DOI: 10.3390/colloids7040068 ISSN: 2504-5377

Increasing the Efficiency of Emulsion Crystallization in Stirred Vessels by Targeted Application of Shear and Surfactant

Gina Kaysan, Linda Elmlinger, Matthias Kind
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)

Emulsions containing crystalline dispersed phases hold significant importance in pharmaceutical, chemical, and life science industries. The industrial agitation and storage of these emulsions can prompt crystallization effects within the flow field, intersecting with the primary nucleation mechanisms. Notably, contact-mediated nucleation, in which subcooled droplets crystallize upon contact with a crystalline particle, and shear-induced crystallization due to droplet deformation, are both conceivable phenomena. This study delves into the crystallization processes of emulsions in a 1 L stirred vessel, integrating an ultrasonic probe to monitor droplet crystallization progression. By scrutinizing the influence of the flow field and of the emulsifiers stabilizing the droplets, our investigation unveils the direct impact of enhanced rotational speed on accelerating the crystallization rate, correlating with increased energy input. Furthermore, the concentration of emulsifiers is observed to positively affect the crystallization process. Significantly, this pioneering investigation marks the first evaluation of emulsion crystallization considering the overlapping nucleation mechanisms seen in industrial production of melt emulsions. The findings offer valuable insights for more systematic control strategies in emulsion crystallization processes, promising more efficient and sustainable industrial practices by enabling targeted application of shear and surfactants.

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