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Emulsification Emulsifying Emulsion


If you pour a small amount of oil into a glass of water, it is not normally possible to mix the oil with the water. Oil is the lighter of the two liquids. After shaking, the oil bubbles rise from the water and settle as a layer of oil on top of the water.

Emulsifying means converting such immiscible liquids into a stable mixture. This can be achieved by transferring the oil into extremely small droplets. The droplet size can be in the micrometre or even nanometre range. Such small droplets are formed when oil and water are mixed with extremely high shear energy. The smaller the oil droplets are, the more transparent such a mixture is.

In this case, we speak of an oil-in-water emulsion. Conversely, one would speak of a water-in-oil emulsion.

The emulsification process can be accelerated by adding an additive. For example, lecithin can act as an emulsifier as it is soluble in both fat and water. Surfactants can also be emulsifiers. Emulsions can be stable or segregate. Cellulose ether or pectin can be added to counteract segregation. Examples of emulsions are body lotion, sun cream, milk, mayonnaise or lubricants. Emulsions are produced with the aid of high-speed rotor-stator liquid mixers or colloid mills.

Special application in powder mixing technology:

Sometimes it is difficult to evenly wet a hydrophobic powder with aqueous substances. This is made easier if the aqueous wetting liquid is present as an emulsion. amixon® mixers are used for the preparation of dry and moist powders. amixon® powder mixers are able to distribute the smallest quantities of liquid homogeneously in the powder. This happens without the formation of agglomerates or lumps.