Two different membrane emulsification methods were used to study mechanisms for co-stabilisation of emulsions, by either electrostatic or steric stabilised nanoparticles with anionic, cationic or non-ionic surfactants. The experimental results demonstrated the existence of two distinct co-stabilisation mechanisms that arise from interactions of the nanoparticles and surfactant molecules. When significant interaction is not involved, independent competitive adsorption of nanoparticles and surfactant molecules occurs spontaneously to stabilise droplets in formation. The adsorption/desorption equilibrium between surfactant molecules determines the longevity of the droplet stability. When the surfactant molecule reacts with the nanoparticle surface, the resultant surface modification appears to generate faster wetting kinetics for nanoparticles at the oil/water interface and yields enhanced stabilisation. The paper discusses the implications of controlling these interactions for emulsion production membrane systems.
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- membrane emulsification
- Pickering emulsion
- stabilisation mechanism