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  1. A novel castor oil/water/ethanol Pickering emulsion, stabilized by magnetic nanoparticles (NPs), was developed to allow on-demand demulsification by an external magnetic field for the extraction of ethanol from aqueous solution using the castor oil. The emulsion was stabilized by Fe3O4-coated cellulose nanocrystals (CNC@Fe3O4) and lignin-coated Fe3O4 NPs (lignin@Fe3O4). The stability of the emulsions was investigated at various castor oil to ethanol-water ratios (50/50 and 70/30), various NP concentrations, and ethanol concentrations in the aqueous phase. The magnetically controlled demulsification ability of the emulsions was investigated by using a permanent magnet. The results showed that the 70/30 emulsions were more stable than the 50/50 emulsions for all the ethanol concentrations. Moreover, increasing the NP concentration increased the emulsion stability and hence, 1 w/v% NPs concentration provided the more stable systems. However, all the emulsions were successfully broken by the permanent magnet. Yet, the presence of ethanol improves the ability of the external magnetic field to demulsify these dispersions. Furthermore, the used hybrid NPs were recovered and recycled for three cycles. The recycled NPs were characterized with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) indicating that they retained their saturation magnetization and crystalline structure, demonstrating their lack of degradation over multiple recycling cycles. This study facilitates the exploration of innovative two-phase Pickering emulsions comprising three distinct liquid components and their utilization in liquid-liquid extraction processes. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  2. Lignin@Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles adsorb at oil–water interfaces, form Pickering emulsions, induce on-demand magnetic responses to break emulsions, and can sequester oil from water. Lignin@Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles were prepared using a pH-induced precipitation method and were fully characterized. These were used to prepare Pickering emulsions with castor oil/Sudan red G dye and water at various oil/water volume ratios and nanoparticle concentrations. The stability and demulsification of the emulsions under different magnetic fields generated with permanent magnets (0–540 mT) were investigated using microscopy images and by visual inspection over time. The results showed that the Pickering emulsions were more stable at the castor oil/water ratio of 50/50 and above. Increasing the concentration of lignin@Fe 3 O 4 improved the emulsion stability and demulsification rates with 540 mT applied magnetic field strength. The adsorption of lignin@Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles at the oil/water interface using 1-pentanol evaporation through Marangoni effects was demonstrated, and magnetic manipulation of a lignin@Fe 3 O 4 stabilized castor oil spill in water was shown. Nanoparticle concentration and applied magnetic field strengths were analyzed for the recovery of spilled oil from water; it was observed that increasing the magnetic strength increased oil spill motion for a lignin@Fe 3 O 4 concentration of up to 0.8 mg mL −1 at 540 mT. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of lignin-magnetite nanocomposites for rapid on-demand magnetic responses to externally induced stimuli. 
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