The interaction between multi-component liquid systems and complex semi-amorphous solids is an industrially important but poorly understood research area. This problem is relevant to how hair, diapers and clothing products interact with complex aqueous liquid formulations, which usually contain multiple active species including surfactants, stabilisers, thickeners, fragrance molecules, malodour species, dyes, preservatives, biological agents and processing aids.

This project uses a novel and new chromatographic method by which the solid materials of interest (eg fibres, particles) are packed into a liquid chromatography (LC) column, though which are eluted complex aqueous based liquid mixtures of relevance. This technique is known as Inverse Liquid Chromatography1,2 and is related to a popular research technique, Inverse Gas Chromatography.

Using appropriate detectors in the LC systems, the extent of selective sorption of the liquid mixture components can be quantified as well as the kinetics associated with these multi-component sorption processes. Such novel experimental methods offer unrivalled understanding of these complex solid-liquid interactions under what can described as real world interaction conditions relevant to personal care products.