Mix Oil & Water: Australian Scientist Revolutionizes Chemistry & Cooking

In summary, Professor Pashley's discovery has attracted world attention for its potential to improve many aspects of chemistry and cooking.
  • #1
Uno Lee
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This is what I found on a link in {}. If this is already posted feel free to delete. I'm still learning...
{Thursday, 3 March 2005

Oil and Water


It’s a basic fact of science: oil and water don’t mix. Well an Australian scientist refused to accept this standard of chemistry and cooking. He’s developed a method to bring the two together and he’s attracted world attention. It’s not just about better salad dressing, the technique means clothes could be cleaned with just water – no detergent, and insoluble drugs could be delivered quickly and safely inside your body. (full transcript...)

Reporter: Karina Kelly

Producer: Richard Corfield

Researcher: Lucy Andrew
Story Contacts:

Professor Ric Pashley
Australian National University


Full Program Transcript:

Narration
Anyone who's made a salad dressing can tell you that oil ... and water ... don't mix.

You can stir them ...

You can shake them ...

You can agitate them in all manner of ways ... but they'll always separate out into two distinct layers.

Ric Pashley
You ought to be able to make particles or droplets of oil float around in water and we call that disperse. We ought to be able to do that, yet we can't. The oil droplets don't naturally disperse as little fine droplets into the water. But they should and it worried me for some time why that doesn't happen.

Narration
Professor Ric Pashley is passionate about challenging well accepted theories in science. He wanted to see what was stopping oil and water mixing so he took a single drop of oil and pulled it apart in water.

At the point where the droplet broke in two, he observed gas bubbling out of the water forming a bridge between the droplets and drawing them back together. He wondered : were the oil droplets actually surrounded by a layer of gas all the time? Could this gas layer be what stops the oil and water mixing?

All liquids, everywhere, contain gases, which dissolve in from the atmosphere. It's a fact of nature.

Ric wondered if removing the gas from the oil and water layers would change their mixing properties.

He froze the sample, using liquid nitrogen.

On thawing you can actually see the dissolved gas bubbling out. There's quite a lot!

Ric Pashley
About 20 ml of gas is dissolved in a litre of water so it's a not insubstantial amount.

Narration
After four or five cycles of this freezing and thawing, the sample is now gas free.

It looks cloudy because the water is now saturated with tiny oil droplets, the excess left floating on the surface.

They'd mixed the metaphor. Oil and water do mix. All you have to do is remove the gas. It's so simple.

Ric's discovery is set to revolutionise many industrial processes in food production, perfumery and drug manufacture.

Many drugs used in hospitals are oily. To get them into the bloodstream they have to be mixed with detergents or solvents, which themselves can have nasty side effects.

Ric's process means that oily drugs can be mixed directly into water, without additives. What's more, the drugs are now tiny droplets, just 0.3 micron across, making them perfect for the body to absorb.

While there's years of human trials ahead, the technique could be used right now to test the active ingredients in new drugs without the complication of additives.

Ric Pashley
Now in that form the drug could be screened. That is whether the drug has any action as a anti-cancer drug or whatever and I think that is a fairly rapid and immediate advance in what we've done.}
 
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  • #2
This article is about the scientific discovery made by Professor Ric Pashley of the Australian National University. He developed a technique to make oil and water mix, which could revolutionize many industrial processes and drug manufacture. By freezing and thawing the sample, the gas layer is removed, allowing the oil and water to mingle. This technology could be used to test the active ingredients in new drugs without the complication of additives, as well as for other applications such as food production and perfumery.
 
  • #3


It's fascinating to see how a simple observation about oil and water not mixing has led to such a groundbreaking discovery by Australian scientist Professor Ric Pashley. By removing the dissolved gas from the layers of oil and water, he has found a way to make them mix and potentially revolutionize various industries. This discovery has the potential to improve processes in food production, perfumery, and even drug manufacture by allowing for the direct mixing of oily drugs with water without the need for additives. It's exciting to think about the potential impact this could have on the medical field, as well as the ability to test new drugs without the complication of additives. It's amazing how questioning and challenging accepted theories can lead to such innovative breakthroughs.
 

Related to Mix Oil & Water: Australian Scientist Revolutionizes Chemistry & Cooking

1. What is the science behind mixing oil and water?

The reason oil and water do not mix is because they have different molecular structures. Oil molecules are nonpolar, meaning they do not have a positive or negative charge, while water molecules are polar, with a positive and negative end. This difference in polarity causes them to repel each other, making it difficult for them to mix.

2. How did the Australian scientist revolutionize the chemistry of mixing oil and water?

The Australian scientist discovered a new emulsifier, which is a substance that helps oil and water mix. This emulsifier is made from natural ingredients and is able to bond with both oil and water molecules, bringing them together and creating a stable emulsion.

3. How does this new discovery affect cooking?

The new emulsifier has a major impact on cooking, especially in the creation of sauces and dressings. It allows for oil and water to mix together without separating, resulting in a smooth and creamy texture. It also means that less oil is needed in recipes, making dishes healthier and more sustainable.

4. Is this new emulsifier safe for consumption?

Yes, the emulsifier is made from natural ingredients and is safe for consumption. It has been thoroughly tested and approved by food safety agencies in Australia and other countries. It is also free from any artificial additives or preservatives.

5. Can this discovery be applied to other areas of chemistry?

Yes, the emulsifier has potential applications in various industries, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and even environmental cleanup. Its ability to bring together polar and nonpolar substances has opened up new possibilities in the field of chemistry.

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