Effects of polar fractions on interfacial and bulk properties at the oil/carbonated aqueous solution interface: Insight from molecular dynamics simulation

Ali Mirzaalian Dastjerdi, Riyaz Kharrat, Vahid Niasar, Holger Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study utilized molecular dynamics simulations to understand the liquid/liquid interfaces in a natural environment involving carbon dioxide and various acidic components. The aim is to unravel the impact of polar fractions with various chemical structures and functional groups, namely benzoic acid, decanoic acid, phenol, and decanol, on the interfacial phenomena of the oleic phase (decane) in contact with water or CO 2-rich water at the molecular resolution. The findings indicate that carbon dioxide molecules enrich at the decane/water interface before dissolving into the oleic phase. When polar molecules are introduced to the oleic phase, there is a competition between carbon dioxide and acidic components to accumulate at the interface. The functional hydrocarbon fractions displace carbon dioxide at the interface and bridge the oleic and aqueous phases, reducing interfacial tension. Polar components change the charge distribution of water molecules in the biphasic system, signifying that the organized water layer at the interface with the non-aqueous phase has been disrupted. In contrast to the polar molecules, the carbon dioxide tends to diffuse into the oleic phase and changes the bulk properties like oil fluidity. Accordingly, the fluidity of the decane exhibited significant enhancement by CO 2 diffusion throughout the bulk oil phase, which might lead to substantial viscosity reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number132660
Number of pages12
JournalColloids and surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number5 January
Early online date23 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2024

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