Table of Contents
Physical Separation in Science and Engineering
Volume 2007, Article ID 34832, 7 pages
Research Article

Liquid-Liquid Interfacial Transport of Nanoparticles

Institute of Chemical Engineering, Clausthal University of Technology, Leibnizstraße 17, Clausthal-Zellerfeld 38678, Germany

Received 23 March 2007; Revised 29 August 2007; Accepted 8 November 2007

Academic Editor: Hermann Nirschl

Copyright © 2007 Stefanie Machunsky and Urs Alexander Peuker. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study presents the transfer of nanoparticles from the aqueous phase to the second nonmiscible nonaqueous liquid phase. The transfer is based on the sedimentation of the dispersed particles through a liquid-liquid interface. First, the colloidal aqueous dispersion is destabilised to flocculate the particles. The agglomeration is reversible and the flocs are large enough to sediment in a centrifugal field. The aqueous dispersion is laminated above the receiving organic liquid phase. When the particles start to penetrate into the liquid-liquid interface, the particle surface is covered with the stabilising surfactant. The sorption of the surfactant onto the surface of the primary particles leads to the disintegration of the flocs. This phase transfer process allows for a very low surfactant concentration within the receiving organic liquid, which is important for further application, that is, synthesis for polymer-nanocomposite materials. Furthermore, the phase transfer of the nanoparticles shows a high efficiency up to 100% yield. The particle size within the organosol corresponds to the primary particle size of the nanoparticles.