Impact of Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles on Interfacial Tension

Date

2016-05

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Abstract

Emulsifiers have been extensively studied for various applications, the most common of which is possibly enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The use of polymer-grafted nanoparticles as emulsifiers has been gaining interest for their impressive interfacial tension (IFT) reduction capabilities due to their high interfacial activity. This thesis investigates the impact of polymer-grafted nanoparticles on the interfacial tension between alkane oils and water. Two different types of polymer-grafted nanoparticles have been investigated in this study. The first is the SiO2-POEOMA, which is a type of hydrophilic homopolymer-grafted nanoparticles. The second is the SiO2-P(MA-b-OEOMA), which is a type of amphiphilic block copolymer-grafted nanoparticles. The study concluded that both classes were able to reduce the interfacial tension to the same extent. This is due to the lack of interactions between PMA and either side of the interface because the PMA block is both hydrophobic and lyophobic to alkane oils, which caused the amphiphilic block copolymer to behave as hydrophilic homopolymer at the interface.

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Keywords

Polymers, Nanoparticles, Emulsions, Interfacial tension, Grafted, Alkane Oil, Water, Amphiphilic Block Copolymers, Lyophobic Blocks

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