CO₂ Microemulsions: Properties and Applications
Based on the enormous knowledge that has been generated on the self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules such as surfactants, lipids and block copolymers, we combine this knowledge to design, formulate, and characterize novel nanostructured systems. (1) As regards the structure of novel self-assembled systems our current work deals with two different nanostructured systems, namely scCO2-based microemulsions.
Complex Self-Assembled Systems
This topic deals with complex self-assembled systems which are formed when two or more nano-structured systems are combined. In a former study, we showed that the formation of a gel in a bicontinuous microemulsion is a new type of orthogonal self-assembly. In a new project, we combine thermo-/pressure responsive hydrogel particles and water-in-oil microemulsions, using water swollen micelles as hosts for the hydrogel particles.
Enhanced Oil Recovery
CO2 injection is a commonly used technique for recovering residual oil from mature reservoirs. It gains more and more interest due to the importance of carbon dioxide capturing and sequestration. The increasing CO2 availability and the easy implementation make this method favorable in times of a low oil price. In most reservoirs CO2 is in a supercritical state (scCO2) because the critical point of carbon dioxide is at a lower pressure and temperature than the reservoir conditions.
Synthesis of Nanoporous Polymers with Adjustable Pore Size
Nanoporous materials are potential candidates for a wide range of applications. For example, organic based materials can be used as insulation materials, while inorganic or hybrid materials are widely used in heterogeneous catalytic applications. The backbone of this project is the utilization of the Nanofoams by Continuity Inversion of Dispersion (NF-CID) principle to prepare organic nanofoams with a pore size smaller than 100 nm.