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High-throughput premix membrane emulsification using nickel sieves having straight-through pores

Nazir, Akmal, Schroën, Karin, Boom, Remko
Journal of membrane science 2011 v.383 no.1-2 pp. 116-123
artificial membranes, droplet size, droplets, emulsifying, emulsions, fouling, homogenization, nickel, porosity, sieves
We report on the use of nickel sieves, having a uniform pore size (typically 10μm×300μm), for (oil-in-water) premix emulsification at relatively low transmembrane pressures. The droplet break-up was found to be based on elongation and recompression of droplets typical of high-pressure homogenization. The dependence on the transmembrane pressure indicated at least partial turbulent conditions. In line with this, the transmembrane fluxes were very high, while a reasonable span (around 1) of the droplet size was found. There was no indication of fouling in the process, even after 5 passes, which indicates that the process is tolerant to product and conditions. A master curve was found for the Weber number as function of the transmembrane pressure normalized on the Laplace pressure of the emulsion before emulsification, which is helpful in further scale-up of this process.