formation of smaller-size bubbles with increased departure frequencies, and a decreased tendency to coalesce which causes considerable foaming.

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