Although continuous production processes are often desired, many processing industries still work in batch mode due to technical limitations. Transitioning to continuous production requires an in-depth understanding of how each unit operation is affected by the shift. This contribution reviews the scientific understanding of similarities and differences between emulsification in turbulent rotor-stator mixers (also known as high-speed mixers) operated in batch and continuous mode. Rotor-stator mixers are found in many chemical processing industries, and are considered the standard tool for mixing and emulsification of high viscosity products. Since the same rotor-stator heads are often used in both modes of operation, it is sometimes assumed that transitioning from batch to continuous rotor-stator mixers is straight-forward. However, this is not always the case, as has been shown in comparative experimental studies. This review summarizes and critically compares the current understanding of differences between these two operating modes, focusing on shaft power draw, pumping power, efficiency in producing a narrow region of high intensity turbulence, and implications for product quality differences when transitioning from batch to continuous rotor-stator mixers.
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