Predicting droplet size distributions of emulsions produced in a Sonolator

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Producing emulsions continuously compared to in batch production has many benefits, such as increased speed and agility of production. A Sonolator, a device similar to a high-pressure homogeniser, is capable of this continuous production. In this paper, the size of droplets produced during emulsification has been investigated for various orifice pressure drops, dispersed phase viscosities, and orifice sizes. The phase fraction of the dispersed phase, up to 10% v/v, and the presence of a blade after the orifice were found not to affect the droplet size distribution (DSD). The mode droplet size decreased with increasing pressure drop and the DSDs were mostly bi-modal, due to the formation of satellite droplets, meaning d3,2 is a poor benchmarking parameter. We propose a model capable of predicting the full DSD of the emulsion. This reveals key parameters for scale-up of production using Sonolators and can help to improve product quality and process efficiency.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Early online date16 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2020