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J Hazard Mater. 2011 Jun 15;190(1-3):214-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.03.028. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

Turbiscan Lab ® Expert analysis of the biological demulsification of a water-in-oil emulsion by two biodemulsifiers.

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Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China.


The long-term destabilization process of a water-in-oil emulsion was investigated with two different biodemulsifiers produced under different culture conditions by Alcaligenes sp. S-XJ-1. Biodemulsifier I was obtained by using paraffin as substrate at initial culture pH of 10 and biodemulsifier II was produced with waste frying oils at pH of 7. The former exhibited higher demulsifying ability and interfacial activity than the latter. Bottle test, microscopy and Turbiscan Lab(®) Expert were used to investigate the biological demulsification process. It was found that biodemulsifiers' ability to decrease the interfacial tension played a more important role in demulsification than their ability to decrease the surface tension. Owing to their amphiphilic nature, demulsification process began with the adsorption of the biodemulsifiers onto the water-oil interface. Then the biodemulsifiers reacted with the emulsifiers because of their interfacial activity. As a result, thin liquid film was removed from the surface of dispersed droplets and coalescence occurred. This led to the settling of the dispersed droplets and the clarification of the continuous phase. Turbiscan Lab(®) Expert can be used to evaluate the demulsification efficiency and to analyze the destabilization process of different biodemulsifiers. It is a rapid and accurate method to screen high-efficiency demulsifiers from other bioproducts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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