The new ROME – Emulsion Process Technology by KINEMATICA – patent DP102004040735B4
Based on research collaboration between the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, the Research Center of KINEMATICA AG, Luzern, and a few other technology partners it is now possible to present a new process technology to produce monodisperse emulsions and especially double or compound emulsions. These emulsions are exposed to much less stress and thermal impact on the product components than with other known emulsification processes. This pioneering invention has received European and US patents and is already used in a variety of applications in the lab and pilot plant.
The principle of this new pioneering technology is based on our well known emulsification processors of the MEGATRON® series. Instead of the standard rotor/stator generators using high shear forces this system is equipped with a Rotating Membrane, called the ROME design. The ROME design is available for various applications, throughput- and operation performances, and can be made of many different high end alloys. In a very demanding variation the membrane can be fabricated from nickel with a PECVD coating with pore sizes of approx. 1 µm and a controlled pore distance from the next pore which typically is a multiple of the pore size. This is very critical in order to counteract an undesired coagulation effect seen in other systems and enables us to create emulsions and multiple emulsions of highest quality (CPDN Design). The rotating cylindrical membrane turns within a stationary cylindrical working chamber with speeds up to 10.000 RPM. The working chamber has two product inlets through which the continuous and disperse phase are fed using dosing pumps. The disperse phase flows axially in the inner part of the membrane and is then dispersed into the continuous phase when passing through the membrane pores. The formation of the droplets, the size of the droplets and droplet size distribution depend on many different process parameters, such as the chosen RPM value, the pore diameter, the shear gap, the viscosity of the continuous phase and the emulsifier which has to be a fast acting one. The shear gap and the product flow are other supporting factors to further decrease the droplet size. In a variety of different test models droplet sizes of 0.5 µm and less could be achieved.
A crucial advantage of the ROME membrane emulsification process with our machine type MEGATRON® MT-MM is the much lower energy input than seen with other processes and equipment. This is for example very important in many different pharmaceutical applications in which the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are heat sensitive which leads to problems in conventional processes or requires additional expenditures.
The droplet creation in the presented ROME – emulsification process of KINEMATICA isn’t based on high shear forces and colliding/impact effects. This enables a very gentle treatment of the product which favors, which is ideal for the creation of double emulsions such as W/O/W or O/W/O and crucially improves the base for the encapsulation of the functional components in Food, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic applications.