To begin, let us recall what exactly is the essence of a process called “homogenization”. In short, it is the process of obtaining a homogeneous substance by stirring. If a solid or liquid substance is milled to powder or emulsion by mechanical decomposition, then it is dispersion (of liquids and other substances). To achieve this result the usual mechanical mixing is not enough.
The main characteristic of dispersion is its uniformity. A special device is used to achieve an industrial required standard: an industrial homogenizer (or disperser). In fact, this device is a machine that combines a pump, a mixer and a mill capable of ultra-fine grinding.
Liquid disperser is used for preparation of emulsions (“liquid-liquid” mixtures), and suspensions (“liquid-solid” mixtures), for homogenizing liquids containing insoluble components (e.g., oil and water, oil and alcohol, fuel and water for fuel economy). These units operate in either continuous or batch mode depending on the requirements and the production technology. The scope of application is wide: from cosmetics industry (production of creams and emulsions) to food production (making juices, liquid chocolate etc).
Colloid mills and their modifications are successfully used in road construction for modifying bitumen with polymers, as well as for production of anionic and cationic bitumen emulsions or liquid rubber. Mechanical engineering also requires cooling lubricants and cooling technologies after heat treatment. In the energy sector, there is a demand for water-oil emulsion as a fuel for boilers. The coal industry needs emulsion for hydroficated supports, and the chemical industry needs mixtures with increased interfacial contact of components in multiphase heterogeneous systems. Also, the equipment is used for cleaning or extraction of oil or waste water, for production of detergents, adhesives, paint and varnish products and disinfectants. The alcohol industry applies homogenizers to obtain grain mash (with this equipment the alcohol yield increases by 10%).
Productivity of homogenizers depends on many factors: the model, the feedstock etc.
For example, the GlobeCore CLM-22 colloid mill processes 22 cubic meters of liquid raw material per hour. Powdered additives are added into the mixture in the course of the process. Dispersion ranges from 1 to 5 microns.
Using this industrial homogenizer, allows to make high performance paint and solvent mixtures as well as mixtures of bitumen and water, etc.
Also, one of the features of this colloid mill is the “wet milling” process. The final result of homogenization in it depends on the gap between rotor and stator teeth; these are the parts of the mill that actually perform homogenization. This technology results in highly stable emulsions, extremely fine suspension and stable colloidal solutions.