New tech mixes water and oil without surfactants

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

New tech mixes water and oil without surfactants

Related tags Liquid Water

Cosmetics formulation may be forever changed by the innovative machine developed by Korean research scientists.  

The team, led by Dr. Choo Min-chul of the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), has devised and tested a technology for dispersing oil in water at room temperature, is reporting.

Under duress
The team made a focused ultrasound device with a cylinder of lead zirconium titanate or PZT, explained the news item. Notably PZT material has several electroceramic qualities. The emulsion takes place when a frequency of 500kHz is introduced into the water and oil in this cylinder. 

“The device disperses oil particles in the water at such a small size by maximizing the cavitation, where pressure and high temperature occur owing to ultrasound,” ​reports BusinessKorea. “Since the device is designed to circulate in the solution, it can also evenly dissolve the particles. The process can be carried out on a large scale and automatically.”

Test of time
According to tests the KRISS team conducted, after six months olive oil dispersed in distilled water maintained a nanoscale emulsion without the addition of surfactants. The same results held for Cetoil oil in distilled water, reports BusinessKorea.

Surfactants have conventionally been included in emulsions to prevent natural particle separation and clumping by disrupting the interface of the two liquids being combined.

Cosmetic applications
Personal care consumers are particularly conscientious about the ecological impact of cosmetics ingredients as well as the overall naturalness of a product. So when Jack H. Park of BusinesKorea points out that this new technology will be useful for producing “surfactant-free eco-friendly cosmetics,” ​he’s quite right.

Project lead Dr. Choo sees applications for this emulsion machine in multiple industries: “Our technology is the only one that can mix water and oil at room temperature without using surfactants,” adding, “The method can be utilized in not only body-friendly cosmetics but also drugs or food. So, our achievement can exert a huge impact on the industry and society in general.”

Related topics Formulation & Science East Asia

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