What Is a Colloid Mill & How Does It Compare to a Homogenizer?

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Deb Shechter
Nov 4, 2016
min read
What Is a Colloid Mill & How Does It Compare to a Homogenizer?

A colloid mill is a type of rotor-stator mixer often used in the manufacturing of emulsions and dispersions. It can also be used to reduce the particle size of solids in suspension. Inside the colloid mill, a high-speed rotor pushes the fluid through small holes in a stationary stator, creating extremely high levels of mechanical shear. The sizes of these holes or gaps is adjustable, so that the user can control the level of shear. The higher the shear, the smaller the resulting particle size.

Colloid mills are used across many manufacturing industries, especially in the pharmaceutical, food and chemical industries. It is great for making small to medium-sized batches of product, which could include anything from toothpaste to peanut butter.

Colloid mills work well with highly viscous products, and some can even be used to grind fibrous materials, when fitted with a rough-surfaced rotor and stator. The major disadvantages of a colloid mill are that it is not suitable for continuous use, running it consumes a lot of energy, and there is a possibility of product contamination.

High Pressure Homogenizers

A high pressure homogenizer has a somewhat different mechanism of action, and also uses more than just one force. Pion's proprietary homogenizing cell technology drives the fluid at ultra high pressure through a small nozzle, causing cavitation. The fluid becomes a high velocity jet stream and flows through an absorption cell. This absorption cell contains alternating small and large orifices that create turbulence and cause fluid-on-fluid impact and shear. Process intensity is adjustable from 2,000 - 45,000 psi / 150 - 3100 bar. All of these forces are adjustable, allowing the user to optimize according to the desired end result.

High pressure homogenizers are able to produce very small, sub-micron particle sizes (<0.1 micron). In addition to particle size reduction, DeBEE high pressure homogenizers are also well suited to cell lysis. Adjustable forces allow for the gentle yet complete rupture of an array of different cell types, including E. coli, yeast, bacteria, mammalian tissue, insect and fungi cells.

Learn more about how Pion's BEE brand High Pressure Homogenizers can benefit your pharmaceutical products by contacting us today.

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