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Achieving Target Emulsion Drop Size Distributions Using Population Balance Equation Models of High-Pressure Homogenization

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posted on 2015-10-28, 00:00 authored by Shashank N. Maindarkar, Hans Hoogland, Michael A. Henson
Population balance equation (PBE) models have been used extensively to predict drop size distributions (DSDs) of dispersed phase systems. In our previous publications, we have used the PBE framework to develop increasingly sophisticated process models for oil-in-water emulsification in high-pressure homogenizers. The goal of this study was to utilize these PBE models for integrated emulsion product and process design through the formulation and solution of homogenizer optimization problems. For a specified number of homogenization passes, the initial amount of surfactant and the pressure of each pass were determined by solving a nonlinear least-squares optimization problem such that the target DSD were achieved. Three alternative objective functions that differed with respect to the distribution specification and the penalty on surfactant usage were formulated and solved for different target DSDs. The model predictions were successfully validated by performing homogenization experiments using the optimized formulation and homogenization variables.

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