Practical Surfactant Mixing Rules Based on the Attainment of Microemulsion–Oil–Water Three-Phase Behavior Systems

  • Raquel E. Antón
  • José M. Andérez
  • Carlos Bracho
  • Francia Vejar
  • Jean-Louis Salager
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 218)


Surfactant mixture are generally used to fine-tune formulations to an exact property value, such aschanging its hydrophilicity. To do so a precise characterization method has to be used. The presentedtechnique consists of the attainment of a microemulsion–oil–water Winsor III three-phasebehavior in a reference system. It allows one to classify surfactants in a hydrophilicity scalewith an accuracy equivalent to one tenth of HLB unit. The characterization method is applied in differentways, including simple and double scans, to an unknown surfactant and to mixtures of two base surfactants.It is also used to test the ideality of the mixing rule expression, which is equivalent to a linearvariation of the characteristic parameter versus the mixture composition. Conditions for linearity of themixing rule are discussed. The selective partitioning of different species results in non-linear mixingrules, whose detection is discussed according to the aspect of the three-phase region in different diagrams.Typical mixing rules for pH sensitive systems containing fatty acids and fatty amines are shown. Anionic–nonionicmixtures are found to exhibit a slight deviation from ideality. The special case of antagonistic anionic–cationicmixture is shown to be easily linearized by introducing a virtual, catanionic species.


Critical Micelle Concentration Nonionic Surfactant Phase Behavior Surfactant Mixture Phase Inversion Temperature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel E. Antón
    • 1
  • José M. Andérez
    • 1
  • Carlos Bracho
    • 1
  • Francia Vejar
    • 1
  • Jean-Louis Salager
    • 1
  1. 1.Lab. FIRPUniversidad de Los AndesMéridaVenezuela

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