Fundamental and Applied Studies of Emulsion Stability (FSL-FASES)
The purpose of FASES is to study the links between the physical chemistry of droplet interfaces, the liquid films and the collective properties of emulsions. One of the most relevant problems in emulsion technology concerns the control of emulsion stability. For example, high stability and methods of long term stability prognosis are necessary for emulsions in foods, cosmetics, pharmacy etc.
However separation of the two phases followed by destabilisation is required in waste water processing and oil recovery. In both cases, the target can be achieved by introducing specific additives (like surfactants) which adsorb on to and modify the properties of droplet interfaces.
Thus, it is clear that the adsorption of surface active molecules plays a fundamental role in emulsion science. However, at present, the links between the physical chemistry of the droplets interface to the collective properties of an emulsion are only qualitative, so that the criteria used in industry are mainly empirical. The FASES is aimed at reducing this gap, which are today an important limitation of emulsion science and the further development of applications.
The FASES experiments are planned to investigate droplet dispersion in emulsions and phase inversion. Together with the FASTER experiment, the team will generate a model of emulsion dynamics to be transferred to industrial applications.
The measurements will be carried out in 44 cells of 1cm3 positioned in a carrousel which carry 28 transparent emulsions and 16 opaque emulsions.
The transparent emulsions are scanned with the camera of FSL (Fluid Science Laboratory) and the microscope (lens system) is controlled by the FASES instrument. The microscope measurements provide information about drop-drop interaction and dynamics, the calibration freezing temperature and droplet size.
The opaque emulsion are processed in a calorimeter to measure the curve of heat flux (measured in mW) versus temperature (-50 to +5 deg C), for seven different aging times of up to 24 hours.
Last update: 13 May 2009