Foamability in high viscous non-Newtonian aqueous two-phase systems composed of surfactant and polymer

Ping Ding, Serafim Bakalis, Zhibing Zhang

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Foaming in high viscous and non-Newtonian aqueous phase is generally difficult to be realised. In this work, a surfactant (Sodium Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonate with alkyl chain lengths varying from C10 to C16) named LAS paste mixed with a co-polymer solution of acrylic acid and maleic acid denoted by Polymer solution was used to generate foam under conditions of sparging without or with agitation, which aims to be used as a coating material of detergent powders. The foam structure/morphology, bubble size, gas holdup and liquid drainage in such surfactant-copolymer system were investigated. It was found that two different types of foam were generated: 1) dispersed spherical air bubbles in highly viscous mixtures of LAS paste and Polymer solution with median size d50 in a range of 20 – 50 μm and gas holdup of 0.20 - 0.44 depending on LAS concentration, 2) bubbles with polyhedral structure in a mixture of LAS paste and Polymer solution diluted with water and size d50 = 7.0 ± 0.4 mm and gas holdup of 0.93 ± 0.05. The generated foam structures depended on the energy input, air superficial velocity, surfactant concentration and the liquid viscosity. Besides, they even depended on liquid mixing procedures before the foam was generated, resulting from different transfer rates from LAS paste phase to Polymer solution. The comparison of foam behaviours in such complex system and in single-phase liquid was made. For dispersed spherical bubbles, the median size has been correlated to energy input whilst for bubbles with polyhedral structure the characteristic size has been predicted by considering the balance between their buoyancy and viscous forces generated in the system. Based on the results, the mechanism of foam stabilisation is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123817
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019


  • Detergent
  • Foam
  • Foam stabilization
  • Foamability
  • High viscous liquid
  • Non-Newtonian
  • Surfactant-copolymer two aqueous phase system


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