Using response surface methodology to optimise alkaline gelatinisation of novel depressants

Walter Amos Ngobeni, Antoine F. Mulaba-Bafubiandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Alkaline gelatinisation is the easiest, cheapest, fastest, and most energy-efficient form of polymer modification. It uses sodium hydroxide to change the polymer's structure to improve its properties. Cassia tora and locust bean gums are known for their gelling properties. Hence, this study developed a novel, comprehensive mathematical process model to produce high-purity alkaline gelatinised products using response surface methodology. The individual and interactive effects of water, sodium hydroxide, gelatinisation time, and polymer amount on product purity were investigated. A four-factor central composite design was used for the alkaline gelatinisation experiments. The results showed that the optimised conditions which yielded a high-purity product were water amount of 100 ml, NaOH of 10 ml, polymer amount of 5 g, and gelatinisation time of 5 min, respectively. This combination yielded a gelatinisation product with ∼100% dry purity. Furthermore, the coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.9922 in the present study proves that the model was adequate and suitable. Therefore, this model may be used to navigate the design space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-246
Number of pages7
JournalSouth African Journal of Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Alkaline gelatinisation
  • Cassia tora gum
  • Depressant
  • Locust bean gum
  • Response surface method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Education
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Filtration and Separation


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