Production of sub-10 micrometre cellulose microbeads using isoporous membranes

Ekanem E. Ekanem, Ainur Sabirova, Ciarán Callaghan, Janet L. Scott, Karen J. Edler, Suzana Pereira Nunes, Davide Mattia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The production of sub-10 µm cellulose microbeads via membrane emulsification using isoporous membranes is reported here for the first time. Poly(ethylene terephthalate) membranes, with defined interpore distances, pore diameters and straight-through pores were fabricated via photolithography. A dispersed phase of 8 wt% cellulose solution was extruded through the membrane pores, forming, due to shear provided by an overhead stirrer, cellulose solution droplets dispersed in a continuous phase composed of 2 wt% and 5 wt% Span in sunflower oil. Upon phase inversion with ethanol, sub-10 µm microbeads with a coefficient of variation (CV) < 45 % were produced by exploring the Weber number (Wed) - Capillary number (Cac) emulsion generation space. These results show that sub-10 µm cellulose microbeads can be produced using isoporous polymer membranes fabricated via photolithography, for use in a wide range of applications in the personal care, food and drug industries.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100024
JournalJournal of Membrane Science Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for financial support (grant EP/P027490/1).


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