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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Chemist Charles Macintosh's 250th Birthday, Google Celebrates With Doodle

CALIFORNIA, US: Goggle celebrates chemist Charles Macintosh's 250th birthday today by bestowing a doodle in his respect. He is the one who invented waterproof material.
The doodle demonstrates a delineation of Charles Macintosh remaining in a raincoat and rain beads bobbing off him.  The world recalls him for his most prevalent development 'Macintosh Raincoat'.
Mr Macintosh’s childhood in Glasgow dedicated lot of his time to chemistry. His propensity for trying different things with different chemicals, made him understand that naphtha - a by-product of tar - could effortlessly be broken down in India rubber.
This blend brought about development of glue which had the capacity to repulse water. By embeddings the coatings between two pieces of cloth, Mr Macintosh made a fabric that could get wet from outside & forms a shield to the wearer from water.
In 1823, Charles was conceded with a patent on the waterproof fabric. This creation was an aid to numerous folks, as Scotland is known for its sudden downpours and very frequent rainfalls. At the time in which this invention was made, lots of folks in Scotland oiled their fabrics to make them waterproof. This procedure was both troublesome, as it made the apparel weighty and foul smelling. Charles Macintosh's blend of natural rubber with naphtha gave a significantly more advantageous alternative which has been upgraded into different products today.
Charles Macintosh passed away in 1843 at Dunchattan, Scotland and was buries in the churchyard of Glasgow Cathedral. His name is added to the impressive seventeenth century monument which remains against the eastern boundary wall.
© Worldofchemicals News
Read More: Chemist Charles Macintosh's 250th Birthday, Google Celebrates With Doodle

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

PPG to sell Plaka plasterboard business to Knauf

PITTSBURGH, US: PPG Industries Inc has reached a definitive agreement to sell the assets of its Mexico-based Plaka plasterboard and cement-board business to Knauf International GmbH. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2017.
PPG acquired the Plaka business in 2014 as part of its acquisition of Comex SA de CV Plaka. With approximate sales of $30 million in 2015, manufactures plasterboard, cement board and drywall primarily for the Mexican construction market. The business employs about 200 people and operates a manufacturing facility in Queretaro, Mexico.
© Worldofchemicals News
Read More: PPG to sell Plaka plasterboard business to Knauf

Shell to sell 20 pc stake in Vivo Energy for $250 million

THE HAGUE NETHERLANDS: Shell has signed an agreement with Vitol Africa BV to sell its 20 percent shareholding in Vivo Energy for $250 million. Completion of this transaction is expected during the first half of 2017.
Vivo Energy is a Shell licensee and operates in the retail of Shell branded commercial fuels, liquefied petroleum gas and lubricants.
The sale is in line with Shell’s strategy to concentrate its downstream operations where it can be most competitive.
As part of the transaction, a long-term brand license agreement has been renewed with Vitol to ensure that the Shell brand will remain visible in more than 16 countries across Africa.
Read More: Shell to sell 20 pc stake in Vivo Energy for $250 million

BioAmber prices $7 mn underwritten offering of common stock

MONTREAL, CANADA:  BioAmber Inc has priced an underwritten offering of 1,748,750 shares of its common stock at a price of $4.00 per share. The gross proceeds to the company will be approximate $7.0 million, and net proceeds, after underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated fees and expenses payable by BioAmber, will be approximate $5.6 million.  
Additionally, it has conducted a registered direct offering to "permitted investors" in Canada of warrants to purchase an aggregate of 2,224,199 shares of common stock for gross proceeds of approximately $8.9 million. Each warrant entitles the holder thereof to receive one share of our common stock on the exercise or deemed exercise of the warrant.
The warrants are exercisable by the holders thereof at any time for no additional consideration and all unexercised warrants shall be deemed to be automatically exercised following the satisfaction of certain conditions specified in the warrants. Until such warrants are exercised or automatically exercised following the satisfaction of such conditions, the subscription proceeds from this registered offering of warrants will be placed in escrow.
BioAmber intends to use the net proceeds of the underwritten offering and the registered offering of warrants for working capital and other general corporate purposes. The underwritten offering is expected to close on or about December 29, 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and the closing of the registered direct offering.
Rodman & Renshaw, a unit of H C Wainwright & Co, is acting as the sole book-running manager for both offerings. AltaCorp Capital Inc is acting as financial advisor to BioAmber. 
Read More: BioAmber prices $7 mn underwritten offering of common stock

KBR bags feasibility study contract for gas supply in Indonesia

HOUSTON, US: KBR Inc has been awarded a contract by PT PLN, the Indonesian State-owned power generation company, for engineering and design services to expand the gas supply infrastructure across Indonesia.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will perform the feasibility study to develop a reliable, efficient and robust infrastructure and logistics ecosystem for the LNG regasification of and gas supply to the multiple gases-fired power plants in Sumatera, Maluku and Papua provinces, with the potential for additional locations.
With the findings and recommendations from the feasibility study, KBR will then perform the front-end engineering design (FEED) work for the proposed infrastructure schemes, developing preliminary engineering designs and technical design basis. During the course of the project, KBR will also provide on-the-job training to PLN's project team members.
Both the feasibility study and FEED work are expected to be performed over approximately nine months through an integrated team led by LNG expertise from KBR's London office with support from KBR's Jakarta office and its Granherne subsidiary.
"KBR is very pleased to be awarded this important project for the realisation of a significant expansion of Indonesia's gas infrastructure as part of its power supply plan. We look forward to continuing our long history in Indonesia and our valued relationship with PT PLN," said Greg Conlon, KBR president, Asia Pacific.
"This project demonstrates KBR's ability to offer integrated solutions through a collaborative execution model to our customers in Asia Pacific by bringing together our global knowledge, experiences and expertise," added Conlon.
© Worldofchemicals News
Read More: KBR bags feasibility study contract for gas supply in Indonesia

ARC Advisory Forum- confluence of global innovative technology

Global technological providers gave an insight on ways in which the industry is achieving manufacturing excellence with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
By Debarati Das
Industry leaders recently got together to discuss the “Industry in Transition: Navigating the New Age of Innovation,” at the 14th India Forum organised by the ARC Advisory Group. The two-day forum saw enthusiastic participation from both the process and discrete industries. Held on 7 & 8 July, in Bengaluru, India, the forum built a common platform for end users, technology solution providers and global industry thought leaders from across the country. Industry 4.0: Industry in Transition
The global manufacturing is going through a revolution with Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) taking the global industry in its stride. With all this, the industry is moving towards digitised automation to bring in greater flexibility, better maintenance and optimising the overall manufacturing output. Among other things, the industry is utilising artificial intelligence at a dynamic level for asset management, proactive maintenance, asset performance modelling, advanced data visualisation and transforming the entire industrial ecosystem.
“The world is changing around us and this change is gaining momentum. Companies are transforming and imbibing digital transformation. There are some traditional industries that have not changed for decades. But even these process plants have to transform themselves,” said Andy Chatha, president, ARC Advisory Group, in a video presentation.
“Most of the chemical and process plants are over 20 years old, their assets are even older, their performance is ageing and it is difficult to upgrade these plants. We really need a whole new generation of technologies, like open systems, to upgrade these plants. The future is all about smart machines, and we have to start working towards achieving that,” he added.
At the forum, while global technology solution leaders delved into the latest technological advancement, which is changing the manufacturing scenario across the world, Indian manufacturers ideated into the ways in which these global solutions can be deftly amalgamated into the Indian manufacturing environment.
“In today’s marketplace, innovation is the buzzword. But innovation is not just confined to product changes, it encompasses innovations all level of the value chain from shop floor to the end user. It is about becoming collaboratively networked enterprises, managing to disperse interests of technology, engineering and resources. Only those companies which can navigate through all information and technology and implement them effectively will remain successful,” said G Ganapathiraman, country manager, ARC Advisory Group, India.
“The forum was structured to disseminate this information and technology effectively and provide end users, solution providers and decision-makers an opportunity to network and get the overall view of the market. The forum focused on information and how it facilitates the dissemination of new technologies across all industry verticals,” he further added.
As a common concern, the forum had an array of industry sectors discussing the dire need for Indian companies to be a part of this global transition towards Industry 4.0.
“The industry today wants to maximise the throughput. Instead of efficiency we are looking for profitability. Process timing is changing to the decision-making timing and collaboration is replacing individualization. Instead of eliminating humans from the shop floor or the production units we are empowering them with technology. This is the new way of working,” said B R Mehta, sr vice president, Reliance Industries Ltd.
“The industry is looking for open systems with which we can see and operate an entire plant on an iPad. However, many plants still do not even have automation and proactive maintenance in place, which is hampering their growth. These digital technologies are the need of the hour to keep you ahead of times,” added Mehta.
As Achyuta Ghosh, head of research, NASSCOM, made a remark in his talk, “An industry in transition opens up a lot of avenues for innovation;” the forum was abuzz with the various types of digital transformation that are being integrated into the industrial system today.
Companies such as Seimens, Bentley, ABB, Mitsubishi Electric, STEAG, OSIsoft, Bosch, discussed the latest technologies in the global market steering industries towards Industry 4.0 and deftly incorporating this transformation in existing systems.
Various other Indian companies such as Reliance, Ace Micromatic, NTPC etc gave a clear insight regarding the difficulties faced while implementing these new age technologies in their systems. But the benefits gained in the overall process management and production optimisation with these technologies made it worthwhile.
Anne-Marie Walters, industry marketing director, Bentley Systems, in her interaction with Chemical Today, said that although India is still in the phase of incorporating automation in the production units, the country is a promising region to fast integrate IIoT in their systems and be at par with the global trends in the near future.
All in all, the 14th India Forum got all decision-makers to put on their thinking caps and look to ‘implement’ a difference in their companies moving forward.
© Chemical Today Magazine
Read More: ARC Advisory Forum- confluence of global innovative technology

Chemical suppliers keep pace with global personal care markets

By Alton Adams
Chemical companies are working hard to satisfy the growing demand for ingredients that go into personal care products for the skin, hair, oral care and other applications. As a large, rapidly expanding and increasingly diverse market, product ingredients represent special challenges for chemical companies. Today’s consumers want more, they want quality and they want it now. But opportunities are evident as well, driven by a growing middle class in the East, an ageing population in the West, and new markets such as men’s grooming, halal beauty and bio-based skin care.
Better products for a ‘better’ you
In South Korea, consumers take up to a dozen steps in their daily skincare routine, while Chinese consumers prefer one-step products supplemented by sheet masks, sometimes twice daily. In Indonesia, scalp freshener products are popular with Islamic women wearing the jilbab. In the US, men’s grooming is one of the fastest growing market segments in personal care.
Clearly, personal care is an expanding, highly regionalized and increasingly diverse market. Product categories include toothpaste, fragrances, mouthwashes, hair care and dyeing products, cosmetics and products for nail care, bathing and shaving.
The chemical ingredients for these products include surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, cosmetic active ingredients, pigments, UV filters and thickeners, and protein compounds.
The global market for personal care products is expected to increase between 3.5 and 4.5 percent over the next five years, with a total market value of $500 billion by 2020. The market for product ingredients will likely grow even faster over most of the same forecast period. Valued at $7.46 billion in 2014, the ingredients market is expected to reach $11.76 billion by 2023, representing a CAGR of 5.2 percent.
Beauty and personal care is a $465 billion industry globally
Skin care is the major application for personal care products and accounts for a quarter of sales. The largest segment for ingredients is surfactants, agents that increase a liquid’s wetting and spreading properties. On the basis of chemical properties, the active ingredients segment shows the strongest growth. Asia-Pacific represents the largest share (29 percent) of the global personal care products market, with sales fueled mainly by population growth, urbanisation and increased per capita spending power.
Europe occupies second place, followed by North America
In the US, a growing Hispanic population and rising demand for luxury personal care brands will support demand for cosmetic chemicals over the next five years. In Europe, skin care and toiletries remain the most important product categories, followed by hair care and fragrances.
Across all developed economies, including Japan, the growing number of older consumers is driving more sales for antiaging, anti-wrinkle and sun protection products. A sluggish economy in emerging markets, increased regulations in the West, and questions about product effectiveness have impeded sales over recent years. Yet personal care products represent a strong and resilient market.
Industry megatrends
The global personal care industry is rapidly changing based on a number of megatrends, each one of which affects both manufacturers and the chemical companies that supply ingredients.
Better-informed consumers
Gone are the days when consumers purchased products in retail stores, prompted by media channels such as television commercials or print ads. Even a manufacturer’s website must compete for the attention of consumers who compare online and gather information from a multitude of sources. As a result, consumers stay better informed about ingredients that may potentially harm them or the environment. Because they know more, they are often more skeptical. Consumers are also demanding full transparency from manufacturers about their sourcing methods, product, ingredients and sustainability practices.
More products and shorter product lifecycles
In the past, we saw well-funded, heavily marketed products with a life cycle that lasted years, if not decades. Consumers grew up with these ‘familiar faces’ and became loyal customers. Today, products are replaced by new market introductions at a much faster rate. We also see what might be called ‘tangential’ products where, for example, a successful hand lotion is followed by several spin-off products that offer variations in functionality and fragrances.
Deflationary economics
Especially in developed economies, personal care product manufacturers can no longer expect a steady annual price increase of several percentage points to drive growth. Today, a pure volume is a better determinant of growth. This means that manufacturers are more focused on margins that require tighter control over costs for ingredients, which is impacting chemical companies along the supply chain.
Regional demographics
A growing urban population, particularly in developing countries, is helping to fuel the growth in personal care products. As more people work in offices and retail environments, awareness of personal appearance and hygiene is increasing the use of these products. In Brazil, antiaging functionality is less important than products for hair care. Anti-inflammatory products are strong in the US unlike other regions, and skin lightening creams are most popular in Asia.
The ‘Asianification’ of beauty
Growth in Asia-Pacific constitutes a megatrend in itself for the personal care industry. This region dominates global markets, and with a billion new consumers this trend will only continue in the years ahead. Along with the traditional BRIC markets-Brazil, Russia, India and China new markets are emerging in Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
These countries have a relatively young population, an expanding urban middle class and sophisticated beauty habits, all of which support steady sales. Products in one market can quickly take off in another. Hair oil which is big in Japan, India and Indonesia-is now finding growth in the Middle East.
Even with a cooling economy, China remains the largest Asian market for personal care products. Sales are expected to grow at 8 percent for the next five years, with revenues estimated at $28.2 billion.
The introduction of the two-child policy is expected to provide a major boost to the forecast period performance of baby and child-specific products.
An increasingly important market segment in the Middle East and Asia is halal beauty-cosmetics, skin and hair care products created for Islamic women. Halal certification requires a strict adherence to the purity regulations according to Islam.
These cover every part of the production process, including which raw materials can be used, how they are handled, how the product is manufactured and even how it is packaged. Halal certifiers are not universally recognised, so brands must understand each target market. For example, Germany has five independent certifiers while Indonesia, Turkey and Iran have state-based systems.
What do men want?
With products intended for half the world’s population, men’s grooming is a market segment with huge potential.
According to research, 52 percent of global male consumers consider their looks and appearance to be either important or very important, and 29 percent touch up their looks throughout the day. This percentage rises to 39 percent in teenagers 15 to 17 years old, the future users of grooming products.
Marketers have identified two user groups:  men who use toiletries to help maintain good personal hygiene and a new breed of man who buys products designed specifically to improve their physical appearance. The latter includes blemish concealers, face bronzers, lip balm and even male fingernail polish. Anti-aging products are also becoming more popular with men in their 40s and 50s.
That said, men’s grooming is still a work in progress for personal care marketers. Men in emerging markets are also twice as likely to apply hair oils, use hair fragrances and apply hair-loss treatment products. Africa, in particular, has been identified as a high-growth market, with an exploding population, a fast-growing middle class, increasing urbanisation and improved business regulation. In the US and Europe, beards have become a growth segment in many regions, especially with the advent of the ‘lumberjack look’ that is driving sales for products designed to clean, condition and style men’s beards and moustaches.
Organic and natural ingredients
According to recent reports, the global organic personal care market is growing at an annual rate of almost 10 percent, with expectations of a market valued at $15.98 billion by 2020.
Organic personal care products are made from plant-based ingredients such as almond, palm, jojoba, safflower and coconut oils; soy and oat derivatives; and cocoa and shea butter. In addition, products termed ‘organic’ generally do not contain synthetic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, aluminium salts, and petrochemicals.
Certification is a complicated issue. In the US, for example, regulations distinguish between 100 Percent Organic, Organic and Made from Organic Materials. In Europe, regulations can be even more detailed. BASF scores all of its products for sustainability and considers the entire product chain, including sourcing, water use, biodegradability and other areas, all of which need to be considered in determining whether a product can be called sustainable.
Nevertheless, certification is helping to drive product sales as consumers become more familiar with certification labels that quickly identify organic products and assure buyers of quality.
What do personal care product manufacturers need from chemical suppliers?
As manufacturers produce more products, introduce new products, and fine-tune existing ones to meet changing customer demands, they need suppliers that can keep pace with these industry developments. Suppliers should be able to provide:
A greater number of ingredients
This includes the ability to provide a larger number of basic ingredients and speciality chemicals as well as the ability to quickly expand and diversify their portfolio with new ingredients.
Compliance and claims substantiation
Chemical suppliers need to provide accurate documentation and supporting evidence about the source of ingredients, their efficacy, and proof that they are not harmful to humans or the environment. First-tier suppliers should apply these same requirements to their own second tier and third-tier suppliers. In addition, global suppliers should be well-versed in how regulations vary across regions and countries.
Faster delivery
Suppliers need to ensure that ingredients are delivered to manufacturers to support accelerated manufacturing times and shorter product lifecycles. In many cases, this involves faster delivery for a greater number of ingredients.
Increased ability to anticipate demand
Suppliers need to work closely with manufacturers to better understand their pipeline of new products, collaborate where possible on research and development and track consumer markets to develop a line of sight on future demand. In addition, suppliers can help support market analysis and other essential services. Working together, chemical suppliers and product manufacturers can take full advantage of this vital and growing market.
Author: Adams is Partner, Advisory Customer Solutions, KPMG in the US.
Source: The Future of Beauty and Personal Care in the Globe and Asia Pacific, Euromonitor, 2015
© Chemical Today Magazine
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New solution for GHS-compliant chemical container labels

Chemical manufacturers around the world have devoted considerable effort to adopting the globally harmonised system (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals.
A new label stock, made from its proprietary Teslin substrate, that is engineered to make that job a little easier - PPG Teslin label stock, was introduced by PPG, a global manufacturer of coatings, paints and speciality materials.
What is Teslin substrate?
Manufactured exclusively at PPG’s plant in Barberton, Ohio, USA, Teslin substrate is a polyolefin-based synthetic paper. Although it was introduced in the early 1990s, Teslin substrate remains unique in the industry due to its microporous structure, which produces a combination of printability, durability and security benefits that other printable synthetic substrates cannot match, making it one of the most widely used synthetic papers on the labelling market.
“We had the goal of creating a substrate with the same printability features as pulp paper, along with the ability to outperform existing synthetics and films in the marketplace,” said Jason Depner, PPG global segment manager, Teslin products.
“Teslin substrate is a durable, secure and highly printable synthetic paper that excels in applications that demand a tough, high-performance material.”
To help chemical manufacturers and other shippers of hazardous materials take fuller advantage of these benefits, PPG recently launched Teslin label stock, a  new portfolio of durable, printable and secure label stock, including a British Standard (BS) 5609-certified label stock for GHS-compliance that combines the paper with high-quality label adhesives and liner materials to create a dependable, economical, versatile and worker-friendly solution for chemical container labeling applications.
“Teslin substrate has always been regarded as a premium face stock because of its durability, print versatility and ability to secure printed data,” Depner added. “We developed this supply option to ensure all regions of the globe have ready access to Teslin label stock so we can better meet our customers’ needs.”
The benefits of microporosity and why they matter
Teslin label stock is unique among synthetic label stocks such as vinyl, polyester and polyproylene for one reason: microporosity.Formulated with a polyolefin-silica matrix, Teslin substrate contains millions of micropores that absorb inks, toners and adhesives, locking them into its structure for long-lasting durability. As a result of this exclusive characteristic, Teslin substrate offers end-users performance benefits that other synthetic stocks cannot replicate.
Print versatility
One distinguishing characteristic of Teslin label stock is print versatility. Teslin label stock accommodates a wide range of print technologies, including high-temperature and digital colour printing processes such as a laser, inkjet and thermal transfer printing. Most synthetic papers are only compatible with a limited number of print processes and require corona treatment, sapphire or other types of the coating before they can be digitally printed.
The exceptional pairing of versatility and print-readiness provided by Teslin label stock enables chemical manufacturers and shippers to accommodate printing of variable data on-site and to quickly and cost-effectively implement on-demand printing of colour-coded GHS-compliant labels using the in-house equipment.
Static dissipation
The build-up of static electricity during the drum label printing and application process is a phenomenon in chemical manufacturing plants and is particularly dangerous due to the presence of solvent vapours in these environments.
“Many people don’t realise it, but PVC and PET labels are often vulnerable to build-up of static between the face stock and the liner when used in low-humidity environments,” said Depner. “When labels are processed through laser printers, they are charged through an electrostatic process that causes print toner to adhere to the label surface. When printed, labels are peeled, the action can inject a static charge into the workspace, threatening to combust a dangerously flammable environment made even more hazardous by the presence of chemicals, solvents and materials with low flashpoints.”
Unlike other synthetic label stocks, the micropores in Teslin label stock absorb and dissipate static build-up. The end result is significantly reduced potential for electrical discharge and arc-flash-related fires, and inherently safer workers and workplaces.
While the microporous surface of Teslin label stock makes it pliable, absorptive and versatile enough for any label application, the presence of polyolefin polymer in the formulation creates an exceptionally tough material.
In addition to being waterproof, Teslin label stock is resistant to chemicals, solvents, tearing and extreme temperatures, all characteristics that enable it to achieve GHS-compliance and to meet BS 5609 Section 2 and Section 3 durability specifications for hazardous good shipped over international waters.
“If the shipment is classified as hazardous goods and shipped over international waters, we have attained the required BS 5609 certifications that enable our customers to take advantage of our label,” Depner said.
Built-in security of printed data
Because its micropores quickly absorb inks and toners, Teslin stock also provides built-in security in two ways that nonporous substrates such as vinyl and PET polypropylene cannot.
The first is that, by locking printed material into its structure, Teslin label stock protects shipping data from scrapes, scuffs and other types of damage caused by exposure to weather and handling with no additional processing or expense. With other synthetic labels, printed data merely sits atop the surface of the substrate, where it is vulnerable to abrasion and other hazards.
The second is through Teslin label stock’s ability to permanently distort if the alteration is attempted, which makes it both tamper evident and tamper-resistant.
Supporting all industry-standard label conversion techniques, including rolls, pin-feeds, die-cuts, sheets, fan-folding and more, Teslin label stock is available in four standard configurations, including general purpose permanent; general purpose removable; ultimate bond and BS 5609-certified, on-demand printable for GHS compliance. It also can be custom-designed to meet the demands of a specific application. Teslin substrate also aids worker productivity by providing the quick, easy and bubble-free application to products and containers.
© Chemical Today Magazine

Read More: New solution for GHS-compliant chemical container labels

The bigger role of Nanoemulsions

In an interaction, Ankur Gupta, a PhD Candidate (2012-2017) in chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA with Chemical Today magazine explains the use of nanoemulsions in pharmaceuticals, food industry and how the unique properties of nanoemulsions can make smart foods.
In brief, give us an idea about your research.
I am currently working on the formation and applications of nanoemulsions. We have recently published series of articles where we proposed a scaling on controlling and predicting the droplet size of nanoemulsions. We are focusing on the application of nanoemulsions in pharmaceutics and food industry.
Techniques involved in nanoemulsions formulation methods.
Nanoemulsion synthesis can be divided into two broad categories: high-energy methods and low-energy methods. High energy methods require significant energy input ( W/kg) where droplets break and become small due to shear forces. High energy methods include high-pressure homogenizer (also known as microfluidizer) and ultrasonicator, both of which are commercially available.
Low-energy methods required lower energy input ( W/kg, achievable using a magnetic stirrer) where the low interfacial tension of the system is exploited to create small droplets. Low energy methods include emulsion inversion point (also known as phase inversion composition) and phase inversion temperature.
Materials used in formulating nanomaterials.
For nanoemulsions, typically one needs oil, water and surfactant(s). Nanoemulsions can either be oil-in-water (O/W) or water-in oil (W/O). Formulation of nanoemulsions using low energy methods requires a careful choice of surfactant since low interfacial tension is required for generating small droplets without significant energy input.
Since O/W nanoemulsions are more common in literature, I will share the common oil phases and surfactant used for O/W nanoemulsions: Oil phases:
•Alkanes such as decane, dodecane, hexadecane
• Food oils such as corn, orange, peanut
• Aromatics such as toluene, xyelene, anisole
• Complex organic oils such as mineral oil Surfactant phases:
• Ionic surfactants such as SDS, CTAB
• Non-ionic surfactants such as Tween, Span, Brij
Explain advantages and the major challenges of nanoemulsions.
The advantages of nanoemulsions are that they have -high surface area, robust stability, tunable rheology, relatively simple synthesis, easy scale-up, easy route to advanced material synthesis and diverse applications.
The challenges, however, are that nanoemulsions require advanced microscopy for visualisation, lack of techniques to create completely monodispersed nanoemulsions, and they require relatively large amount of surfactant for synthesis.
Factors affecting the stability of nanoemulsions.
Due to the small size of nanoemulsions droplets, the stability of nanoemulsions is dominated by Ostwald ripening i.e. increase in the size of bigger droplets at the expense of smaller droplets. The following factors affect the stability:
• Solubility of the oil phase
• Interfacial tension (dependent on choice of surfactant)
• Temperature
• Diffusivity of dispersed phase (affected by the choice of surfactant)
• Polydispersity of the droplet size distribution
• Other factors such as additives, cosurfactants etc.
Trapped species method is a well-known method to make nanoemulsions stable against temperature and time. In trapped species method, insoluble oil is mixed with the dispersed phase to reduce the solubility and hence quenching the Ostwald ripening rate.
How can nanoemulsion be effectively used in various sectors such as food additives, paints & surface coatings, waste-water treatment, cosmetics, antimicrobial cleaning agents?
O/W nanoemulsions have enormous potential in food additives since a high surface area of nanoemulsion allows the transport of hydrophobic nutrients through dissolution in the oil phase in an overall aqueous medium. For instance, significant research has been done on incorporating beta-carotene and curcumin as food additives in O/W nanoemulsions.
The rheology of nanoemulsions can be easily tuned depending on the droplet size. For instance, for the same droplet size, nanoemulsions can be tuned from being viscous to elastic. Thus, they are attractive for cosmetics industry as they provide a range of rheological properties that can have a better skin feel. Similarly, nanoemulsions have a potential for paint and coating industry as the rheology can be tuned without changing the composition.
Nanoemulsions can also provide an easy route to transport chemicals that are hydrophobic in nature and thus find applications in antimicrobial cleaning agents.
The effectiveness of nanoemulsions when compared to macroemulsions and microemulsions.
Macroemulsions are larger emulsions with droplet sizes on the range of 10 um – 10mm and thus are susceptible to destabilisation mechanisms such as coalescence and creaming. Further, they do not have a large surface area. On the other hand, due to their small size, nanoemulsions provide robust stability and high surface area.
Microemulsions, unlike their name suggests, are equilibrium systems with droplet size on the order of 10nm. Thus, though they have high surface area, due to their thermodynamically stable property, they are susceptible to changes in temperature, pH and composition. On the other hand, nanoemulsions are kinetically stable system and possess robust stability against temperature, dilution and pH.
The role of nanoemulsions in making of smart foods.
Nanoemulsions have enormous potential in making smart foods. Since we can make nanoemulsions with oil volume fraction as high as 40 percent, a large quantity of hydrophobic nutrients such as beta-carotene and curcumin can be supplied in an aqueous medium. Further, nanoemulsions possess robust stability and thus have a longer shelf-life. Research has shown that one can stabilise nanoemulsions with biocompatible surfactants. Further, it is easy to add colour into nanoemulsions by using oils with different colours.
Currently, nanoemulsions also play a vital role in the field of nanotechnology.
Nanoemulsions can help in nanotechnology research as they provide an excellent route for nanoparticle synthesis, and developments of advanced materials such thermo-reversible gels. Further, nanoemulsions are an excellent model system for colloidal study due to an abundant deformable surface area.
Most challenging issues in your area of research.
The most challenging issue in nanoemulsion research is the actual visualisation of nanoemulsions since they cannot be observed through usual microscopes. Thus, detailed characterization has to rely on advanced microscopy techniques such as SANS and cryo-TEM.
© Chemical Today Magazine
Read More: The bigger role of Nanoemulsions

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