Design of Nonionic Surfactants for Supercritical Carbon Dioxide


Journal Article

Interfacially active block copolymer amphiphiles have been synthesized and their self-assembly into micelles in supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) has been demonstrated with small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). These materials establish the design criteria for molecularly engineered surfactants that can stabilize and disperse otherwise insoluble matter into a CO2 continuous phase. Polystyrene-b-poly(1,1-dihydroperfluorooctyl acrylate) copolymers self-assembled into polydisperse core-shell-type micelles as a result of the disparate solubility characteristics of the different block segments in CO2. These nonionic surfactants for CO2 were shown by SANS to be capable of emulsifying up to 20 percent by weight of a CO2-insoluble hydrocarbon into CO2. This result demonstrates the efficacy of surfactant-modified CO2 in reducing the large volumes of organic and halogenated solvent waste streams released into our environment by solvent-intensive manufacturing and process industries.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McClain, JB; Betts, DE; Canelas, DA; Samulski, ET; DeSimone, JM; Londono, JD; Cochran, HD; Wignall, GD; Chillura-Martino, D; Triolo, R

Published Date

  • December 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 274 / 5295

Start / End Page

  • 2049 - 2052

PubMed ID

  • 8953029

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8953029

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.274.5295.2049


  • eng