Emulsification of chemically modified vegetable oils for lubricant use

Kenneth M. Doll, Brajendra K. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oil in water emulsions of several vegetable oils were studied in order to prepare a useful lubrication fluid. Several previously uncharacterized systems were studied in this paper, including those made from epoxidized vegetable oils. A series of different surfactants were studied in order to obtain emulsions suitable for lubrication applications. The epoxidized oils were found to form stable oil in water emulsions using several different surfactant systems. Only the (4) lauryl ether dodecyl polyethoxylated nonionic surfactant and a modified palm stearin methoxy ester ethoxylate were able to stabilize ordinary soybean oil for 1 week under our test conditions. Overall, the best surfactants were those with an HLB value slightly above 9. The droplet size of emulsions made with surfactants formed submicron droplets, whereas only droplets of larger diameter were obtained when surfactants were not added. Most importantly, a lubrication study was performed showing that even a 1% emulsion of the vegetable oils used in this study can reduce friction nearly as well as using the base oil alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surfactants and Detergents
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Application of surfactants
  • Lubricant
  • Oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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