From the production of high value chemicals and pharmaceuticals to large scale wastewater treatment, the handling and processing of suspensions and emulsions is of major industrial importance. In general, multiphase systems tend to be complex with many parameters, including overall process efficiency and economic profitability, being directly affected by the ability to consistently deal with the production, separation, and/or removal of solid particles and liquid droplets in suspension.
The ability to monitor and even measure particles and droplets – in process and in real time – helps to ensure that the process proceeds according to plan. Disturbances can be minimized and sometimes eliminated, and product quality and yield can be optimized through the use of in situ particle system measurements such as turbidity, Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement (FBRM®), and in-process imaging. Choosing the right in-process measurement should take into consideration the complexity of the particle or droplet system being monitored and the increased value that can be added to the process by each available measurement.