The new, 1500kg/hr, Micropore AXF-7 membrane emulsification unit
Micropore Technologies has launched the latest up-scaling of their award-winning membrane emulsification technology. The Micropore AXF-7 is a high throughput device, capable of the continuous manufacturing of in excess of 10,000 tonnes a year of high-quality emulsions, with tuneable particle size distribution. This new device takes Micropore’s patented technology to a new level, delivering the precision of microfluidics at the production volume potential of traditional industrial homogenisation, together with the opportunity for hugely improved energy efficiency.
The ability to create high quality emulsions, formed from uniform size droplets, all with the same performance, creates inherently more stable products reducing creaming and sedimentation. Less emulsifier or surfactant is required, reducing raw material costs. And, with a much lower shear force, sensitive materials are able to be more gently processed without damage – significantly reducing wastage. Other benefits that clients have seen from Micropore’s membrane emulsification technology include; elimination of waste (typically a minimum of 10% using conventional emulsification techniques); a 30% reduction in energy use; a reduction in regulatory burden; high return on investment; and significant reduction in equipment footprint. The new AXF-7 is constructed to the aseptic standard required by cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical manufacturers and features robust and reliable, precision-engineered, internal tubular membranes, with no moving parts. The substance to be dispersed in the emulsion is pumped through the membranes, passing through the laser drilled micro pores whilst the continuous phase substance flows through the body of the device providing the shear force necessary to deform and detach the droplets as they form through the membrane. It is the precise size and distribution of the pores in the membrane that enable the production of near mono-dispersed droplets at precise sizes of the client’s choice from 10 microns up to 1 mm. Adjusting the flow rates of each substance allows different droplet sizes to be created and even at high flow rates the coefficient of variation remains low at around 10-15%.
“The AXF-7 builds on the proven performance of our AXF-1 unit, launched 18 months ago. Now, for the first time, manufacturers can benefit from crossflow membrane emulsification, with all of its inherent advantages, at the production volumes previously only possible with large-scale homogenisation equipment.”
Dai Hayward, Microspore CEO.
The new AXF-7 unit completes Micropore's range of devices that starts with a benchtop laboratory test unit for initial scoping studies, the results from which translate directly to a flexible development device for optimisation of operating parameters before the data generated is used to customise either the AXF-1 or AXF-7 for full-scale manufacturing. Emulsions produced through the Micropore system can be post-processed and turned into microcapsules for a variety of active delivery systems, with the highly uniform capsule sizes produced behaving in exactly the same way, thus reducing unwanted rupture variability.
Dai Hayward, Micropore’s Chief Executive Officer has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2019 UK Queen’s birthday honours list. The award was made in recognition of his personal contribution to UK international trade and, in particular, to the development of the chemical sector in the North East of England.
An MBE is the third highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, the first and second being, respectively, the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire).
I was genuinely surprised and delighted when I heard that I had been nominated to receive an MBE. I believe this is a reflection of my team’s efforts to promote British technical ingenuity coming from a rapidly diversifying and innovative Teesside economy. Having great products with 85% exported is testament to this”