Journal of colloid and interface science

Fischer-Tropsch diesel emulsions stabilised by microfibrillated cellulose and nonionic surfactants.

PMID 20864117


Water-in-diesel emulsion fuels have been prepared with a combination of sorbitan monolaurate and glycerol monooleate as emulsifier and with microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) of different hydrophilic/hydrophobic character as stabilizer. The MFC was treated with either octadecylamine or poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride), resulting in very hydrophobic fibrils. The most stable emulsion was achieved with a combination of hydrophilic (untreated) and hydrophobic MFC and only minute amounts of the stabilizer gave a pronounced effect. Even with the optimized formulation the lifetime of the emulsion was shorter than previously reported when a conventional polymeric stabilizer was used, however. The water drop sizes in the emulsions were determined by three methods: optical images, light scattering, and NMR diffusometry. All three methods gave water drops sizes of ca 2 μm. The NMR diffusometry indicated that besides the micrometer-sized emulsion drops a significant fraction of the water is present in small droplets of micelle size. The chemical exchange of water between these two populations of pools is believed to be the reason for the relatively low stability of the system.

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