NISSAN CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. (Tokyo, JP)
HIROSAKI UNIVERSITY (Hirosaki-shi, JP)

It is a highly branched hydrocarbon based surfactant to stabilize a supercritical water carbon dioxide microemulsion. A surfactant consisting of Formula (1): R.sub.6-30 Hydrocarbon Group, with a branched Chain; where M is a hydrogen, an alkali metal and ammonium. It is utilized to stabilize a water/supercritical carbon dioxide microemulsion.

Supercritical carbon dioxide (hereinafter it is referred to as scCO.sub.2) is a fluid of carbon dioxide formed at the temperature of critical (31.1.degree. C.) or greater , and at the pressure of critical (73.8bar) or higher. Its properties are similar to nonpolar solvents, such as hexane. Therefore, scCO.sub.2 can be utilized as industrial solvent. A thermodynamically stable W/scCO.sub.2microemulsion (hereinafter, known as W/scCO.sub.2.mu.E) that is composed of water (W or something similar) is dispersed into nanometer-sized droplets in scCO.sub.2, is expected to be effective in many areas, including dry cleaning extraction of metal ions and proteins, and organic synthesis, or fine particle synthesis by its utilization as an reaction field.

For forming W/scCO.sub.2.mu.E A surfactant that is soluble in scCO.sub.2 is essential, and this is the reason that hitherto, various surfactants have been investigated. It is recognized that fluorocarbon compounds can be easily dissolved in scCO.sub.2 in accordance with Patent Document 1. The fluorocarbon compound is expensive , which is why it is crucial to limit its use. Therefore, the development of a surfactant that is based on hydrocarbons is a desirable idea.

As a representative example of a hydrocarbon-based surfactant, AOT (Aerosol-OT [registered trade mark]: sodium bis-2-ethyl-1-hexylsulfosuccinate) is known. This surfactant does not suit W/scCO.sub.2.mu.E. Surfactant cannot be dissolved in scCO.sub.2 and even when it forms an emulsion. (Non-patent document 1, page. 12, 1.35-41). This is because W.sub.0.sup.c is the remaining value after subtracting an amount (a number of moles) of water that has the capability of dissolving in carbon dioxide from a molar proportion (W.sub.0) of water to one mole of a surfactant, and is an indicator for the capacity of a surfactant to create an emulsion within scCO.sub.2 (ability of dispersing water). As an effective surfactant for W/scCO.sub.2.mu.E the it is TMN-6 (Tergitol [registered trade mark]: polyethylene glycol trimethyl nonyl ether) is recognized (Non-patent Document 2 (p. 112, 1.19-29 or Non-patent Document 3). In spite of this, the lack of other surfactants made of hydrocarbons available that are available is a current reality.

Patent Document

Patent Document 1: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2004-315675 (JP 2004-315675 A)

Non-Patent Documents

Non-patent Document 1: Surface, Vol. 40, No. 10, pp. 9-23 (2002) Non-patent Document 2: supervised by Tadafumi ADschiri “Supercritical fluid and nano technology, Chapter 3 section 5, Nanoemulsion and microemulsion” published by CMC PublishingCO., Ltd. in 2004, August Non-patent Document 3. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 42, pp. 6348-6358 (2003)

The invention can help solve the problem

The present invention was created in response to such circumstances and is the purpose of this invention to provide a high-quality surfactant based on hydrocarbons for W/scCO.sub.2.mu.E having high water dispersing capacity.

Means for Solving the Problem

The creators of this invention realized that Sulfate compound with the hydrocarbon group and a branched chain is an excellent surfactant for W/scCO.sub.2.mu.E.

That is, the invention is in its first aspect, a surfactant comprising a sulfate group of Formula (1): R.sup.1–OSO.sub.3M (1) (where R.sup.1 is an C.sub.6-30 hydrocarbon group having an branched chain and M is a hydrogen atom, ammonium is an alkali metal, an amino acid base, an alkanolamine residue having an C.sub.2-3 alkyl group or an aliphatic alkanolammonium) for stabilizing a water/supercritical carbon dioxide microemulsion.

The present invention is also closely related to the surfactant in the second aspect. It is distinct in that R.sup.1 is a C.sub.12-30 Hydrocarbon group.

In a third aspect the present invention relates to the surfactant according to the first feature, defined in the sense that R.sup.1 is a C.sub.12-24 hydrocarbon group.

As a fourth aspect this invention relates to the surfactant in the first aspect, which is defined by the fact that R.sup.1 is any one of groups from Formula (2) to Formula (7):

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