Jefferson A. Cuadra, of West New York, an undergraduate student at NJIT, received the first prize gold medal for his undergraduate project, “Destabilization of Pickering Emulsions Using Vibrations.” The award was presented at the annual NJIT Dana Knox Student Research Showcase at NJIT on April 14, 2010.
The stabilization of emulsions is mostly applied in crude oil recovery, oil separation, cosmetic preparation and water treatment. In addition, it has also recently been used in semi-permeable capsules for drug delivery, food additives, and biomedical applications.
The two methods to achieve the stabilization are Pickering emulsions and the use of an emulsifier. A Pickering emulsion occurs when one liquid is dispersed in another, both being immiscible; and micro-solid particles, called surfactants, prevent the droplets from splitting up to balance the amount of energy in the mixture.
The experiment used a mixture containing oil, water, and glass particles (silica-Si02) and tested at different frequencies using an electrodyamic shaker and accelerometer sensor. Silica micro solid particles were used as surfactants because they are more stable than normal emulsions.
The purpose of the experiment was to analyze if vibrations controlled by a power amplifier and vibration exciter control affected the destabilization time of this type of emulsion. The time interval of destabilization without any frequency was analyzed and plotted.