Production of highly uniform Pickering emulsions by novel high-intensity ultrasonic tubular reactor (HUTR)

Liang Ee Low, See Kiat Wong, Siah Ying Tang, Chien Lye Chew, Hithanadura Ashcharya De Silva, Jacqueline May Vern Lee, Cheng Hao Hoo, Khor Kenrick

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The current work proposed an alternative ultrasound (US) technology, namely the high-intensity ultrasonic tubular reactor (HUTR) for preparing Pickering emulsions. Using the non-toxic and environmentally friendly cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) as a solid stabilizer, Pickering emulsions were produced using the HUTR and the results showed that Pickering emulsions as small as 1.5 µm can be produced using HUTR at the US power and sonication time of 300 W and 15 min respectively. Additionally, the sizes of Pickering emulsion obtained are found to remain the same upon 30 days of storage. The performance of HUTR in emulsion preparation is compared to conventional US horn system at the same US power. It was observed that the use of HUTR allowed generation of Pickering emulsion that is significantly smaller (around 7.40 μm) and with better droplet size distribution (Coefficient of variation, CV = 31%) as compared to those prepared with US horn method (12.75 µm, CV = 36%). This is owing to the better distribution of cavitation activity in the treatment chamber of HUTR as compared to those in the horn, according to the sonochemiluminescence (SCL) study. From the 30-days storage stability analysis, the CNC-PE prepared using HUTR was found to more stable against droplet coalescence in comparison to those prepared using US horn. Our findings suggested that the HUTR possessed superior Pickering emulsification capacity when compared to conventional US horn. Further work will be necessary to evaluate the feasibility of such intensifying tubular reactor technology for larger scale emulsification and other process intensification applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Cavitation activity
  • CNC
  • Food emulsion
  • Pickering emulsion
  • Sonochemiluminescence
  • Ultrasound reactor

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