Ultrasonic production of nano-size dispersions and emulsions
Ultrasound is a well-established method for particle size reduction in dispersions and emulsions. Ultrasonic processors are used in the generation of nano-size material slurries, dispersions and emulsions because of the potential in the de-agglomeration and reduction of primaries. These are the mechanical effects of ultrasonic cavitation. Ultrasound can also be used to influence chemical reactions by the cavitational energy. This is sonochemistry. As the market for nano-size materials grows, the demand for ultrasonic processes at production level increases. At this stage, energy efficiency becomes important. Since the energy is required per weight or volume of processed material, the process volume links directly to the equipment size required. Therefore, the optimisation of the process efficiency is essential to reduce investment and operational costs. Furthermore, it is required to scale the lab and bench-top configurations to this final level without any variations in the process achievements. Scale up by power alone will not do this.