The behaviour of the Ce(IV)-catalyzed Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) system has been monitored at 20.0°C in unstirred batch conditions in the absence and presence of different amounts of the non-ionic micelle-forming surfactants hexaethylene glycol monodecyl ether (C10E6) and hexaethylene glycol monotetradecyl ether (C14E6). The influence of the non-ionic surfactants on both the kinetics of the oxidation of malonic acid (MA) by Ce(IV) species and the behaviour of the BZ reaction in stirred batch conditions has also been studied over a wide surfactant concentration range. The experimental results have shown that, in unstirred batch conditions, at surfactant concentrations below the critical micelle concentration (c.m.c.) no significant change in the dynamics of the Belousov–Zhabotinsky system occurs. Beyond this critical concentration the presence of micelles forces the BZ system to undergo a chaos →
quasi-periodicity → period-1 transition. Thus, the surfactant concentration has been considered as a bifurcation parameter for a Ruelle–Takens–Newhouse (RTN) scenario. Addition of increasing amounts of non-ionic surfactants has no significant effect on the kinetics of the reaction between MA and Ce(IV), but it influences the oscillatory parameters of the stirred BZ system. At surfactant concentrations below the c.m.c. all the oscillatory parameters are practically unaffected by the presence of surfactant, while beyond this critical value the induction period is the same as in aqueous solution but both the oscillation period and the duration of the rising portion of the oscillatory cycle decrease. In all cases, the experimental trends have been ascribed to the enhancement in the medium viscosity due to the presence of micelles.
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