Amanda Doyle visits Micropore Technologies to find out about its new technique for membrane emulsification
Micropore Technologies, a specialist engineering company, has successfully scaled up membrane technology that can create emulsions with monodisperse droplets. The membrane has applications in a wide range of industries.
Emulsions are created using two liquids that are normally immiscible. One liquid, known as the dispersed phase, is dispersed within the other, which is known as the continuous phase. A vinaigrette is an example of an emulsion that can be made in a kitchen blender using oil and vinegar. Blending the oil and vinegar together will create an emulsion, but once it is left for a while it will separate back out. This is due to the range of sizes of droplets in the emulsion.
Micropore’s membrane technology consistently creates droplets that are all the same size. “If you produce droplets all of the same size they are inherently more stable,” explains Dai Hayward, CEO of Micropore. “If you’ve got a variety of different sizes they’ll agglomerate back together again just like your vinaigrette does when you do it in your kitchen blender. A wide size distribution means the big ones swallow up the small ones so it all agglomerates back into the oil in that instance.”