Microemulsions in applied chemistry

NAME OF THE COURSE Microemulsions in applied chemistry



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Vesna Sokol

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

ScD Perica Bošković

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

Emphasize to students the importance and width of the field of application of micro-emulsions in various industries such as food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, textile, as well as in biomedicine, biotechnology and synthesis of nanoparticles.
Acquisition of fundamental knowledge on the physico-chemical properties of conventional microemulsion and surfactant-free-microemulsion systems based on green chemistry.

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

Students will be able to successfully master the subject:
- to describe the structure of classical microemulsions and microemulsion systems without the presence of a surfactant so-called ”Surfactant-Free-Microemulsions”; to define the differences in comparison to emulsion
- to explain the role of the surfactant and the importance of thermodynamic parameters in achieving a stable microemulsion system
- to determine the size and shape of the microemulsion aggregates and explain the dynamics of their growth
- to describe the basic principles and possibilities for application of different methods (spectroscopy, conductometrics, measuring viscosity, surface tension measurement, AFM, TEM, SANS) in the study of microemulsion systems
- to recognize the principles on which Green Chemistry reduces the negative effects of chemical processes and technologies on the environment
- to plan the laboratory procedures and independently to conduct an experiment in accordance with the plan of research
- to implement appropriate computer programs for numerical processing of experimental data and graphic representation of the results obtained; discuss the results and reach a conclusion at the end

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

Week 1.: Introduction to microemulsion.
Week 2.: Characteristics and structure of microemulsion.
Week 3.: Differences between microemulsions and emulsions.
Week 4.: Conditions of of phase equilibrium and phase diagrams.
Week 5.: The surfactants and co-surfactants, and their characteristics.
6. and 7. week: Rheology of microemulsion and emulsion systems.
Week 8.: First partial exam.
9. and 10. week: Methods and experimental techniques of research microemulsion system.
Week 11.: Surface tension and critical micelle concentration (c.m.c.).
Week 12: The microstructure of microemulsion aggregates.
Week 13.: The microemulsions without the presence of surfactant (”Surfactant-Free-Microemulsions”).
Week 14.: The application of microemulsion. Examples.
Week 15.: The second partial exam.
Laboratory exercises:
1.Ternary phase diagram - determination of characteristic areas of microemulsion system.
2. Conductometric determination of critical micelle concentration (c.m.c.) and thermodynamics of micellization reaction in the presence of surfactant.
3. Determination of solvation properties of microemulsion using UV-Vis spectroscopy - extraction efficiency of toxic analytes from contaminated soil and comparison with conventional solvents.
4. Conductometric determination of nanostructures in the microemulsion without the presence of surfactants.
5. Viscometric determining of percolating threshold of microemulsion system. Size and shape of microemulsion aggregates.
Student will present the selected topic from the subject content in written form by seminar paper and oral presentation in PowerPoint.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Students are required to attend classes and actively participate in the teaching process. This will be recorded and evaluated in making a final assessment.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

The course content is divided into two units that students take over
partial exams or joining final exam at the end of the semester. The exam
is considered passed if students achieve at least 60%. The final grade is
based on the evaluation of partial exams. Grades: <60% not satisfied;
60-69% successful (2) 70-79% good (3), 80-89% very good (4), 90-100%
excellent (5).

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

R. Najjar, Microemulsions - An Introduction to Properties and Applications, InTech, 2012.


C. Sell, The Chemistry of Fragrances - From Perfumer to Consumer, RSC Publishing, Ashford, UK, 2006.


P. K. Bidyut, S.P. Moulik, Uses and applications of Microemulsions, Curr. Sci. 80 (2001) 990.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

P. Bošković, V. Sokol, T. Zemb, D. Touraud, W. Kunz. Weak Micelle-Like Aggregation in Ternary Liquid Mixtures as Revealed by Conductivity, Surface Tension, and Light Scattering, J. Phys. Chem. B 119 (2015) 9933.
I. Kralova, J. Sjöblom Surfactants Used in Food Industry: A Review, J. Disper. Sci. Technol. 30 (2009) 1363.
J. Drapeau, M. Verdier, D. Touraud, U. Kröckel, M. Geier, A. Rose, W. Kunz, Effective Insect Repellent Formulation in both Surfactantless and Classical Microemulsions with a Long-Lasting Protection for Human Beings, Chem. Biodivers. 6 (2009) 934.
C. A. Katz, Z. J. Calzola, J. K. N. Mbindyo, Structure and Solvent Pr

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality of the teaching and learning, monitored at the level of the (1) teachers, accepting suggestions of students and colleagues, and (2) faculty, conducting surveys of students on teaching quality.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)