In the chemical industry, the physical and chemical properties of lecithin are used in a wide range of fields. One of its more important properties is the capability to link itself on several substrates. Examples are the antioxidant and lubricant properties in the surface treatment of metals, and the conditioning action in the fat-liquoring of leather during tanning. In both cases, it is a very useful chemical bond produced between the metal or the protein (collagen) and the lecithin.
Phospholipids present in lecithin have a high dispersing capacity. For this reason lecithin is applied in the preparation of inks and paints as pigment dispersant. These surface-active properties make lecithin a valuable rheology modifier in emulsions and dispersions.