Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Magic Process

15.05.2013
A Bottom-up process for making dodecane-in-water nanoemulsions

A new process for generating nanometer-scale oil droplets in water has been reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie by Japanese researchers, who have developed a technique they named MAGIQ (monodisperse nanodroplet generation in quenched hydrothermal solution).

Under standard conditions, hydrocarbons and water do not mix; however, at high temperatures and high pressures near the critical point of water, they freely mix. Quenching homogeneous solutions of dodecane and water under these conditions in the presence of a detergent produces nanoemulsions in just ten seconds.

Oil and water are not miscible but can form emulsions in which tiny droplets of one component are dispersed in the other. Milk, face creams, and printer’s ink are examples of emulsions. Nanoemulsions with droplets that have diameters in the 20 to 200 nm range have recently attracted more attention.

Because of their small droplet size, they are transparent or translucent and are much slower to separate. In addition, there are potentially interesting new applications for them, either in pharmaceutical or cosmetic formulations that are easier to absorb, or as “nanoreactors” for the production of nanomaterials.

Emulsions are usually made by a “top-down” process.

Mixtures of water, oil, and surfactant are subjected to external forces, such as vigorous stirring, to break up larger drops into smaller ones. This becomes harder as the droplets get smaller, so this method has inherent limits. In contrast, solid nanoparticles are usually produced in a “bottom-up” process. This begins with a homogeneous solution. The dissolved molecules aggregate to make nanoparticles. This could also be a possible method to make nanodroplets. The problem is that water and oil would have to form a homogeneous solution to start from, but they are not miscible.

Shigeru Deguchi and Nao Ifuku at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokosuka have now found a way around this with their new MAGIQ process. When water is heated under pressure it reaches its critical point at 374 °C and 22.1 MPa. At this point there is no longer a difference between the liquid and gas phases. The water no longer dissociates and no clusters of water molecules can form.

At this point, the properties of the water are like those of an oil—the researchers used dodecane in this case—and the two can be freely mixed together. When this homogeneous solution is quenched with cold water, a very rapid phase separation occurs, resulting in extremely small droplets in less than ten seconds. Addition of a detergent stabilizes the nanoemulsion. The researchers developed an apparatus in which they can carry out their “magic” technique in a constant flow process. The cooling temperature and speed, the ratio of water to dodecane in the mixture, and the concentration of detergent determine the—very uniform—size of the droplets.

About the Author
Dr. Shigeru Deguchi is a principal scientist at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and also an adjunct professor at Yokohama City University. His current research interests include soft materials in extreme conditions, white nanobiotechnology, and extremophiles. He is the recipient of the Osawa Award, Takagi Award, and Ichimura Prize in Technology.
Author: Shigeru Deguchi, Agency for Marine-Earth, Yokosuka (Japan), http://www.xbr.jp/yokohama-cu/deguchi/contact/index_e.html
Title: Bottom-Up Formation of Dodecane-in-Water Nanoemulsions from Hydrothermal Homogeneous Solutions

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201301403

Shigeru Deguchi | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.xbr.jp/yokohama-cu/deguchi/contact/index_e.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>