How Does a Homogenizer Work for Efficient Particle Size Reduction?

Posted by David Shechter on Dec 2, 2016 12:30:00 PM

homogenizer for particle size reductionHomogenization, also known as micronization, is the process of reducing the particle size of two insoluble liquids or solids to aid in the process of dispersion and emulsification. The process was initially discovered and refined by Auguste Gaulin in 1900, when he introduced the world’s first homogenizer at the Paris World’s Fair. This early machine pushed a mixture of cream and milk through a set of small tubes to homogenize milk. Since then, homogenization equipment has become much more advanced, although the basic principle and technique of homogenization remains largely the same, utilizing high pressure and force to force liquids through small orifices to aid in emulsion.

All homogenizations result in the creation of a dispersion, where particles of one medium are evenly spread throughout another medium. Dispersions can be further classified into solutions, suspensions, and colloids – a mixture somewhere between a solution and a suspension.  

Homogenization and the creation of dispersions is an important process step in numerous industries. For example, in the world of biotech, which includes the fields of cellular biology and molecular biology, homogenization involves the reduction in size of various types of biological samples, tissues, and cells. While homogenization decreases the particle size, it ensures that the composition is equal throughout and that the overall molecular makeup of the sample is not compromised.

Particle size reduction through homogenization and the creation of dispersions have numerous applications in the fields of pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, chemical, and food. In many industries that require the use of active ingredients, homogenization is a vital process step that reduces active ingredients to a small enough size to ensure a thorough dispersion throughout the medium produced.

The BEE International Advantage

At BEE International, we offer a variety of homogenizers for virtually every industry and every application, from small scale and research & development work, to pilot plants and full-scale production. Our products all produce consistent and reliable particle size reduction as well as the following benefits:

  • High performance technology
  • Powerful experimentation options
  • Easy to clean, use, and maintain, with no disassembly required
  • Equipped with spare parts and tools
  • Maximum operating pressures of up to 45,000 psi (3,100 bar)
  • 100% guaranteed scalability of results
  • Lifetime training for new employees and students

For more information on how our line of homogenizers can best suit your company’s needs, please contact us. Our FREE eBook is also available for download for more information: How to Achieve Efficient & Consistent Particle Size Reduction.

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Bead Homogenizers vs. High Pressure Homogenizers

Posted by Deb Shechter on Dec 1, 2016 12:30:00 PM

bead-homogenizer-vs-high-pressure-homogenizer.jpgHomogenization is a large and rapidly growing field, critical to a variety of industries, including biotech, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical, and food. Homogenization involves blending, mixing, emulsifying, dispersing, or otherwise disrupting particles in order to modify their size and ensure even dispersion.

The current methods of homogenization can easily be broken down into three major categories: ultrasonic homogenization, pressure homogenization, and mechanical homogenization. While ultrasonic homogenization has its benefits, most homogenizers fall into the category of pressure or mechanical homogenizers – more specifically, bead homogenizers and high pressure homogenizers. Continue reading to learn the differences between these types of homogenizers as well as how we at BEE International can help you pick the right homogenizer to suit your specific needs.

Bead Homogenizers

Bead homogenizers -- also known as bead mill homogenizers -- can be used for liquids or solids, and work through shear force. With this homogenizer type, samples are introduced into a chamber surrounded by beads. The beads are agitated and work to homogenize the sample by disrupting cells and/or breaking up tissue. Bead homogenizers are great for processing tissue samples for laboratory or R&D use, boast high throughput levels, and are quick.  However, due to the closed system in which bead mills operate, there are sample size limitations, which make these homogenizers impractical for large scale homogenization.

High Pressure Homogenizers

Alternatively, high pressure homogenizers offer an effective way to mechanically disrupt particles on a much larger scale. In high pressure homogenization, liquids are driven through a narrow channel under pressure. Higher homogenization pressure results in a higher efficiency of disruption of cells. Similar to bead homogenizers, high pressure homogenizers work through shear force. However, additional forces come into play with high pressure homogenizers: cavitation, fluid-on-fluid impact, and turbulence. The combination of these forces results in a more thorough and effective emulsification of product.

High pressure homogenizers tend to be much larger and heavier than bead homogenizers; however, the benefits are virtually endless: high pressure homogenizers offer constant, uninterrupted pressure, which eliminates the possibility of contamination. These homogenizers also offer consistent, repeatable results with fewer required passes.

BEE International offers a number of high pressure homogenizers to suit the needs of any industry. Our homogenizers have the ability to be fine-tuned to meet your unique needs:

  • Turbulent premixing can be replaced with a laminar flow
  • Cavitation can be intensified or reduced as needed
  • Shear process time can be adjusted to be shorter or longer
  • Impact can be maximized with our reverse flow setup
  • Process intensity can be increased or reduced

Contact us to learn more about our technology and how our wide offering of high pressure homogenizers can meet your company’s needs.

For more information on cell lysis methods and how to choose the right one, download our FREE eBook:

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Potter-Elvehjem Homogenizer: How Does It Compare to a High Pressure Homogenizer?

Posted by David Shechter on Nov 29, 2016 12:30:00 PM

high pressure homogenizerHomogenization, the process of converting two insoluble liquids, solids, or other mediums into a thoroughly mixed emulsion, is an incredibly important and useful technique that is used worldwide. Historically, homogenization was used in the dairy industry as a crucial step in the processing of milk.

However, in more recent times, the process of homogenization and its benefits are now realized in a number of additional industries, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, cosmetic, chemical, and food processing. Virtually all creams, pills, antibiotics, and liquid blends are manufactured with the help of homogenization.

In the field of biotechnology, homogenization is widely used, especially when particles, cells, or other similarly sized materials need to be broken apart in a controlled and consistent manner. Homogenization allows certain cell types, such as yeast, E. coli, bacteria, and other types of tissue to be ruptured or disrupted. This process often allows nanoparticles of manner to be produced, many of which display properties deemed useful in the medical world.

One tool that is often used in the homogenization of soft tissue, such as brain and liver, is the Potter-Elvehjem Homogenizer. This piece of homogenization equipment is comprised of a pestle attached to a shaft, and allows for manual homogenization of soft tissue as the sample is forced through the cylindrical portion of the mortar and disrupted through mechanical shear by the pestle.  

While a Potter-Elvehjem Homogenizer can quickly homogenize cells or soft tissue, it is a very manual process that doesn’t offer the flexibility, consistency, or efficiency of a high pressure homogenizer.

When selecting a homogenizer to accomplish the task of homogenizing soft tissue, it is important to choose a machine that allows the user to customize the cell disruption and homogenization process, in order to ensure the best method of homogenization for different cell types.  

Advantages of BEE International

BEE International produces a variety of homogenization equipment for the field of biotechnology that satisfies that requirement. Our homogenizers offer consistent, accurate, and repeatable results in the fields of bio-pharmacy, bio-agriculture, bio-environment, nano-biotechnology, and industrial biotechnology.

Our homogenization equipment offers the following benefits for cell disruption needs in the biotechnology industry:

  • Ability to control pressure in order to homogenize a variety of differing cell types
  • Capability to rupture cells without damaging the sensitive intracellular cell types
  • Results that have the ability to be scaled to manufacturing

Contact us today to learn more about how our homogenization equipment can help with laboratory research and development, pilot plant production, full-scale industrial operations, or to arrange a confidential sample test in our laboratory.

For more information on cell lysis and the different methods avaliable to you, download our FREE eBook:

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Homogenizer Pressure: When to Use Low Pressure & When to Use High Pressure

Posted by Tal Shechter on Nov 28, 2016 12:30:00 PM

homogenization pressureHomogenization, the process of converting two immiscible liquids into a thoroughly mixed dispersion, is an important manufacturing process step utilized in various industries, including pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, food, and chemical.

With the wide variety of homogenizers available on the market, selecting the right homogenizer for the task at hand is a very important (and often daunting) process. High pressure and low pressure homogenizers exist in today’s market, and although high pressure homogenizers make up a large proportion of available homogenizers, low pressure homogenizers play a similarly important role in certain manufacturing industries. Here we will break down and analyze the differences in low pressure versus high pressure homogenizers, and when each type should be utilized.

While both high pressure and low pressure homogenizers accomplish the same end-goal of reducing particle size (also known as micronization), they function in somewhat different ways. Low pressure homogenizers, popular in the food and beverage industry, contain a larger flow valve than their high pressure counterparts, which increases fluid velocity and results in a lower overall pressure. Low pressure homogenizers are often used in the manufacture of soy fortified products, yogurt, milk powders, processed cheese, ice cream, juice based products, and flavored milk products. In relatively recent times, low pressure homogenizers have also been used in the treatment of waste water; sewage treatment plants often use low pressure homogenizers to utilize previously-discarded sewage sludge and other environmental pollutants.

Like low pressure homogenizers, high pressure homogenizers are also used in a growing number of industries, and offer consistent, repeatable, fast results with particle size reduction as well as the creation of emulsions and dispersions.

BEE International offers a number of high pressure homogenizers, suitable for laboratory, pilot plant, or industrial use.

BEE International offers the following laboratory homogenizers for purchase:

These laboratory homogenizers offer a great deal of flexibility with small and large scale production needs, and offer the following benefits:

  • 100% guaranteed scalability of results
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance with no disassembly required
  • PLC control with digital display
  • Dual Feed capabilities
  • CE compliant
  • Lifetime training for new employees and students

In addition, BEE International offers a variety of homogenizers suitable for pilot plant and industrial use:

These high pressure homogenizers offer the highest levels of process controls and automation, as well as compliance with CFR 21 part 11 requirements. Additional benefits include:

  • Dynamic visual schematics indicating system parameters and component status
  • Security modes and authorizations
  • SCADA compliance
  • Sanitary design and features suitable for a number of industries, including pharmaceutical
  • Integration with plant controls network data gathering

For more information on our available homogenizers, as well as additional information on how our high pressure homogenizers can meet your company’s needs, please contact us.

For more information on how to achieve efficient and consistent particle size reduction results, download our FREE eBook:

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When to Utilize Inline Homogenizers for Your Application

Posted by Deb Shechter on Nov 23, 2016 12:30:00 PM

When to Utilize Inline Homogenizers for Your Application.jpgOne important question to answer when beginning any manufacturing project requiring homogenization, micronization, or particle size reduction is the determination of which type of homogenizer to use.  Various types of homogenizers exist, all with a multitude of pros and cons. One popular type of homogenizer is the Inline Homogenizer.

Inline Homogenizers are designed to handle all types of tasks, including emulsifying, suspending, dispersing, and blending. These homogenizers are used in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, cosmetic, biological, and chemical. What makes inline homogenizers unique are the fact that they are positioned within the production line, aligned with the flow of product.  Inline homogenization is different from other types of homogenization, such as batch homogenization, where ingredients are mixed in a standalone unit before going through the homogenization process.

Inline homogenizers are suitable for applications where larger quantities are needed for production. Since they are able to be installed right on the production line, they are especially useful for applications where continuous processing and homogenization is needed during the manufacturing process.

The benefits of inline homogenization are endless. Not only is inline homogenization a faster process, especially in situations where larger quantities are being produced, it is also a more economical option, since additional mixing tanks and vessels are usually not needed. Inline homogenization also ensures consistency throughout a production run, since homogenization is occurring continuously on the production line.

Advantages of BEE International

BEE International offers a wide variety of inline homogenizers to meet the need of virtually any industry. Our Laboratory, Pilot and Industrial Homogenizers are suitable for all production needs, from small scale R&D applications up to full scale, 24/7 industrial operations. Our DeBEE 4000 homogenizer offers the following features and benefits:

  • Complete Automation, Compliance, and Production Capacity of 120 LPH and up
  • Multiple Vertical Process Intensifiers
  • An advanced, user-friendly interface
  • CE Compliant
  • Pharma/Bio/Food Sanitary
  • Synchronized Pump System for Constant Pressure
  • Password Protected Operation
  • Menu Guided Maintenance and Calibration
  • Industrial Tower Light with Buzzer
  • Advanced Data Collection and Gathering
  • Clean in Place (CIP)
  • Programmable Maintenance Schedule with Alarms
  • In-line Spare Intensifier
  • User Management
  • Data Trending
  • CFR 21 Part 11 Compliant

For more information on the DeBEE 4000 Homogenizer, as well as our full suite of homogenization equipment, please contact us. Our free DeBEE Pilot-Plant Product Info guide is also available for download here: 

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Cell Disruption 101: Why Use Homogenizers for Cell Lysis

Posted by Tal Shechter on Nov 22, 2016 12:30:00 PM

cell-disruption.jpgCell disruption – the process of releasing biological molecules from inside a cell – is a common method utilized in a variety of manufacturing industries, including pharmaceutical, cosmetic, biotech, and R&D settings.

In order to thoroughly study and analyze the behavior of molecules, the cells that produce the molecules in question must be disrupted. Disruption of cells can be achieved in numerous ways, including cryopulverization, nitrogen decompression, or through using a homogenizer.  Each method comes with varying degrees of complexity, ease, and success.

1. Using Cryopulverization

Cyropulverization is one way of accomplishing cell lysis, and is most often used for cellular samples with a tough outer matrix, such as cartilage, connective tissue, or seeds. In this method, the samples are reduced to a powder through the use of liquid nitrogen and impact pulverization. This method, while successful, is often time consuming and expensive.

2. Nitrogen Decompression

Nitrogen decompression, as the name suggests, uses large quantities of nitrogen to achieve cell lysis. In this particular method, nitrogen is dissolved in the cell under very high pressures. When the pressure is released, the nitrogen violently escapes the cell, causing disruption and breakage of the cell walls. While nitrogen decompression is successful in disrupting certain types of cells – plant cells, bacteria, and other fragile cell types are most receptive to this treatment – it has not been proven to be effective in disrupting cells with tougher outer matrices, such as yeast, spores, and fungus.

3. High Pressure Homogenization

Homogenization is arguably the most widely used method of cell lysis, especially for small volumes of cells and/or cultured cells. This method involves the use of shearing force on the cell. This is achieved by forcing the small cell through an even smaller sized orifice. This removes the outer layer and lyses the cell.

BEE High Pressure Homogenizers

BEE International offers a number of high-quality homogenizers to meet the needs of any industry when it comes to the process of cell lysis and disruption. Our laboratory grade homogenizers include the Nano DeBEE, Micro DeBEE, and Mini DeBee – all three are easy to use, offer consistent and reliable results, and easily scale up for full scale production. In addition, our homogenizers offer maximum experimentation capabilities, the ability to change flow, pressure, shear, and impact settings, and offer high pressures up to 45,000 PSI for maximum effectiveness with cell lysis and disruption.

Contact us today to learn more about how our line of homogenizers can help you meet your production needs. Or for more information on how to achieve the most efficient cell lysis, download our eBook “7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method”:

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Local vs. Systemic Steroids: Why Homogenize?

Posted by David Shechter on Nov 21, 2016 12:30:00 PM

homogenizationWhen most people think of steroids, images of elite athletes using synthetic hormones to gain a competitive advantage may come to mind. However, steroids – more often referred to as corticosteroids in medical circles – are often used to serve a very different purpose. There are numerous varieties of corticosteroid medications, including cortisone, methylprednisolone, and prednisone.

Steroids work by both reducing inflammation and decreasing immune system activity, and are commonly used to treat a variety of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, asthma, and a host of other inflammatory ailments.

Steroids come in several different forms – local and systemic.  The form of steroid used is dependent on the ailment that is being treated, as well as the desired outcome.

Local steroid medications are best suited for ailments where a targeted approach is desired. These types of steroids can be introduced directly to the area in question, and include eye drops, ear drops, skin creams, and joint injections.

Systemic steroids are best suited for ailments that require treatment throughout the entire body. Systemic steroids circulate throughout the bloodstream and reach every area of the body, and include oral medications as well as medications that are delivered intravenously or intramuscularly.

For both local and systemic applications, homogenization is an important process step to consider in industries that manufacture steroid-containing topical creams, ointments, and intravenous drugs.

In all applications, the even dispersion of active ingredients is critical to ensuring efficacy and decreasing manufacturing costs. Oral medications, for example, require homogenization and micronization of particles to ensure consistency throughout the product. Similarly, systemic steroids require the use of a homogenizer to ensure even dispersion and dissolution of the particles that make up the active ingredients.

Advantages of BEE International

BEE International offers a number of homogenizers that meet the needs of manufacturers across multiple industries, including cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and biotech. Our homogenizers can meet the needs of virtually any environment – from small R&D settings and pilot plant operations all the way to 24/7 manufacturing environments.

For small sample sizes, as are often seen in laboratory and R&D settings, our Nano DeBEE is an excellent choice. This mechanical homogenizer uses multiple forces, including cavitation, turbulence, and pressure to create microscopic particles that can easily be dissolved in a variety of mediums, including liquids, creams, and organic solvents.

Contact us today to discuss the numerous benefits our homogenizers can offer to manufacturing your company’s products. You can also download our free eBook, “How to Achieve Efficient and Consistent Particle Size Reduction” here.

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How to Scale the Production of Dispersions

Posted by Tal Shechter on Nov 18, 2016 12:30:00 PM

scalability-of-dispersionsIncreasing the scale of production is a challenge that many industries – including pharmaceutical, biotech, and cosmetic – face on a continuous basis. In the growing world of dispersions, cell lysis, micronization of particles, and other applications requiring the use of a homogenizer, bridging the gap between R&D and manufacturing is a costly and often unsuccessful challenge.

BEE International has extensive experience in the field of development and production of homogenization equipment, suitable for virtually any application, beginning from the early stages of planning, research and development work, and scale up, all the way to final implementation and production.

Scaling the production of dispersions is an event that takes much preparation, foresight, and planning, but with proper preparation, knowledge, and tools, it is a satisfying and profitable endeavor.

Replicating dispersion in a large-scale production environment that has been successfully implemented in a smaller laboratory setting can be difficult. Even when a satisfactory particle size has been achieved, when produced on a larger scale, it may not have the same qualities and characteristics as what was created in the laboratory setting. Inconsistencies can be observed in many areas, including (but not limited to):

  • Differing size and/or densities of media
  • Differing throughput rates of media
  • Mill wear and changes in millbase viscosity
  • Dispersion at differing speed/rate/power

The process of dispersion requires a high level of attention to detail, accurate input variables, and consistent design criteria. BEE International offers high quality laboratory systems that address and standardize all of the numerous factors that can affect a scaled up dispersion process. Our homogenizers, including the Nano DeBEE 45-2, Micro DeBEE 45, and Mini DeBEE 30, are built for reliability and repeatability, and are able to keep up with the high pace of a full-scale 24/7 manufacturing environment.  

Our pilot plant homogenizers, designed for scaling up homogenization, micronization, and dispersion from the R&D stage all the way to full-blown production, can be customized to fit your schedule, production needs, and budget.  Our homogenizers include key features for successful  scaling of dispersions, including:

  • Low-High operating pressure from 5,000-45,000psi
  • PLC panel to control process pressure, temperature, and other parameters
  • Constant process pressure
  • Custom process configurations to enable control of shear and impact
  • Adjustable back pressure
  • Heat exchangers for cooling of product
  • Guaranteed scale up from R&D to manufacturing

BEE International’s DeBEE 2000, our pilot scale high pressure homogenizer, contains a 10 horsepower motor which converts hydraulic power through high pressure cylinders. The unit is capable of reaching up to 45,000psi and is suitable for the scale up needs of most major manufacturing industries.

Contact us for more information on our pilot plant homogenizers and other equipment to meet your dispersion scale up needs. For more information on cell lysis methods and how to pick the right one for your application, download our FREE eBook:

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8 Fun Facts About Homogenizers for the Biotech Industry

Posted by Tal Shechter on Nov 17, 2016 12:30:00 PM

homogenizers-for-biotech.jpgAs more people around the world receive healthcare and the use of bioprocesses to produce products such as fuel ethanol and bio-plastics expands, the biotechnology industry is driven to produce new innovations, productivity gains and cost savings.

Homogenization in the biotechnology industry is used for many applications, including cell disruption, particle size reduction, micro and nano emulsions, and dispersions. In this growing industry, homogenizers are used to effectively rupture yeast, bacteria, E. coli, fungi cells, and more.

Here are 8 fun facts about homogenizers for the biotech industry:

  1. The first homogenizer was invented in 1899 by Auguste Gaulin, a French inventor. This early homogenizer was developed to aid the milk industry, and broke milk’s fat globules into smaller, more uniform sizes in order to resist separation.
  2. Modern homogenization involves a two step process: particles are first pushed through tubes or pores to reduce their size, and they are then subjected to high pressures to further reduce their particle size.
  3. In the Biotech industry, homogenization is more commonly referred to as micronization or cell fractionation.
  4. Cell fractionation is a procedure for rupturing cells and creating separation and suspension of cell components in a given medium (usually water or an organic solvent).
  5. Cell fractionation involves three steps: Extraction, Homogenization, and Centrifugation.
  6. During the extraction phase, molecules, cells, or tissues are isolated and suspended in an isotonic solution.
  7. During the homogenization step, high-quality homogenizers are used to rupture the cell to create a microscopic particle size. BEE International offers a number of industrial-grade homogenizers that utilize proprietary technology to aid in emulsification, dispersion, and grinding.
  8. BEE International offers homogenizers that utilize a constant processing pressure. This proprietary high pressure pumping system is designed to produce consistent rates of pressure, and completely eliminates the risk of contamination.

At BEE International, our homogenizers improve results in the biotech industry, allowing this important industry to create more effective medications, chemicals, vaccines, and more. The design of our biotech high pressure homogenizer technology focuses on breaking particles apart in a controlled manner. In the laboratory, our instruments allow scientists to vary the cavitation, shear and impact forces applied to a formulation. Enabling developers to optimize the process of rupturing cells and producing nanoparticles. Contact us for more information on how we can help you with your application!

For more information on the homogenizer process and particle size reduction, download our FREE eBook:

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What Role Do Homogenizers Play in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Process?

Posted by David Shechter on Nov 16, 2016 12:30:00 PM

What Role Do Homogenizers Play in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Process.jpgThe mechanical process where partciles are divided into microscopic sizes, is known as homogenization. It can also be referred to as micronization or cell fractionation. This process is completed under conditions of intense stress and extremely high pressures – up to over 20,000 psi in some applications. The process of homogenization is a critical one – one used in a variety of industries, including food, dairy, cosmetic, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries. Homogenization – particularly pharmaceutical homogenization – results in an improvement of product stability, shelf life, product cost, and taste. Homogenization represents a marked improvement over other dispersion methods, such as stirrers, colloid mills, sonicators, or rotor-stator devices.

Role of Homogenizers

The role that homogenizers play in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process is an important one. With homogenization comes a smaller particle size and more even distribution of critical active ingredients. For topical pharmaceutical products, such as anesthetic creams and other topical ointments, this allows for these medications to absorb more readily into the skin, thanks to the increased surface area of the particles – another effect of successful homogenization. In the pharmaceutical industry, this translates to efficient use and even distribution of expensive active ingredients, thus reducing overall costs while increasing overall efficacy.

Homogenizers also play an important role in other pharmaceutical products, such as medicinal syrups, capsules, antibiotics, and a variety of other medications taken internally. The high pressure, turbulence, and impact during the homogenization process work together to make these types of pharmaceutical products stable, clinically effective, and cost effective as well.

What BEE International Has to Offer

BEE International offers a wide variety of homogenizers to meet both small and large-scale production needs in laboratory, pilot plant, and industrial settings. For laboratory use, our Micro DeBEE, Nano DeBEE and Mini DeBEE systems offer a consistent, reliable, and repeatable process for a number of applications, including cell disruption, particle size reduction, nano and micro emulsions, and dispersions.

For larger-scale homogenization, our pilot plant and industrial homogenizers offer high capacity particle size reduction for micro and nano emulsions and particles. These high pressure homogenizers are designed for cGMP manufacturing, and are used in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, life sciences, food, and cosmetic products.

Contact us today to discuss the benefits our homogenizers can bring to manufacturing your company’s products.

For more information on how homogenizers could benefit the pharmaceutical industry, download our FREE eBook:

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