University of Oulu

Laitinen, O., Ojala, J., Sirviö, J.A. et al. Cellulose (2017) 24: 1679.

Sustainable stabilization of oil in water emulsions by cellulose nanocrystals synthesized from deep eutectic solvents

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Author: Laitinen, Ossi1; Ojala, Jonna1; Sirviö, Juho Antti1;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-02-20


There is an urgent global need to develop novel types of environmentally safe dispersing chemicals from renewable resources in order to reduce the environmental impact of oil spills. For this goal, cellulose, the most abundant natural polymeric source, is a promising green, nontoxic alternative that could replace the current synthetic surfactants. In this study, cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) synthesized using a deep eutectic solvent (DES) and two commercially available cellulose nanocrystals were used as marine diesel oil–water Pickering emulsion stabilizers. In particular, oil in water (o/w) emulsion formation and stability of emulsified oil during storing were addressed using a laser diffraction particle size analyzer, image analysis, and oil emulsion volume examination. The particlesize of the o/w reference without CNCs after dispersing was over 50 μm and coalescence occurred only a few minutes after the emulsifying mixing procedure. All three investigated CNCs were effective stabilizers for the o/w system (oil droplets size under 10 μm) by preventing the oil droplet coalescence over time (6 weeks) and resulting in a stable creaming layer. The CNCs prepared using green DES systems boasted performance comparable to that of commercial CNCs, and they showed effectiveness at 0.1% dispersant dosage.

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Series: Cellulose
ISSN: 0969-0239
ISSN-E: 1572-882X
ISSN-L: 0969-0239
Volume: 24
Pages: 1679 - 1689
DOI: 10.1007/s10570-017-1226-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
221 Nanotechnology
Funding: This work was conducted as part of the ERDF-funded VIKE project (“Improvement of the oil spill prevention and response with the green chemicals”) and also financed by the Academy of Finland (“Arcrespo project”). We acknowledge Neste Oil Inc. for kindly providing the marine diesel oil sample used in our experiments.
Copyright information: © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Cellulose. The final authenticated version is available online at: