Flow Cells and Inline Reactors for Lab Ultrasonicators
Ultrasonic Inline Processing on Lab Scale
Flow cell reactors for ultrasonic homogenizers are well known and widely used for the processing of large volumes in industrial production. However, for the processing of smaller volumes on lab and bench-top scale the use of ultrasonic flow cells offer various advantages, too. Ultrasonic flow cells allow achieving uniform processing results since the material passes the confined space of the flow cell chamber in a defined manner. Sonication factors such as retention time, process temperature and number of passages can be precisely controlled so that targets are reliably achieved.
Hielscher flow cells and inline reactors come with cooling jackets for maintaining optimal process temperature. Flow cell reactors are available in various sizes and geometries in order to fulfil specific process requirements.
By using a laboratory ultrasonicator in combination with a flow cell reactor, you can process larger sample volumes without much personal labour. Using an ultrasonic flow cell setup, the liquid is pumped into the ultrasonic reactor made of stainless steel or glass. In the flow cell, the liquid or slurry is exposed to a precisely adjustable sonication. All material passes the cavitational hot-spot zone beneath the sonotrode and undergoes an even ultrasonic treatment. After the passage through the cavitation zone, the liquid reaches the outlet of the flow cell. Depending on the process, ultrasonic flow-through treatment can be run as single or multiple pass treatment. In order to maintain a certain beneficial process temperature, e.g. to prevent degradation of heat-sensitive material during sonication, the flow cell reactors are jacketed to improve heat dissipation.
From small to large volumes: Process results can be linearly scaled up from smaller volumes processed on lab and bench-top level to very large throughputs on industrial production scale. Hielscher ultrasonicators are available for any volumes from microlitres to gallons.
Hielscher flow cells are completely autoclavable and suitable for the use with most chemicals.
Ultrasonic Lab Devices and Flow Cells
Below, you can find our ultrasonic lab devices with the matching flow cells and sonotrodes
UP400ST (24kHz, 400W):
The sonotrodes S24d14D, S24d22D, and S24d22L2D come with an O-ring sealing and are compatible with the flow cell FC22K (stainless steel, with cooling jacket).
UP200ST (26kHz, 200W) / UP200HT (26kHz, 200W):
The sonotrodes S24d2D and S24d7D are equipped with an O-ring sealing and are compatible with the flow cell FC7K (stainless steel, with cooling jacket) and FC7GK (glass flow cell, with cooling jacket).
UP50H (30kHz, 50W) / UP100H (30kHz, 100W):
For both the UP50H and UP100H, the same sonotrode and flow cell models can be used. The sonotrodes MS7 and MS7L2 feature a seal that makes them suitable for the use with the flow cells D7K (stainless steel) and GD7K (glass flow cell, with cooling jacket).
How To Optimize Operating Conditions In Ultrasonic Flow Cells
Hielscher Ultrasonics offers you variety of ultrasonic flow cells and sonochemical reactors. The flow cell design (i.e., geometry and size of the flow cell) and sonotrode should be chosen in accordance with the liquid or slurry and the targeted process results.
The table below displays the most important parameters, which influence the ultrasound conditions in the flow cell.
- Temperature: Flow cells with cooling jackets help to maintain the desired processing temperature. High temperatures near the specific boiling point of the fluid result in decreased cavitation intensity since the liquid density is lowering.
- Pressure: Pressure is a cavitation intensifying parameter. Pressurizing the ultrasonic flow cell results in an increased fluid density and thereby increased acoustic cavitation. Hielscher lab flow cells can be pressurized with up to 1 barg, whilst to Hielscher industrial flow cells and reactors up to 300atm (approx. 300 barg) can be applied.
- Viscosity of the liquid: The viscosity of a liquid is an important factor, when it comes to an ultrasonic in-line setup. Small lab flow cells are preferably to be used with low viscous media, whilst Hielscher industrial flow cells are suitable for low to high viscous materials including pastes.
- Composition of the liquid: The effects of the liquid’s viscosity has been described above. If the liquid processed does not contain solids, pumping and feeding is simple and flow properties are predictable. When it comes to slurries containing solids such as particles and fibres, the flow cell shape must be chosen considering particle size or fibre length. The right flow cell geometry facilitates the flow of solid-loaded fluids and ensures homogeneous sonication.
- Dissolved gases: Liquids fed into an ultrasonic flow cell should not contain high amounts of dissolved gases since gas bubbles interfere with the generation of acoustic cavitation and its characteristic vacuum bubbles.
Hielscher Ultrasonics homogenizers, sonotrodes and flow cells are available in various designs in order to assemble the ideal ultrasonic processing setup. Our well-experienced staff will consult in regards of optimum equipment configuration for your process goals!
The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:
|Batch Volume||Flow Rate||Recommended Devices|
|1 to 500mL||10 to 200mL/min||UP100H|
|10 to 2000mL||20 to 400mL/min||UP200Ht, UP400St|
|0.1 to 20L||0.2 to 4L/min||UIP2000hdT|
|10 to 100L||2 to 10L/min||UIP4000hdT|
|n.a.||10 to 100L/min||UIP16000|
|n.a.||larger||cluster of UIP16000|
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Literature / References
- Ahmed Taha, Eman Ahmed, Amr Ismaiel, Muthupandian Ashokkumar, Xiaoyun Xu, Siyi Pan, Hao Hu (2020): Ultrasonic emulsification: An overview on the preparation of different emulsifiers-stabilized emulsions. Trends in Food Science & Technology Vol. 105, 2020. 363-377.
- Aharon Gedanken (2003): Sonochemistry and its application to nanochemistry. Current Science Vol. 85, No. 12 (25 December 2003), pp. 1720-1722.
- Shah Purvin, Parameswara Rao Vuddanda, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Achint Jain, and Sanjay Singh (2014): Pharmacokinetic and Tissue Distribution Study of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles of Zidovudine in Rats. Journal of Nanotechnology, Volume 2014.
- Brad W. Zeiger; Kenneth S. Suslick (2011): Sonofragmentation of Molecular Crystals. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 37, 14530–14533.
- Poinern G.E., Brundavanam R., Thi-Le X., Djordjevic S., Prokic M., Fawcett D. (2011): Thermal and ultrasonic influence in the formation of nanometer scale hydroxyapatite bio-ceramic. Int J Nanomedicine. 2011; 6: 2083–2095.