(301d) Factors Influencing Particle Charge in Apolar Media | AIChE

(301d) Factors Influencing Particle Charge in Apolar Media


Gacek, M. M. - Presenter, University of Washington
Michor, E. L., University of Washington
Berg, J. C., University of Washington

            A growing number
of applications seek to use electrostatic effects in apolar media for aggregation
stability and manipulating particle movement in such systems, as exemplified by
the Amazon Kindle® reader and HP ElectroInk® printer. Progress is limited,
however, by incomplete knowledge of the mechanism(s) of particle charging in
these systems. To help shed light on this, the current work focuses on the
study of several common factors that affect the polarity and magnitude of
particle charge in apolar systems: particle surface functional groups,
surfactant functionality, trace water content, and the implementation of

            One theory for
the origin of particle charge in apolar media involves an acid-base charge
transfer between the particle surface functional groups and adsorbed surfactant
molecules. This theory is explored by measuring the electrophoretic mobility of
a series of mineral oxide particles that are dispersed in Isopar-L using common
charge-stabilizing surfactants: OLOA 11000 (basic), SPAN 80 (acidic), and AOT
(ionic). The mineral oxide series is selected to yield a wide range of point of
zero charge (pzc) values when in water (in terms of pH), which serves as an
indication of the relative acidity or basicity of the particle surface
functional groups. It is found that the polarity and magnitude of the particle
charge is strongly dependent on the acid-base functionality of both the
particle functional groups and the surfactants.

important factor that affects particle charging is the amount of trace water
that is introduced to the system by hygroscopic particles and surfactants. The
amount and location of this water can have significant effects on the
electrical properties of these systems. The current work not only explores the
effect of water content on particle charge in apolar dispersions, but differentiates
between water bound to the particles and water located in inverse micelles.
This is accomplished by measuring the electrophoretic mobility of silicon
dioxide particles dispersed in solutions of Isopar-L and OLOA 11000. The water
content is determined for both the dispersion and the supernate after
centrifuging the particles out.

synergists are often employed to enhance the adsorption of surfactants onto
particle surfaces, providing steric stabilization against aggregation. However,
these synergists can also have a dramatic effect on particle charging in apolar
systems by either adsorbing to the particle surface or becoming incorporated
into the surfactant inverse micelles. In this study we examine the
electrophoretic mobility of commercially available cyan and magenta pigments
with their synergist counterparts dispersed in heptane with charge-stabilizing
surfactants OLOA 11000, AOT, and Span 80.