Laboratoire Léon Brillouin


Bât. 563 CEA Saclay

91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex


Self assembly of fatty acids in aqueous solutions.
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SANS patterns of a tubes dispersion at room temperature.

The use of agricultural resources for industrial purposes will undoubtly be one of the major challenges of the 21 st century. Organic biosynthons used in chemistry should progressively replace those coming from fossil fuels. Our work on dispersions of fatty acids and hydroxylated derivatives forms part of these efforts in that it seeks to demonstrate the potential contribution of fatty acids (which may be extracted from plants) as a new class of surface active agents. Dispersions of fatty acid and their hydroxyl derivatives are thus studied in solution in order to generate a new class of surface active agents for foaming and emulsifying properties.

However, it is known that fatty acids and their hydroxylated derivatives are insoluble in water. Our initial studies thus targeted the physiochemical conditions which would enable dispersion of these compounds. Using commercial fatty acids as model systems, we produced dispersions by using a large variety of counter-ions such as soluble organic amines (ethanolamine, lysine...). These salts made it possible to obtain homogeneous dispersions with considerable polymorphism, which formed micelles [1], vesicles [2], nanotubes [3, 4], cones [5] and torsades [6]. Preliminary studies in foams and emulsions have demonstrated that their stability differs as a function of polymorphism [7]. More...


Maj : 30/08/2010 (1598)


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