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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 8, 2013

Microemulsions Containing Polyethylene Glycol

Mikroemulsionen mit Polyglykol
D. J. Miller and T. Henning


It is well known that some water/oil/surfactant systems can be optimised to give three phases. The middle phase is a thermodynamically stable microemulsion. Three-phase systems can also form when most of the water is replaced by polyethylene glycol (PEG). The phase behaviour of such PEG-based systems with undecyl and oleyl ethoxylates as surfactants has been studied. The PEG reduces the temperature sensitivity and shifts the optimum to higher EO numbers, i. e. higher HLB values. In single phase O/W microemulsions the polyethylene glycol also reduces temperature sensitivity, though the effect seems to be less than for three-phase systems. It also promotes the solubilisation of higher molecular weight oils, such as triglycerides.


Seit vielen Jahren kennt man optimierte Wasser-Öl-Tensid-Systeme, die sich in drei Phasen trennen. Dabei ist die mittlere Phase eine thermodynamisch stabile Mikroemulsion. Solche 3-Phasen-Systeme können auch gebildet werden, wenn das Wasser weitgehend durch Polyethylenglykol (PEG) ersetzt wird. Das Phasenverhalten solcher auf PEG basierenden Systeme wurde mit Undecyl- und Oleylethoxylaten als Tenside untersucht. Durch das PEG wird das Phasenverhalten weniger temperaturempfindlich und das Optimum wird zu höheren EO-Zahlen bzw. HLB-Werten verschoben. Bei einphasigen Mikroemulsionen wird die Temperaturempfindlichkeit ebenfalls durch das Polyethylenglykol verringert. Allerdings ist der Effekt geringer als bei den 3-Phasen-Systemen. Das PEG begünstigt die Solubilisierung von Ölen mit höherem Molekulargewicht, z. B. Triglyceride.

Schlüsselwörter: Mikroemulsion; Polyethylenglykol; PEG

1Dr. Dennis Miller, Clariant GmbH, 65926 Frankfurt/M., Germany, E-mail:

Dr. Dennis Miller was born in 1951. He studied chemistry at Oxford and Stuttgart, completing his doctorate 1977. In 1982 he joined Hoechst, where he worked on the physical chemistry and applications of surfactants. Since 1997 he has been employed by Clariant as head of a physical laboratory specialising in surfactant properties, rheology and particle sizing.

Dr. Torsten Henning was born in 1968. He studied chemistry in Stuttgart, obtaining his Dr. rer. nat there in 1996. He joined Hoechst in the same year, where he was responsible for the development of polyethylene glycols. From 1997, when the specialty chemical part of Hoechst was sold to Clariant and the business re-structured, he worked on the development and application of cosmetic raw materials. In December 2004 Dr. Henning joined Degussa.


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Received: 2004-8-30
Published Online: 2013-05-08
Published in Print: 2005-03-01

© 2005, Carl Hanser Publisher, Munich

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