Advances in CO2-switchable surfactants towards the fabrication and application of responsive colloids

Saeid Dowlati*, Rasoul Mokhtari, Lena Hohl, Reinhard Miller, Matthias Kraume

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review


CO2-switchable surfactants have selective surface-activity, which can be activated or deactivated either by adding or removing CO2 from the solution. This feature enables us to use them in the fabrication of responsive colloids, a group of dispersed systems that can be controlled by changing the environmental conditions. In chemical processes, including extraction, reaction, or heterogeneous catalysis, colloids are required in some specific steps of the processes, in which maximum contact area between immiscible phases or reactants is desired. Afterward, the colloids must be broken for the postprocessing of products, solvents, and agents, which can be facilitated by using CO2-switchable surfactants in surfactant-stabilized colloids. These surfactants are mainly cationic and can be activated by the protonation of a nitrogen-containing group upon sparging CO2 gas. Also, CO2-switchable superamphiphiles can be formed by non-covalent bonding between components at least one of which is CO2-switchable. So far, CO2-switchable surfactants have been used in CO2-switchable spherical and wormlike micelles, vesicles, emulsions, foams, and Pickering emulsions. Here, we review the fabrication procedure, chemical structure, switching scheme, stability, environmental conditions, and design philosophy of such responsive colloids. Their fields of application are wide, including emulsion polymerization, catalysis, soil washing, drug delivery, extraction, viscosity control, and oil transportation. We also emphasize their application for the CO2-assisted enhanced oil recovery (EOR) process as a promising approach for carbon capture, utilization, and storage to combat climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102907
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • CO
  • CO-switchable surfactants
  • Colloid
  • Emulsion
  • EOR
  • Foam
  • Micelle
  • Pickering emulsion
  • Responsive colloid
  • Surfactants


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in CO2-switchable surfactants towards the fabrication and application of responsive colloids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this