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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The Center for Particulate and Surfactant Systems (CPaSS) conducts research to advance, develop, and promote greener surfactant and particle technologies. Greener is defined as products that include less-hazardous reagents; save in energy, water, and materials; and are more efficient and add value with little to no compromise in performance.

Particulate and surfactant systems are vital to essentially every major industry, including consumer products; pharmaceutical and health; agriculture and food; oil, mining, and minerals; specialty chemicals; and analytical instrumentation and services. Many industrial applications involve the use of dry or wet particulate systems and natural or synthetic surfactants whose effectiveness depends on the synergistic or competitive interactions with each other. CPaSS seeks to:

  • Advance fundamental understanding of surfactant-polymer-protein-substrate static and dynamic interactions for optimal performance.
  • Create synergy among reagents.
  • Explore high-risk, high-impact research that could lead to technological innovations and new discoveries.
  • Establish a venue for industrial and academic interactions for conducting industrially relevant research.


  • University of Florida
  • Columbia University
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Brij M. Moudgil
Distinguished Professor, Director CPaSS
+1 352 846 1194

P. Somasundaran
LaVon Duddleson Krumb Professor, Co-Director CPaSS
+1 212 854 1754

Research Focus

A common research platform is the development of structure-property-performance correlations for the design of engineered particulate and surfactant systems for optimal operation in industrial applications. For this, it is necessary to first establish the relationship of the particulate and surfactant nanostructures (including functional groups and mode of addition) to their performance. A major research focus is to explore the microstructure and nanostructure of novel individual and mixed particulates and surfactants with potential industrial applications and to understand the basis of interactions that control their bulk and interfacial behavior.

In addition, CPaSS faculty and staff members and students provide expertise and conduct research in the following areas of interest identified by its stakeholders:

  • Advanced particulate/mineral separations.
  • Antimicrobial coatings.
  • Corrosion inhibition.
  • Cosmetics and health care products.
  • Dispersion of soft and hard solids.
  • Inhibition of scale formation.
  • Toxicity of nanostructures/nanoparticles.
  • Waste minimization, reuse, and remediation.