& Polymer Science
Colloid & Polymer Sci 263:156-159 (1985)
A system with non-aqueous birefringent microemulsions
S. E. Friberg and C. S. Wohn
Chemistry Department, UMR, Rolla, MO 65401
Non-aqueous birefringent microemulsions were found in a system ofp-xylene,glycerol, triethanolammonium oleate and oleic acid. The microemulsions showed longterm stability once formed, but failed to form spontaneously when the components werecontacted. After partial separation by centrifugation, no signs of spontaneous reforma-tion were found.
Non-aqueous microemulsions, birefringent microemulsions, lyotropic liquidcrystals, glyceroMn-p-xylene microemulsions, glycerol inverse micelles.
Colloidal association structures in water-flee sys-tems have recently attracted considerable interest.Evans and collaborators [1, 2] have investigated micel-lar formation of surfactants in ethylammonium nitrateand hydrazine and Ionescu  found micellization ofacylcarnitine in glycerol. Lyotropic liquid crystal withnon-aqueous solvents have been introduced by Fri-berg and collaborators [4-7] and studied by Evans .McIntosh et al.  have analyzed association struc-tures of lecithin and glycerol emphasizing their biolo-gical importance.Microemulsions in which a non-aqueous polarcompound replaces water have independently beenintroduced by Friberg  and by Lattes .Another novelty in the area are birefringent micellarsolutions [12,13] or microemulsions [14,15]. Theywere introduced by Hoffman in 1978 , who attri-buted their properties to the presence of giant micelles,while Taupin and collaborators [14,15] discussed thestructure of birefringent microemulsions. The ques-tion of stability of such systems has recently beenraised by Fontell  who expressed doubt as to thebirefringent solutions possessing thermodynamic sta-bility. With regard to the fact that the compositionswere found at the limit of the solubility area, Fontell cautioned against an inadvertent path into thetwo-phase region containing a liquid crystalline phase.Birefringent phases have also been observed by Millerand collaborators  in their investigations on terti-
ary oil recovery. The question of the structure and sta-bility O such systems is a fascinating problem.We have recently found a system containing
birefringent microemulsions and we consid-ered our results concerning their stability to be of suf-ficient interest to merit publication of a research note.The system investigated was glycerol, triethanolam-monium oleate, oleic acid and p-xylene.
The p-xylene was Aldrich, 99 %, the glycerol was Aldrich GoldLabel, 99.5 % and the triethanolammonium oleate (TEAO) wasmade by contacting equimolar amounts of oteic acid, Fisher puri-fied, and triethanolamine, Fisher certified. All chemicals were usedas received.The solubilization of glycerol in the p-xylene/TEAO solutionwas determined by titration with mixing, using a vibromixer at30 ~ The viscosity of the solutions was measured using Cannon-Fenske capillary viscometers at 30 ~ covering the range of viscosi-ties encountered.The stability of he microemulsions part of he system was inves-tigated by long term storage at 30 ~ and by examination of thetransport direction of layers in partially separated or incompletelyhomogenized samples at the same temperature.
Results and discussion
Our earlier results in aqueous systems  haveintroduced the relation between liquid crystals andmicroemulsions; hence, our primary efforts werelimited to finding the lamellar liquid crystalline phase