Masters Theses


"Emulsions have been in existence for thousands of years in the form of cosmetics, food, and medicines. Emulsions cover a vast number of products in both household and industrial use. Homogenized milk, butter, mayonnasise, salad dressing, and sauces are emulsions that are used every day at the dinner table. Medical salves, ointments, cosmetic creams and many other pharmaceuticals are used every day by members of both sexes in the human race. Waxes and polishes for automobiles, metal, floors, leathers, and furniture are emulsions. All of the new so called "wonder paints" and "rubber-base paints" are nothing more than an emulsion of a latex dispersed in a water medium.

"Oil and water won't mix." This is an old proverb that probably has been changed by modern science. Although oil and water are immiscible with each other, it is a well-known fact that under certain conditions, a completely stable mixture can be formed from oil and water. Three things are needed to make a simple emulsion: (1) two immiscible liquids, (2) an emulsifying agent, and (3) energy to disperse one immiscible liquid in the other.

In general there are two types of emulsions: (1) oil dispersed in water and (2) water dispersed in oil. In order to obtain a fine division of the dispersed liquid, some type of energy must be applied. The energy that is necessary to produce emulsification may come from several mechanical sources, such as agitators and colloid mills, or it may come from the mechanical energy produced through ultrasonically-induced cavitation. The term ultrasonic energy is used throughout this thesis meaning energy coming from ultrasonic insonation. Also the emulsifying agent used must provide a film around each particle to prevent it from coalescing with others. Another purpose of the emulsifying agent is to lower the interfacial tension so that extremely fine drops (less than one micron) can easily be formed and have a restricted tendency to recombine.

The purpose of this investigation was: (1) to produce an oil-in-water emulsion, using a heavy white mineral oil (USP) and distilled water as the two immiscible liquids, (2) to employ ultrasonic energy generated by a piezoelectric crystal, (3) to evaluate the emulsion through the use of photomicrographs taken of each emulsion"--Introduction, pages 1-2.


Thompson, Dudley, 1913-1996

Committee Member(s)

Fisher, Emory D.
Erkiletian, Dickran Hagop, Jr.
Fuller, Harold Q., 1907-1996


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy

Publication Date



xi, 143 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 136-140).


© 1959 John Henry Rother, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Emulsions -- Research
Surface chemistry
Piezoelectric devices

Thesis Number

T 1190

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