Organo-Bentonite-Coated Interfaces: Interfacial Properties and Cyclic Response

Marcelo D. Benitez, Qi Liu*, J. Carlos Santamarina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The accumulation of amphiphilic molecules, nanoparticles, or microorganisms at interfaces has important implications for multiphase flow in porous media. We optimize the composition of stable organo-bentonite suspensions to enhance particle adsorption onto the oil-water interface. Then, we use the pendant drop method to explore time-dependent effects on surface tension and the consequences of contraction-expansion cycles. Brownian motion brings organo-bentonite particles to the oil-water interface where they adsorb and accumulate to reduce the apparent interfacial tension in time. The adsorption energy of platy organo-bentonite particles is significantly higher than the adsorption energy of spherical nanoparticles of the same volume. Then, a shell-like interface develops after particle jamming during droplet contraction, and further contraction leads to shell buckling and wrinkle formation (rather than desorption). The shell-like interface experiences an anisotropic stress field and cannot be described by the Young-Laplace equation. The evolution of interfacial tension during contraction and expansion shows strong hysteresis; furthermore, the results suggest that the number of adsorbed particles at the interface increases with the number of cycles. Natural clay nanoparticles can facilitate the development of cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives for field-scale applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9394-9401
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 6 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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