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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2010 Aug 11;159(1):22-31. doi: 10.1016/j.cis.2010.05.001. Epub 2010 May 19.

Determining scaling in known phase diagrams of nonionic microemulsions to aid constructing unknown.

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  • Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Joakim.Balogh@fkem1.lu.se


Microemulsions based on nonionic surfactants of the ethylene oxide alkyl ether type C(m)E(n), have been studied thoroughly for around 30 years. Thanks to the considerable amount of published data available on these systems, it is possible to observe trends to make predictions of phase diagrams not yet determined. Strey and Kahlweit, and subsequently Sottmann and Strey, with coworkers have studied and published phase diagrams for systems with a fixed ratio of oil to water, varying the surfactant, the so-called Kahlweit fish-cut diagrams. Some properties of the phase diagrams can be scaled to become general and not system dependent. Here are shown two examples of scaling data from phase diagrams and the use of trends to determine phase diagrams, both inside and outside a dataset. The trends of microemulsions with fixed ratio of surfactant to oil, the so-called Lund-cut diagrams, are also investigated. The trends are used to determine a new phase diagram and this is compared with previously unpublished experimental data on C(12)E(5)-Octadecane-Water system. The scalings and trends make it possible to get good estimations of many of the important properties of the phase diagrams, both temperatures and surfactant concentrations of interest, by investigating one sample in the 3-phase region of the balanced fish-cut diagram.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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