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Surfactant-Assisted Algal Flocculation via Aggregation-Induced Emission with Ultralow Critical Micelle Concentration

Abstract

Surfactant-assisted algal flocculation has become a significant technique in algal biodiesel industry. Generally, commercially available surfactants with longer chains are employed for algal flocculation owing to their lower critical micelle concentration (CMC). However, the efficiency of algal flocculation is unsatisfactory even at high concentrations of surfactants. In this work, an aggregation-induced emission surfactant, tetraphenylethene-dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (TPE-DTAB), has been used to flocculate Chlorella vulgaris C4 with high efficiency as a result of its ultralow CMC (24 μM) from the hydrophobic and rigid tetraphenylethene moiety. More interestingly, TPE-DTAB could generate fluorescence in aggregation state in comparison to conventionally nonluminous surfactants. Therefore, the entire flocculation process of TPE-DTAB micelles with algae has been visualized. Our results would be helpful for scientists to design suitable surfactants with ultralow CMC for high-efficiency algal flocculation.

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jan 2018, accepted on 28 Mar 2018 and first published on 28 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00218E
Citation: Green Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Surfactant-Assisted Algal Flocculation via Aggregation-Induced Emission with Ultralow Critical Micelle Concentration

    J. Zhong, W. Guan and C. Lu, Green Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8GC00218E

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