Transparent emulsions now possible with GEA NiSoX-Valve

Field study shows that the GEA NiSo-Valve homogenises nanoemulsions quicker and more flexibly

The GEA NiSoX-Valve homogenises nanoemulsions for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology applications quicker, more evenly and more flexibly

GEA homogenisers are used in cell disruption and emulsifying applications in the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetic industries.

Further strengthening the company’s leading position in this field, the NiSoX-Valve, has taken the homogenisation process for micro- and nanoemulsions to the next level.

Having presented the technology at ACHEMA 2018, the results of customer study are now available and will be presented at POWTECH (9–11 April, Nuremberg, Germany) in hall 3/3-231.

Says Kai Becker, Head of Product Group Management Homogenisation at GEA: “By optimising energy distribution and reducing the overall particle size, we can significantly improve the homogenisation effect. We’ve not only exceeded our original laboratory results with this trial, we’ve actually produced a nearly transparent emulsion.”

In the study, the emulsion formulation consisted of water (80%), a fat phase (15%) and a surfactant (5%).

Practical tests confirmed that the polydispersity index was lower than that of conventional valves, particularly for high pressure applications (700–1500 bar).

This improves both physical and visual properties, such as viscosity, transparency and gloss, all of which of key during the production of pharmaceutical and cosmetic nanoemulsions.

Traditional homogenising valves minimise the distance between the passage head and the impact head to achieve the required level of particle micronisation.

However, the NiSoX-Valve reverses this principle: compared with standard processes, GEA forces the medium to be emulsified out of — as opposed to into — an annular gap, which results in much better particle distribution, higher dilution and reduced cohesive forces. Then, imploding gas bubbles within the chamber of the CCMS (Cavitation Cloud Modulating System) facilitate the micronisation process.

Matteo Folezzani, Mechanical Engineer, Product Development at GEA, explains the innovative technology: “We’ve leveraged the fluid dynamic effects of the NiSoX-Valve to make it more effective and efficient by moving the cavitation cloud. Fully adjustable, according to the product and specific inlet conditions, manufacturers can now achieve their desired result with fewer batch circulations and passages at a given pressure.”

“Furthermore, the field tests have shown that the new technology prolongs the lifespan of the plant machinery. This is particularly interesting, for example, for chemical and pharmaceutical dispersions, which are generally very abrasive, he adds.

Customers wishing to test their dispersion mixture, quantify the NiSoX-Valve’s advantages in term of pressure reduction and energy recovery, or validate their product results, are invited to contact the GEA Process Technology Center in Parma, Italy. GEA also offers the NiSoX-Valve for testing – via its “Try and Buy” option – directly at customer plants.

Image: The GEA NiSoX-Valve homogenizes nanoemulsions for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology applications quicker, more evenly and more flexibly. Photo: GEA

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