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Interfacial Phenomena - Liquid-Liquid Systems

One important area to understand the physics and behavior of any multi-phase fluid system is the interactions among the various phases. For two (or more) liquid phases, the interfacial energy, or interfacial tension (IFT), is a critical parameter that determines in part the nature of the mixing between phases, such as a loose dispersion or a "tight" emulsion where the fluids are intimately together as microscopic droplets. The figure below illustrates the results of an atomistic-level simulation of water-surfactant-oil interface. The location of each molecule, as dictated by fundamental physics, and the details of the forces at the interface, allows the calculation of the IFT.

Interfacial

Hydrocarbon Phase            Interface Region            Aqueous Phase

        (Surfactant-Rich)

Parallel experimental studies confirm the key trends in surfactant chemical structure that are responsible for low IFT that are predicted by these first principle calculations.

RELATED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS:

1. "Molecular Dynamics Study of Surfactant-Mediated Decane/Water Interface: Effect of Molecular Architecture of Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate"
Jang, S. S.; Lin, S. T.; Maiti ,P. K.; Blanco, M; Goddard, W. A.; Shuler, P. J.; Tang, Y. J. Phys. Chem, B (2004), 108, 12130-12140

2. "Alkyl Polyglycoside Surfactants for Improved Oil Recovery"
Iglauer,S.; Wu, Y.; Shuler, P. J.; Tang, Y.; Blanco, M; Goddard, W. A. SPE 89472 (Proceedings), SPE/DOE 14th Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma. April 17-21, 2004

3. "Synergistic Effect of Alkyl Polyglycoside and Sorbitan Mixtures on Lowering Interfacial Tension and Enhancing Oil Recovery"
Wu, Y.; Iglauer,S.; Shuler, P. J.; Tang, Y.; Blanco, M; Goddard, W. A. 227th ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, CA; March 28 - April1 1, 2004

4. "The Influence of Alcohol Co-surfactants on the Interfacial Tensions of Alkylpolyglucoside Surfactant Formulations vs. n-Octane"
Iglauer,S.; Wu, Y.; Shuler, P. J.; Tang, Y.; Blanco, M; Goddard, W. A. 227th ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, CA;. March 28 - April1 1, 2004

5. "Adsorption of Novel Surfactants for Enhanced Oil Recovery onto Kaolinite Clay"
Wu, Y.; Shuler, P. J.; Tang, Y.; Goddard, W. A. 226th ACS National Meeting, New York, NY; September 7-11, 2003