Water-in-CO2 microemulsions stabilized by fluorinated cation-anion surfactant pairs

Masanobu Sagisaka, Tatsuya Saito, Atsush Yoshizawa, Sarah E. Rogers, Frederic Guittard, Christopher Hill, Julian Eastoe, Marijana Blesic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


High water-content water-in-supercritical CO2 (W/CO2) microemulsions are considered to be green, universal solvents, having both polar and nonpolar domains. Unfortunately, these systems generally require environmentally-unacceptable stabilizers like long and/or multi fluorocarbon-tail surfactants. Here, a series of catanionic surfactants having environmentally-friendly fluorinated C4-C6-tails have been studied in terms of interfacial properties, aggregation behavior and solubilizing power in water and/or CO2. The lowest surface tension and the critical micelle concentration of these catanionic surfactants are respectively lower by ~9 mN/m and 100 times than the constituent single FC-tail surfactants. Disk-like micelles in water were observed above the respective critical micelle concentrations, implying the catanionic surfactants to have a high critical packing parameter (CPP), which should also be suitable to form reverse micelles. Based on visual observation of phase behavior, FT-IR spectroscopic and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) studies, one of the three catanionic surfactants tested was found to form transparent single-phase W/CO2 microemulsions with a water-to-surfactant molar ratio up to ~50. This is the first successful demonstration of the formation of W/CO2 microemulsion by synergistic ion-pairing of anionic and cationic single-tail surfactants. It indicates that catanionic surfactants offer a promising approach to generate high water-content W/CO2 microemulsions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3445
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019


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