Research | Queen’s University Canada

Starch Nanoparticles as Sustainable Emulsifiers

This image shows a polystyrene particle with a diameter approximately 5000 times smaller than a pinhead. It is armored with starch nanoparticles that sit on the surface and stabilize the oil medium in water (emulsify). We investigate how natural compounds such as starch or cellulose behave at the oil-water interface. Issues arising with petroleum-derived emulsifiers such as high carbon footprint and ecotoxicity could potentially be addressed through the adoption of polysaccharide-based emulsions in industry. To record this micrograph, I prepared a stable oil-in-water emulsion using styrene as the oil phase and then polymerized the styrene oil droplets.
Submission Year: 
2017-18
Photographer's affiliation: 
Graduate student
Academic areas: 
Engineering and Applied Science
Graduate Studies
Art of Research categories: 
Invisible discoveries
Photo: 
 A polystyrene particle with a diameter approximately 5000 times smaller than a pinhead
Categories: 
PhD student/candidate
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Department of Chemical Engineering
School of Graduate Studies
Fundamental Principles of Nature: from Discovery to Application and Innovation
Location of photograph: 
Botterell Hall, Queen's University
Photographer's name: 
Joe Glasing
Display Photographers Affiltion + Faculty or Department: 
PhD Student, Chemical Engineering