Nanocelluloses can stabilize emulsions without surfactants, can they also lead to dry water?

Emulsions are widely used in many applications because they allow easy preparation and application, open the door to controlled or targeted release, and allow encapsulation of any type of active ingredient at low cost. However, liquid emulsions are unstable, difficult to store, constitute large volumes for transport, and are stabilized by surfactants generally issued from petroleum source.
Therefore, this prokect faces a double challenge: on one hand, to limit the amount of surfactants harmful to humans and the environment, and on the other hand, water or oil systems in powder form would be a major advance in terms of energy consumption, storage, dosing for specific applications such as pharmaceuticals or energy storage.
The aim of the DRYWATER project is to meet these two challenges:
First, to provide new sustainable hydrophobic modification routes of biobased particles (cellulose nanocrystals) using enzymatic routes, to stabilize direct or reverse emulsions and surfactant-free foams.
In a second step, to investigate the conditions to prepare emulsions in powder, in the form of "dry oil" or "dry water". The principle is based on emulsions in which the continuous phase carrying the droplets can be dried, forming water or oil droplets in powder form, and thus dry emulsions.

Electron microscopy images of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and of a drop whose interface is stabilized by these CNC  (BIBS platform)

© I. Capron, INRAE

  •     Start date - End date of project: February 1, 2021 - July 31, 2024
  •     Funding: ANR (French National Research Agency)
  •     Global budget: 329 k€
  •     Partners involved :
    •         Polymers, Biopolymers, Surfaces Laboratory (PBS) UMR 6270, University of Rouen
    •         Institut Pascal, UMR 6602, University of Clermont Auvergne
  •     Coordination:  Isabelle Capron, INRAE BIA, Nantes
  •     BIA team involved:  NANO

Modification date: 26 May 2021 | Publication date: 11 March 2021 | By: M Weber