Ultrasonic Emulsifiers

An emulsion is a two-phase system of two immiscible liquids, where one phase, the so-called internal or dispersed phase, is distributed as small droplets into the other, so-called external or continuous, phase. To prepare an emulsion, generally energy input into the two-phase system is required. Ultrasonic shear forces are well proven to be highly efficient to produce long-term stable emulsions with nano-sized droplets and of superior quality.

Ultrasonically Improved Emulsion Stability

The ultrasonicator UP200St in a stirred vessel for emulsification of reactants The physical effects of ultrasound induced by acoustic cavitation results in the disruption of oil and water droplets and facilitates thereby the formation of stable O/W and W/O emulsions with very small droplets size in the micron- and nano-size. Due to very small droplet size and its high surface area, nanoemulsions offer extraordinarily high bioactive properties, which is important for foods and supplements, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic production. Due to the minute droplet size, the bioactive compound can penetrate cells rapidly. Also in material science and industry, nano-emulsions are important for the manufacturing of high-performance coatings, paints, polymers and other composites. Ultrasonically prepared nanoemulsions are usually significantly more stable than macroemulsions and do not show sedimentation, coalescence or flocculation.

Capabilities of Ultrasonic Emulsification

  • Nano- and mini-emulsions
  • Highly efficient
  • Batch or continuous
  • Low to viscous liquids
  • Reproducibility / repeatability
  • Reliable technique
  • Easy and safe to use

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Ultrasonicators are reliable and efficient tools to produce nanoemulsification

UP400St400W ultrasonic device for oil-in-water (O/W) nano-emulsions

Ultrasonic Nano-Emulsions: This video demonstrated the rapid production of a nano-emulsion of oil in water. The UP200Ht homogenizes the oil and water in seconds.

Ultrasonic Emulsifying with UP200Ht with S26d14 probe

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Highly Efficient Ultrasonic Emulsification

Zungur et al. (2015) compared ultrasonic homogenization with classic high-shear homogenization for the preparation of water-olive oil emulsions. For the emulsions WPI and maltodextrin were used as encapsulation agents and Tween20 was used as stabilizer. “The creaming index values of emulsions prepared with classic and ultrasonic homogenization techniques, changed between 20.77 and 86.26 % and 15.63 to 91.55 %, respectively. In general terms, the results showed that the emulsions prepared with ultrasonic emulsification are more stable than those prepared with the classic homogenization method.“

Ultrasonic emulsification excels conventional high-shear homogenization in the formulation of stable water-olive oil emulsions by creating smaller droplets, resulting in less creaming and showing better overall emulsion quality.

The microscopy images (at 100xmagnification) of containing 40 % (wb) dry matter and 9 % (wb) oil emulsions prepared by classic homogenization method with (a) WPI, (b) MD, (c) WPI-MD mixture (1:1); and prepared by ultrasonic homogenization method with (d) WPI (e) MD (f) WPI-MD mixture (1:1). Ultrasonic emulsification results in significantly smaller droplets and better emulsion stability.
(study and microscopic images: Zungur et al., 2015)

Taha et al. (2020) conclude in their review paper that High-Intensity Ultrasonics (HIU) “could be used to improve the emulsifying properties of food emulsifiers such as proteins and polysaccharides and enhance the stability of their emulsions. Protein-polysaccharide complex stabilized emulsions produced by HIU showed better stability against environmental stresses than the emulsions stabilized by individual components. Moreover, several studies showed that HIU homogenizers were more energy efficient than high pressure homogenizers and microfluidizers.” (Taha et al., 2020)

Emulsion Quality Influencing Factors

  • Mean droplet size (influenced by emulsification technique)
  • Droplet size distribution (influenced by emulsification technique)
  • Internal-phase viscosity
  • Continuous-phase viscosity
  • Surfactant
  • Oil-phase concentration
  • Continuous-phase pH
  • Optical properties of emulsion
Ultrasonic nano-emulsification results in nano-enhanced emulsions

Ultrasonic nano-emulsification is used to produce high-performance emulsions for high-performance materials, paints, coatings, food, pharma, and cosmetics.

Ultrasonic emulsifying in comparison to conventional high-shear homogenization results in smaller droplets, a more uniform droplet size distribution, less creaming and the better overall emulsion quality.

Droplet size distribution of water-olive oil emulsions prepared by (a) classic homogenization method (b) ultrasonic homogenization (using the UP400S) method with MD, WPI and their mixture, having 40% dry matter with 9% oil (w/w) content. Ultrasonic emulsification results in significantly smaller droplets, less creaming and a better overall emulsion stability.
(study and graphs: Zungur et al., 2015)

Ultrasonic emulsification with Hielscher's UP200Ht and sonotrode S26d14

Ultrasonic preparation of an oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion (red water / yellow oil). A few seconds of sonication turn the two phases of water and oil into a fine emulsion.

High-Performance Ultrasonic Emulsifiers

Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies high-power, low-frequency ultrasonic emulsifiers at any scale for research, process development, R&D and industrial production of very large volume streams. Our broad portfolio offers the ideal ultrasonic processor at any size and for any industry.
Hielscher Ultrasonics’ industrial ultrasonic processors can deliver very high amplitudes. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7/365 operation. For even higher amplitudes, customized ultrasonic sonotrodes are available. All process parameters can be exactly controlled and monitored via smart software.

Advantages of Hielscher Ultrasonics Emulsifiers

  • for any volume / production capacity
  • for any industry
  • efficacious and process intensifying
  • for batch and inline processing
  • versatile usable
  • energy-efficient
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  • reproducible results
  • linear scalable
  • reliable
  • robust, low maintenance
  • easy to install or retro-fit
  • fast RoI
Ultrasonic reactor FC100L1K-1S with MultiPhaseCavitator InsertMPC48

Ultrasonic reactor with MultiPhaseCavitator- ը for improved nano-emulsification

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MultiPhaseCavitator- ը – The Ultrasonic Injection System for Stable Emulsions

InsertMPC48 with 48 fine cannulas, which inject the second phase of the emulsion directly into the ultrasonic cavitation zoneThe MultiPhaseCavitatorMPC48insertis a unique insert for Hielscher flow cell reactors. The design of the MultiPhaseCavitator features 48 fine cannulas that inject the second phase of the emulsion directly into cavitational hot-spot. In the cavitation zone, the fine strands of the injected second phase get cut by ultrasonic frequency waves of 20kHz. This means the injected fluid gets cut by 20,000 vibration strokes per second, which produces extraordinarily minute droplets in the nano range. The ultrasonic shear, shock waves and turbulences emulsifies these small droplets within the continuous phase and produces a superior nano-emulsion of high stability.

Want to Buy an Ultrasonic Emulsifier?

Contact us know by filling the contact form below, sending us an email, or calling us!
Our well-experienced team will be glad to discuss your emulsion application with you and to recommend you the most suitable ultrasonic emulsifier system!

Checklist for Buying the Ultrasonic Emulsifier fulfilling your Needs

  • precisely controllable parameters
  • high amplitudes
  • energy-efficiency
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  • linear scalable to any size
  • smart software with programmable sonication settings
  • 24/2/365 operation
  • robust
  • sonotrodes and accessories available

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
1 to 500mL10 to 200mL/minUP100H
10 to 2000mL20 to 400mL/minUP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L0.2 to 4L/minUIP2000hdT
10 to 100L2 to 10L/minUIP4000hdT
n.a.10 to 100L/minUIP16000
n.a.largercluster of UIP16000

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Please use the form below to request additional information about ultrasonic processors, applications and price. We will be glad to discuss your process with you and to offer you an ultrasonic system meeting your requirements!

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Facts Worth Knowing

What is an Emulsion?Definition of the Term “Emulsion”

An emulsion is a fluid systems consisting of at least two immiscible liquids, where one of the liquids is dispersed in the other as small droplets. The phase of small, distributed droplets is called dispersed or internal phase, whilst the other phase is called continuous or external phase. There are two main types of emulsions, which is distinguished between: The oil-in-water (O/W) and water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions. In the oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion, the internal phase is an oil or oil miscible liquid, and the external phase is water or a water miscible liquid. In the water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion, the internal phase is the water-like liquid, while the external phase is the oil-like liquid.
Most emulsions require an emulsifying agent, known as stabilizer or surfactant. The droplet size plays also a crucial role regarding emulsion stability. The smaller the droplet size, the more stable is the emulsion.

Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.

High performance ultrasonics! Hielscher’s product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.


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