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Molecular fundamentals of foam fractionation

Molekulare Grundlagen der Schaumfraktionierung

  • Foam fractionation of surfactant and protein solutions is a process dedicated to separate surface active molecules from each other due to their differences in surface activities. The process is based on forming bubbles in a certain mixed solution followed by detachment and rising of bubbles through a certain volume of this solution, and consequently on the formation of a foam layer on top of the solution column. Therefore, systematic analysis of this whole process comprises of at first investigations dedicated to the formation and growth of single bubbles in solutions, which is equivalent to the main principles of the well-known bubble pressure tensiometry. The second stage of the fractionation process includes the detachment of a single bubble from a pore or capillary tip and its rising in a respective aqueous solution. The third and final stage of the process is the formation and stabilization of the foam created by these bubbles, which contains the adsorption layers formed at the growing bubble surface, carried up and gets modifiedFoam fractionation of surfactant and protein solutions is a process dedicated to separate surface active molecules from each other due to their differences in surface activities. The process is based on forming bubbles in a certain mixed solution followed by detachment and rising of bubbles through a certain volume of this solution, and consequently on the formation of a foam layer on top of the solution column. Therefore, systematic analysis of this whole process comprises of at first investigations dedicated to the formation and growth of single bubbles in solutions, which is equivalent to the main principles of the well-known bubble pressure tensiometry. The second stage of the fractionation process includes the detachment of a single bubble from a pore or capillary tip and its rising in a respective aqueous solution. The third and final stage of the process is the formation and stabilization of the foam created by these bubbles, which contains the adsorption layers formed at the growing bubble surface, carried up and gets modified during the bubble rising and finally ends up as part of the foam layer. Bubble pressure tensiometry and bubble profile analysis tensiometry experiments were performed with protein solutions at different bulk concentrations, solution pH and ionic strength in order to describe the process of accumulation of protein and surfactant molecules at the bubble surface. The results obtained from the two complementary methods allow understanding the mechanism of adsorption, which is mainly governed by the diffusional transport of the adsorbing protein molecules to the bubble surface. This mechanism is the same as generally discussed for surfactant molecules. However, interesting peculiarities have been observed for protein adsorption kinetics at sufficiently short adsorption times. First of all, at short adsorption times the surface tension remains constant for a while before it decreases as expected due to the adsorption of proteins at the surface. This time interval is called induction time and it becomes shorter with increasing protein bulk concentration. Moreover, under special conditions, the surface tension does not stay constant but even increases over a certain period of time. This so-called negative surface pressure was observed for BCS and BLG and discussed for the first time in terms of changes in the surface conformation of the adsorbing protein molecules. Usually, a negative surface pressure would correspond to a negative adsorption, which is of course impossible for the studied protein solutions. The phenomenon, which amounts to some mN/m, was rather explained by simultaneous changes in the molar area required by the adsorbed proteins and the non-ideality of entropy of the interfacial layer. It is a transient phenomenon and exists only under dynamic conditions. The experiments dedicated to the local velocity of rising air bubbles in solutions were performed in a broad range of BLG concentration, pH and ionic strength. Additionally, rising bubble experiments were done for surfactant solutions in order to validate the functionality of the instrument. It turns out that the velocity of a rising bubble is much more sensitive to adsorbing molecules than classical dynamic surface tension measurements. At very low BLG or surfactant concentrations, for example, the measured local velocity profile of an air bubble is changing dramatically in time scales of seconds while dynamic surface tensions still do not show any measurable changes at this time scale. The solution’s pH and ionic strength are important parameters that govern the measured rising velocity for protein solutions. A general theoretical description of rising bubbles in surfactant and protein solutions is not available at present due to the complex situation of the adsorption process at a bubble surface in a liquid flow field with simultaneous Marangoni effects. However, instead of modelling the complete velocity profile, new theoretical work has been started to evaluate the maximum values in the profile as characteristic parameter for dynamic adsorption layers at the bubble surface more quantitatively. The studies with protein-surfactant mixtures demonstrate in an impressive way that the complexes formed by the two compounds change the surface activity as compared to the original native protein molecules and therefore lead to a completely different retardation behavior of rising bubbles. Changes in the velocity profile can be interpreted qualitatively in terms of increased or decreased surface activity of the formed protein-surfactant complexes. It was also observed that the pH and ionic strength of a protein solution have strong effects on the surface activity of the protein molecules, which however, could be different on the rising bubble velocity and the equilibrium adsorption isotherms. These differences are not fully understood yet but give rise to discussions about the structure of protein adsorption layer under dynamic conditions or in the equilibrium state. The third main stage of the discussed process of fractionation is the formation and characterization of protein foams from BLG solutions at different pH and ionic strength. Of course a minimum BLG concentration is required to form foams. This minimum protein concentration is a function again of solution pH and ionic strength, i.e. of the surface activity of the protein molecules. Although at the isoelectric point, at about pH 5 for BLG, the hydrophobicity and hence the surface activity should be the highest, the concentration and ionic strength effects on the rising velocity profile as well as on the foamability and foam stability do not show a maximum. This is another remarkable argument for the fact that the interfacial structure and behavior of BLG layers under dynamic conditions and at equilibrium are rather different. These differences are probably caused by the time required for BLG molecules to adapt respective conformations once they are adsorbed at the surface. All bubble studies described in this work refer to stages of the foam fractionation process. Experiments with different systems, mainly surfactant and protein solutions, were performed in order to form foams and finally recover a solution representing the foamed material. As foam consists to a large extent of foam lamella – two adsorption layers with a liquid core – the concentration in a foamate taken from foaming experiments should be enriched in the stabilizing molecules. For determining the concentration of the foamate, again the very sensitive bubble rising velocity profile method was applied, which works for any type of surface active materials. This also includes technical surfactants or protein isolates for which an accurate composition is unknown.show moreshow less
  • Die Fraktionierung ist ein Trennprozess, bei dem verschiedene Materialien auf Grund ihrer Eigenschaften voneinander getrennt werden. Bei der Sedimentation von Teilchen in einer Flüssigkeit dient deren unterschiedliche Dichte zu ihrer Trennung, da schwere Teilchen schneller auf den Boden des Gefäßes sinken als leichtere. Bei der Schaumfraktionierung als Trennprozess dient zur Trennung verschiedener Moleküle in einer Lösung deren Grenzflächenaktivität, d.h. das unterschiedliche Vermögen der Moleküle, sich an der Oberfläche von Gasblasen anzureichern. Durch das Aufsteigen der Blasen in der Flüssigkeit werden daher die Moleküle mit der höheren Grenzflächenaktivität stärker in der Schaumschicht angereichert als die weniger stark grenzflächenaktiven Komponenten. Ziel der vorliegenden Dissertation ist es, den Prozess der Schaumfraktionierung hinsichtlich der Trennung von grenzflächenaktiven Molekülen zu analysieren. Die Bildung von Blasen und deren anschließendes Aufsteigen in der Lösung kann als wichtigstes Element in diesem ProzessDie Fraktionierung ist ein Trennprozess, bei dem verschiedene Materialien auf Grund ihrer Eigenschaften voneinander getrennt werden. Bei der Sedimentation von Teilchen in einer Flüssigkeit dient deren unterschiedliche Dichte zu ihrer Trennung, da schwere Teilchen schneller auf den Boden des Gefäßes sinken als leichtere. Bei der Schaumfraktionierung als Trennprozess dient zur Trennung verschiedener Moleküle in einer Lösung deren Grenzflächenaktivität, d.h. das unterschiedliche Vermögen der Moleküle, sich an der Oberfläche von Gasblasen anzureichern. Durch das Aufsteigen der Blasen in der Flüssigkeit werden daher die Moleküle mit der höheren Grenzflächenaktivität stärker in der Schaumschicht angereichert als die weniger stark grenzflächenaktiven Komponenten. Ziel der vorliegenden Dissertation ist es, den Prozess der Schaumfraktionierung hinsichtlich der Trennung von grenzflächenaktiven Molekülen zu analysieren. Die Bildung von Blasen und deren anschließendes Aufsteigen in der Lösung kann als wichtigstes Element in diesem Prozess angesehen werden. Es ist bekannt, dass die Geschwindigkeit aufsteigender Luftblasen in Wasser eine charakteristische Größe ist, die durch die Anwesenheit grenzflächenaktiver Stoffe (Tenside, Proteine) stark verringert wird. Die vorliegende Dissertation zeigt für das ausgewählte Protein ß-Lactoglobulin und für verschiedene Lebensmittel-Tenside, dass die Messung der Aufstiegsgeschwindigkeit von Luftblasen zur Beurteilung der Anreicherung dieser Moleküle an der Blasenoberfläche ausgezeichnet geeignet ist. Die experimentellen Ergebnisse bei verschiedenen Lösungsbedingungen, wie Konzentration von Protein bzw. Tensid, pH-Wert und Ionenstärke der Lösung, zeigen deutlich, dass die Anreicherung der Proteinmoleküle wesentlich stärker ist als die von Tensiden. Dies gilt auch für Tenside mit einer sehr hohen Grenzflächenaktivität, was im Wesentlichen durch die extrem feste (nahezu irreversible) Anreicherung der Proteinmoleküle zu erklären ist. Die erzielten experimentellen Ergebnisse dienen jetzt als Grundlage für die Weiterentwicklung der Theorie aufsteigender Blasen, die besonders von der Dynamik der Anreicherung der Moleküle geprägt ist. Neueste Untersuchungen haben gezeigt, dass auf der Grundlage dieser experimentellen Ergebnisse erstmals die Geschwindigkeitskonstanten der Anreicherung (Adsorption und Desorption) unabhängig voneinander ermittelt werden können.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Vamseekrishna Ulaganathan
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-94263
Advisor:Gerald Brezesinksi
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language:English
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Granting Institution:Universität Potsdam
Date of final exam:2016/05/27
Release Date:2016/08/25
Tag:Adsorption; Beta-Lactoglobulin; Schaum; Wasser/Luft Grenzflächen; steigende Blasen
adsorption; air-water interface; foam; protein; rising bubble
Pagenumber:ix, 136
RVK - Regensburg Classification:VE 5070, VE 7077
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Chemie
Extern / Extern
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht