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Hydrophile-Lipophile-Balance and Interfacial Tensions in Water-Hydrocarbon-Surfactant Systems

  • D. Wielebinski
  • B. Föllner
  • K. Selcan
  • G. H. Findenegg
Conference paper

Abstract

Three-component systems consisting of water, a hydrocarbon oil, and a nonionic polyoxyethylene surfactant of the form CnH2n+1 (OCH2CH2) mOH (denoted CnEm) exhibit a rich phase behaviour with liquid one-, two- and three-phase regions (and several liquid-crystal phases at higher surfactant concentrations). The capability of a surfactant to solubilize oil in water and water in oil, and to reduce the w/o interfacial tension σ depends on a balance of hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions and on temperature (Shinoda and Friberg 1986). A well-balanced Cn Em surfactant is predominantly water-soluble at low temperatures and predominantly oil-soluble at higher temperatures. This “phase inversion” usually involves the formation of a surfactant-rich third liquid phase which is described as a microemulsion, or organized surfactant phase (Shinoda and Lindman 1987), although from a phenomenological point of view these systems are closely analogous to liquid three- or four-component systems with smaller amphiphilic molecules (which are not forming micellar solutions or liquid-crystal phases). The aqueous phase α, surfactant-rich phase β, and oil-rich phase y can coexist only over a limited temperature range between a lower critical end-point temperature T1 (at which α and β become identical in the presence of ϒ) and an upper critical end-point temperature Tu (at which β and ϒ become identical in the presence of α) (Kahlweit 1982; Kahlweit et al. 1983, 1984; Kahlweit and Strey 1985).

Keywords

Interfacial Tension High Surfactant Concentration Limited Temperature Range Surfactant Phase Plait Point 
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 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Wielebinski
    • 1
  • B. Föllner
    • 1
  • K. Selcan
    • 1
  • G. H. Findenegg
    • 1
  1. 1.Physikalische Chemie IIRuhr-Universität BochumBochum 1Germany

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