Stable Emulsions: How to Scale with Homogenization

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David Shechter
Apr 6, 2016
min read
Stable Emulsions: How to Scale with Homogenization

Incorporation of stable emulsions is critical to the effectiveness of any given product. High pressure homogenization is a reliable method of creating stable emulsions. Yet there is a huge difference between achieving stability in the lab and in an industrial format. Scaling is a significant challenge for many labs and corporations because industrial machines have difficulty achieving the same level of shear and force that a laboratory machine can achieve. This is particularly challenging because scaling requires use of the same method to achieve the same result with very different machinery. Below are a few specific factors that should be considered when creating a stable emulsion, starting in the laboratory and ending in production.

All conditions must remain the same through scale-up.

Laboratory optimization of the formulation for a stable emulsion is not typically a difficult process. However, scale-up to industrial production may require significant troubleshooting to achieve the same level of stability. Using the formulation that was successful in the lab, with similar concentration of ingredients, is usually not the problem. Yet maintaining the same intensity of forces like shear and cavitation can be more limiting, and should be carefully considered. (1)

Cavitation size should be increased without sacrificing other mechanical forces.

Cavitation is a huge player in direct scale-up; specifically, its size should be increased while intensity remains the same. Creation of the finely dispersed droplets of a stable emulsion can be troublesome, given the resistance that is imparted on the mixing process. The high cavitation achieved by a high pressure homogenizer is able to overcome that resistance, and importantly, provides long-term stability that other mixers cannot achieve. Additional mechanical forces found in some high quality homogenizers, and which may aid the process, are impact, shear, and an adjustable process intensity. (1)

Pion: The Homogenizer Advantage

Emulsion production and scaling to industrial production involves high pressure mixing, most commonly in the form of homogenization. Homogenization is the preferable method due to its ability to reduce particle sizes more significantly than other blending methods. The first step in synthesizing a w/o or o/w emulsion is purchasing equipment that will achieve small and consistent particle size distribution. One such example is the high pressure homogenizer by Pion. Our products are trusted by pharmaceutical researchers and lab managers around the world for key benefits, such as production of nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions; importantly, this equipment can achieve consistent particle sizes at or below 100 nm, a key benefit for researchers & corporations that synthesize pharmaceutical products.

In addition, Pion offers homogenizers for all parts of the scaling process. From laboratory homogenizers to pilot-plant machines and finally, to industrial units, these products make the scaling transition more seamless and less error-prone.

Learn more about Pion's BEE brand industrial homogenizers and how they can help your scale-up process.

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