Phase distribution of resin and fatty acids in colloidal wood pitch emulsions at different pH-levels

Anna Sundberg, Anders Strand, Lari Vähäsalo, Bjarne Holmbom

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    The distribution of resin and fatty acids (RFAs) between the water phase and the lipophilic phase in colloidal pitch emulsions was determined as a function of pH. Model pitch emulsions were prepared and agitated at different pH, temperature, and NaCl concentration. After filtration, the concentration of dissolved RFAs in the water phase was determined. The experimental data were used for calculation of pKlw, that is, the pH at which 50% of the acids are dissolved in the water phase. At pH 3, all of the RFAs were associated with the colloidal droplets. The resin acids were dissolved at lower pH than the fatty acids. Among the resin acids, dehydroabietic acid had the lowest pKlw. The pKlw of fatty acids depended greatly on the chain length and degree of unsaturation. Fatty acids with more than 20 carbon atoms had a low water solubility even above pH 10. Increasing the NaCl concentration increased the pKlw. The kinetics of the phase distribution was very rapid.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)912–919
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Dispersion Science and Technology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Dissolved substances
    • fatty acids
    • phase distribution
    • pitch
    • pKa
    • resin acids

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