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Generation of an O/W emulsion in a flow-focusing microchip: importance of wetting conditions and of dynamic interfacial tension

Abstract : 6 To date, there is no information on the microfluidic emulsification of dibutyl adipate and 7 n-butyl acetate in water. Since these solvents are very suitable for microencapsulation by 8 interfacial polymerization, it is highly necessary to study the emulsification behavior of these 9 solvents in microchannel. This work shows that the microfluidic emulsification of these sol-10 vents in water may fail to obtain stabilized flow regimes. This is due to droplet coalescence 11 and wall wetting, even if a hydrophilic microchip is used. Hydrodynamic results show that 12 squeezing and dripping regimes are especially affected because of the wall wetting by the 13 dispersed phase. This difficulty can be circumvented by adding a surfactant (here Tween 14 80) into the aqueous phase. However, high surfactant concentrations (ten times the crit-15 ical micelle concentration) should be used for the water-dibutyl adipate system. Indeed, 16 comparison of flow maps for several surfactant concentrations seems to indicate that the 17 dynamic interfacial tension is higher than the one expected (equilibrium), for surfactant 18 concentrations lower than one hundred times the critical micelle concentration. The esti-19 mated diffusion time of Tween 80 is compared to the droplet formation time at different 20 conditions. The choice of more appropriate dimensionless numbers to represent flow maps 21 is also discussed. 22
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Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2020 - 6:03:48 PM
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Jiupeng Du, Nelson Ibaseta, Pierrette Guichardon. Generation of an O/W emulsion in a flow-focusing microchip: importance of wetting conditions and of dynamic interfacial tension. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Elsevier, 2020, ⟨10.1016/j.cherd.2020.04.012⟩. ⟨hal-02799613⟩

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