Emulsions – Class 12 | Chapter – 5 | Surface Chemistry | Chemistry Short Notes Series PDF for NEET & JEE

Emulsions: Emulsions are a type of colloidal dispersion in which one immiscible liquid is dispersed as droplets in another immiscible liquid. They are an important topic in surface chemistry as they involve the interface between two different liquid phases. The immiscible liquids in an emulsion are typically referred to as the dispersed phase (the droplets) and the continuous phase (the surrounding liquid).

Classification of Emulsions

Emulsions can be classified based on the nature of the dispersed and continuous phases:

  1. Oil-in-Water (O/W) Emulsions: In oil-in-water emulsions, oil droplets are dispersed in a continuous water phase. The oil phase is the dispersed phase, and water is the continuous phase. O/W emulsions are the most common type and are often used in food products, pharmaceutical formulations, and cosmetic products. Examples: Milk, mayonnaise, salad dressings.
  1. Water-in-Oil (W/O) Emulsions: In water-in-oil emulsions, water droplets are dispersed in a continuous oil phase. The water phase is the dispersed phase, and oil is the continuous phase. W/O emulsions are less common than O/W emulsions but have specific applications in industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Examples: Butter, margarine, certain creams and lotions.
  1. Multiple Emulsions: Multiple emulsions involve the presence of two dispersed phases and two continuous phases. They can be of two types: water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) or oil-in-water-in-oil (O/W/O) emulsions. These complex emulsions are less common but find applications in areas like controlled release systems and encapsulation of active ingredients. Examples: Cream-filled chocolates, double emulsions for drug delivery.

The formation and stability of emulsions depend on several factors, including:

  1. Emulsifying Agents: Emulsifying agents, also known as surfactants, are substances that help stabilize emulsions by reducing interfacial tension between the two immiscible liquids. Surfactants have both hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (oil-loving) regions, allowing them to orient at the oil-water interface and form a stable film that prevents coalescence of the droplets.
  2. Mechanical Energy: Mechanical energy, such as stirring, shaking, or homogenization, is often applied during emulsion preparation to break up larger droplets and disperse them uniformly in the continuous phase. Mechanical energy helps create smaller droplets and enhances the stability of the emulsion.
  3. Temperature: Temperature can influence the stability and viscosity of emulsions. Changes in temperature can cause changes in the viscosity and phase behavior of the continuous and dispersed phases, leading to variations in emulsion stability.
  4. Particle Size Distribution: The particle size distribution of the dispersed phase droplets affects the stability and appearance of the emulsion. Smaller droplets lead to increased stability and a more homogeneous appearance.

Emulsions find widespread applications in various industries, including food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and paints. They are used for flavor and nutrient encapsulation, texture modification, drug delivery systems, and to create desired sensory properties in products.

Biology Quiz & Notes Physics Quiz & Notes Chemistry Quiz & Notes

Follow on Facebook

By Team Learning Mantras