Emulsions, foams, and suspensions: fundamentals and applications

Emulsions, foams and suspensions: fundamentals and applications 
Laurier Schramm 
Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH | 2005 | 448 pp | ?105.00 (HB) | ISBN 3527307435 
Reviewed by Bernard Binks 

Raw crude oil, the head of a glass of beer, and lip balms are everyday examples of the important colloidal dispersions of emulsions, foams and suspensions. The author claims that this is the first book to provide an integrated introduction to the nature, formation and stability of the dispersions. Without being too theoretical, the book is easy to read, covers a wide variety of topics and contains over 900 references. All terms are defined and the equations are well explained. It is a pity, however, that the format of the graphs is not consistent and that some images do not have a scale bar or are slightly incorrect. 

The first seven chapters provide an introduction to the general principles of colloid and interface science that have an impact on the properties of these dispersions, including colloid stability, rheology and surface chemistry. Given the large number of books dedicated to this topic, I would have preferred much more on the preparation, stability and properties of the three dispersion types - only one chapter is devoted to this. I also expected to see discussion on the behaviour of solid particles at fluid interfaces; a topic of great current interest.  

The next nine chapters focus on the current uses of these dispersions in areas such as mining, petroleum, food and agriculture, personal care, and the environment. The author is to be congratulated on this breadth of interest and, with carefully selected examples discussed clearly, on the real insight it gives to the reader. I now know what is behind the recycling of newspapers and what goes on during the baking of bread!  

This book will be useful to researchers in many disciplines in academia or industry - including chemists, physicists, material scientists, pharmacists and chemical engineers - who are entering the fascinating world of colloid and interface science.