The preparation of dilute aqueous silicone oil emulsions has been investigated with particular attention to the effect of oil viscosity (0.49–350mPas), impeller selection (equal diameter Sawtooth and pitched blade turbines) and the method of addition of the oil. Emulsification was found to be sensitive to how the oil was added to the vessel with narrower drop size distributions and smaller Sauter mean diameters, d 32 , obtained when the oil was injected into the impeller region. The equilibrium values were also attained in a shorter time with the equilibrium d 32 ∝We −0.6 . For addition of the oil to the surface the relationship was weaker with equilibrium d 32 ∝We −0.4 . The viscosity group was particularly useful in describing the behaviour of equilibrium particle sizes for different viscosity oils and also for viscosity changes arising from different process temperatures.An unexpected result is that the Sawtooth impellor proved to be more energetically efficient at drop break-up producing smaller droplets than the Pitched Bade Turbine. This result is particularly interesting since the power number for the latter is larger and therefore for equivalent operating conditions should produce smaller drop sizes. We suggest that one possible reason is that the local shear rates for the Sawtooth impellor are larger. Another possible reason is that the Sawtooth geometry provides more points where the local shear rates are high.
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