Surfactants – stabilization

Stabilization of particles (oil or wax) in an aqueous emulsion takes place through the following steps:

  • Surfactant ‘wets out’ the wax particles in the aqueous phase
  • Surfactant is effectively absorbed at solid/liquid interface
  • Surfactant layer reduces energy required to separate particles
  • This enables separation under the effect of mechanical shear
  • Shear can be provided by milling or dispersing equipment.
  • Once the particles are dispersed, the adsorbed surfactant prevents their re-agglomeration.
  • Particle stability can be effected by:
  1. a) electrostatic potential
  2. b) steric effect, or
  3. c) a combination of a) & b)

wax in water


Water in oil