Any homogenization process involves the formation of liquid suspensions with fluids that have low miscibility rates, meaning they don’t like to be together in a solution. In order to form a suspension with these types of liquids, the droplet size of an oil, or discontinuous phase, needs to be significantly minimized. Many times, chemistry by way of surfactants is required to hold the suspension together after the smaller droplets have been formed. Think of the surfactant as the glue that helps hold everything together.
The homogenization process requires machines or equipment that shear the fluids at very high levels. High-Pressure Homogenizers are an excellent example as they subject a premix solution of difficult fluids to high pressure and fluid velocity change to break down droplet sizes without the use of mechanical shear. Other homogenization approaches involve mechanical shear by way of rotating components that force the fluid through a restrictive screen, thereby reducing product droplet size. Such devices tend to be less efficient and typically stop short of generating sub-micron size particles.
In any case, homogenization will require intense mixing energy and this energy will be proportional to the final droplet size required in your process. To achieve sub-micron droplet sizes we see high pressure and cavitation used frequently.