Demulsification of a Mixture of Di-Chloro-Floro- Acetophenone, Di-Chloro-Floro-Benzene and Water

Research Article

Austin Chem Eng. 2016; 3(5): 1045.

Demulsification of a Mixture of Di-Chloro-Floro- Acetophenone, Di-Chloro-Floro-Benzene and Water

Korde M, Jadhav AJ, Pinjari DV and Pandit AB*

Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, India

*Corresponding author: Aniruddha B Pandit, Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, India

Received: October 25, 2016; Accepted: November 22, 2016; Published: November 24, 2016


The present study investigated the various physical and chemical factors that result into the destabilization of water in organic phase emulsions and confirmed with experiments that an addition of appropriate chemical destabilizing reagents was the most effective in this case. Experimental data are presented to depict the influence of varying concentrations of surfactant and salt on the stability and the properties of the water in oil emulsion. The results obtained from this study revealed the choice of the most effective demulsifier as Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate, coupled with Sodium Chloride salt and their optimum concentrations were found. The relative rates of separation of water from the emulsion were characterized by density measurements and were confirmed by droplet size analysis. 250ppm of Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate along with 0.5g of Sodium Chloride per 100g of emulsion proved to be most effective in demulsifying the given water in oil emulsion.

Keywords: Demulsification; Water-in-organic fluid emulsions; Surfactant; Chemical demulsifiers; Salt concentration; Stirring, Interfacial science; Coalescence


With an exponential growth of industries making a wide range of products such as fuels, surfactants, oils and oleo-chemicals, perfumery, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, painting and in many other industries generate various types of emulsions as a by-product [1,2]. Water-in-oil emulsions are commonly formed during the production of crude oil, where droplets of water are finely dispersed throughout the continuous crude oil phase [3]. They can also be formed during the production or processing of bulk organic compounds. The emulsions formed may be intentional in case of a few products based on their formulations or they may be accidently formed with one or more side products or with leftover reactants and impurities getting associated with the desired product. Hence, the necessity arises in developing new means of demulsification, for the recovery of the product or the separation of the side product.

The stability of all emulsions in general is affected by various factors like droplet size distribution, viscosity of the continuous phase, density difference between both the phases, nature of interfacial film, amount of surfactant added or present, etc [1]. The commonly used methods of demulsification include: physical and chemical means. The physical means include factors like - temperature change, agitation or shear or stirring, bubbling of air and the residence time or retention, whereas the chemical means include - salting, addition of demulsifying chemical agents, electrical means and centrifugation [4]. All the major as well as minor aspects which can physically and chemically affect the emulsion stability need to be considered for demulsification. Over the years many of these properties have been exploited for the demulsification of case specific products. However, it has also been observed that the demulsification approach useful in one particular case is totally ineffective in another. Hence, every time a new emulsion is formed, a new method for demulsification has to be developed and optimized.

The three predominant steps of chemical demulsification are flocculation followed by coalescence and then finally the breakdown of the emulsion into two immiscible liquids. As suggested by Bancroft’s theory, the nature of the adsorbed layer of demulsifiers affects the emulsion stability and the interfacial and surface elastic properties after the adsorption of the surfactant and the interfacial viscosity of the film affects the stability of the interfacial film [4,5]. Here, we aim to destabilize the emulsion by targeting both these factors by choosing an appropriate demulsifier/demulsifiers. An effective demulsifier is a surface-active compound that can adsorb onto the interface of the water droplets dispersed in the organic liquid, and change its properties such that the water droplets aggregate and coalesce [6].

In this research, an emulsion of Di-Chloro Floro Acetophenone (DCFA), Di-Chloro Floro Benzene (DCFB) and Water has been taken and a simple, direct method of demulsification has been developed involving the addition of Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS) and common salt to the emulsion under optimum conditions. The degree of separation of the components has been analyzed by density measurements of both the separated layers. Thus, the optimum surfactant and salt concentrations for demulsification of this particular emulsion have been determined. Phase separation enhancement occurs in the presence of small amount of demulsifiers (usually 1-1000 ppm) [7]. The amount of SDS and NaCl added to the solution for demulsification also lies in this range.

Materials and methods


The emulsion was provided as a gift sample by Val Organics Pvt. Ltd. as a product of a Friedel Crafts reaction whose exact manufacturing procedure was not disclosed. The data provided by the industry (Val organics Pvt. Ltd.) is given in Tables 1 and 2.

Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (Ultrapure), Sodium Chloride (Ultrapure), polyethylene glycol (PEG), Tween 80 and polymethylacrylic acid were procured from S.D. Fine Chemicals, Mumbai. The distilled water used in the experiments was prepared by using Millipore apparatus. All the chemicals used during the experiments were of Analytical grade.