Pictorial depiction of stability measurement via centrifugation, and droplet size measurements using optical light microscopy from Investigation of the formation mechanisms in high-internal phase Pickering emulsions stabilized by cellulose nanocrystals

Medium and high internal phase Pickering emulsions stabilized by cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have been prepared and the effects of CNC concentration and type of oil phase on the properties of emulsions were studied. The maximum oil phase volume that can be stabilized by CNC is 87% when the CNC concentration is 0.6 wt.%, and slightly decreases to 83% when the CNC concentration is increased to 1.2 wt.% or higher. In addition, the oil droplets stabilized with 0.6 wt.% CNC suspensions have a larger size than those stabilized with higher concentration CNC suspensions. As evidenced by the change in oil droplet morphology and size, two different emulsion formation mechanisms are proposed. For CNC concentration at 0.6 wt.%, the extra oil added into the emulsion is accommodated by expansion of oil droplets size, whereas for CNC concentrations 1.2 wt.% and higher, the oil is stabilized mainly by formation of new oil droplets.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘New horizons for cellulose nanotechnology'.