Investigating foaming solutions generated by NaOH extraction of plant materials

Hudson, Paul Ronald (2014). Investigating foaming solutions generated by NaOH extraction of plant materials. University of Birmingham. Eng.D.

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This thesis covers extraction of hay with NaOH to produce foaming solutions which might be used to substitute or reduce the need for, oil based surfactant in detergents. Extraction time, temperature and NaOH concentration were found to have varying levels of influence on the properties of the extract solutions. Models were constructed to describe their effects on the% mass extracted from the hay, as well as extract solution absorbance, viscosity, and contact angle using response surface, experimental design methodology. The hay extract foam was examined along with other types of foaming solutions, using cryogenic SEM. Hay, rice straw and horse chestnut leaf extract foams were found to be particle stabilised and interesting images were captured showing their microstructures. Foaming was found to be due to lignin-carbohydrate complexes in hay extract solutions and proteins in horse chestnut leaf extract solutions. Finally correlations were sought between foaming of hay extract solutions and their other properties, e.g. Foaming of the hay solutions is due to lignin derivatives, hence solution absorbance correlates positively with foaming; and foaming is improved by increased solution viscosity hence its positive correlation with solution viscosity and % mass extracted from hay.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Eng.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Eng.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology


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