Micro-Emulsion vs. Macro-Emulsion

microemulsion vs macroemulsion

Sylvatex Microemulsion (clear) vs.Ordinary Macroemulsion (cloudy)

The concept of emulsion fuels is widely known.

Sylvatex has developed a sophisticated recipe for a micro-emulsion that will dramatically reduce costs for the petroleum industry, and allow refiners to economically meet the LCFS demands upon them, while expanding their operating margins.

Injecting water to clean engines to boost horsepower is also an accepted practice among diesel engineers, since direct cylinder injection of water is known to reduce NOx and PM emissions markedly. Also, the use of ethanol in mixtures with diesel has been studied widely as a means of reducing emissions.

The trick all lies in the means for delivering oxygenates.

Water can be physically injected into the cylinder, or it can be introduced via the fuel. Since water does not mix with diesel fuel, some means must be used for creating a water-in-oil mixture – an emulsion. One can try to create an emulsion of large water bubbles in oil – a macroemulsion– or small water bubbles in oil – a microemulsion.

The vast majority of fuel developers have attempted to develop macroemulsions, that is, suspensions of relatively large water bubbles in diesel oil. Additional chemicals, called surfactants, help keep these bubbles suspended. Developers have primarily chosen the macroemulsion path because it uses only a limited amount of surfactant.

The downside is that macroemulsions are difficult to form requiring complicated processes. And once they are formed they are unstable and prone to separation.

Sylvatex’s microemulsion technology is unique – it forms spontaneously upon mixing the right proportions of components together to form a clear liquid, and it remains clear and stable.

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