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Kinetics of oil dispersion in the absence and presence of block copolymers
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A phenomenological model proposed describes droplet breakup in the turbitlently agitated lean oil-in-water dispersions and provides a correlation between the median droplet size in an agitated vessel of standard geometry and the time of dispersion. It was assumed that the droplet breakup takes place in the dispersion-only region and coalescence is negligible. Vie model described the data from this study and the literature quite satisfactorily under these conditions. The effect of adding triblock PEO/PPO/PEO copofymeric surfactants on the dispersion kinetics of oil was also investigated. Addition of surfactant reduced the median oil droplet size significanfty, and the extent of this reduction was a strong function of surfactant concentration. Application of the model on these data demonstrated that the change in the median droplet size could be divided into two distinct regions. The breakage rate was high initially, most probably due to continuous adsorption of surfactant molecules at the oil/water interface. A lower breakage rate was attained at longer tunes, as the surfactant molecules were depleted from the solution. The time of transition bet\veen the t\vo was affected strongly by the concentration of the surfactant added. Furthermore, the time of addition of the surfactant did not affect the final droplet-size distribution in the system.