A Comprehensive Framework for Surfactant Selection and Design for Emulsion Based Chemical Product Design

Michele Mattei, Georgios Kontogeorgis, Rafiqul Gani

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The manufacture of emulsified products is of increasing interest in the consumer oriented chemical indus-try. Several cosmetic, house-hold and pharmaceutical products are in the emulsified form when soldand/or they are expected to form an emulsion when used. Therefore, there is a need for the developmentof a methodology and relevant tools in order to spare time and resources in the design of emulsion-based chemical products, so that the products can reach the market faster and at a reduced cost. Theunderstanding and modeling of the characteristic behavior of emulsions and their peculiar ingredientsis consequently necessary to tackle this problem with computer-aided methods and tools. A compre-hensive framework for the selection and design of surfactants, the main responsible for the formationand the stability of emulsions, is presented here together with the modeling of the cloud point, a key-property of nonionic surfactants, with a group-contribution model. The mathematical formulation of astandard product design problem is presented, together with the list of both the pure component prop-erties (related to nonionic surfactants) and the mixture properties (relevant to the overall products asan emulsion) needed for the solution of the design algorithm. These models are then applied togetherwith established predictive models for pure component properties of ionic surfactants and for standardmixture properties such as the density, the viscosity, the surface and the interfacial tension, but also thetype of emulsion expected (through the hydrophilic–lipophilic balance), and its stability (through thehydrophilic–lipophilic deviation), forming a robust chemical product design tool. The application of thisframework is highlighted for the design of some emulsion based chemical products.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFluid Phase Equilibria
Pages (from-to)288– 299
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Product design
  • Emulsions
  • Property prediction
  • Cloud point


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