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Projects Database

Nanostructured Microemulsions as Alternative Solvents to VOCs in Cleaning Technologies and Vegetable Oil Extraction

Project Information

Award Amount:$329,655.00
Dollars Leveraged:$0.00
Start-End Dates:1/1/03-1/13/07
Description:The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate non-toxic, non-volatile, and biodegradable oil extraction. Specifically, we plan to formulate water continuous microemulsions to dissolve the oil in the hydrophobic core of swollen micelles (1-50 nm droplets). We will study the impact of novel microemulsion additives, called "linkers", on the interfacial properties (interfacial tension, rigidity and curvature) and dynamic aspects of oil solubilization and displacement from porous and smooth surfaces under different shear conditions. Linkers are surfactant-like molecules that are wither too lipophilic or hydrophilic to self-assemble at the O/W interface, but in the presence of surfactant they self-assemble to produce microemulsions with improved performance for a variety of oils. We hypothesize that by introducing linkers we can formulate aqueous surfactant solutions that, upon contact with the oil to be removed, and under optimum flow conditions, will spontaneously from microemulsions that keep the oil in micelles. These surfactant solutions can therefore be used as alternatives to VOC solvents, such as hexane, in cleaning hard surfaces, textiles and vegetable oil extraction.


Funding Organizations

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are funding this project.

U.S. EPA Headquarters - Primary Contact

U.S. EPA Headquarters 8722R
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Washington, District of Columbia 20460
p: 202-343-9858
Individual Contacts

Organizations Receiving Funding

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are receiving funding for this project.

University of Oklahoma - Primary Contact

660 Parrington Oval
Norman, Oklahoma 73019
Individual Contacts


Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)
One East Hazelwood Drive Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-8940

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