Scale-up of Ultrasonic Extraction Processes

In order to increase production capacities, extraction processes must be scaled to larger volumes / higher throughputs. Ultrasonically-assisted extraction is a highly efficacious method to isolate botanical compounds from plant material. Additionally, sonication applications can be linearly scaled to larger volumes. With the option of treating the plant material in batches as well as in flow-through mode, ultrasonic extraction offers the ideal setup for any extract producer – small to very large scale. Read more about the simple and efficient scale-up of ultrasound-assisted extraction!

Scale-Up of Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction

Most extraction methods (e.g., Soxhlet extraction, supercritical CO2 extraction, maceration) are the bottleneck, when it comes to planning the increase of botanical extract production. Using ultrasonic extraction prevents that an increase in production becomes the Achilles heels of the business. Learn below how ultrasonically-assisted extraction can be linearly scaled to any production volume.
The relation between scale-up and process parameters: Conventional extraction techniques need expensive, labour- and time-intense research to implement a larger extraction system for production increase, since many processing factors change and cannot adopted linearly to a larger throughout. This means numerous process parameters must be newly established and often extract qualities obtained in smaller extraction setups cannot be achieved in larger production.
The beauty of ultrasonic extraction is its completely linear scalability. This linear scalability allows to maintain all important process parameters such as amplitude, temperature, pressure, ultrasound exposure (time), solvent:solid ratio. Scaling an ultrasonic extraction process to larger volumes requires a larger sonotrode surface area. This means scale-up can be done be using a more powerful ultrasonicator with a larger sonotrode (ultrasonic probe / horn) or installing several ultrasonic extractors in parallel.

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Ultrasonic botanical extraction can be easily scaled-up to continuous sonication for increased production capacities.

Ultrasonic extraction in batch mode is mostly used for small to mid-size production. The picture shows the industrial ultrasonic extractor UIP1000hdT, which can be operated in batch and flow-through (inline) mode.

Overcome the bottleneck of botanical extraction with Hielscher Ultrasonics! Ultrasonic extraction can be linearly scaled to any production size.

Ultrasonic extraction processes can be linearly scaled to any production capacity. Ultrasonic extractors can be operated in batch and inline mode.

Exemplary Ultrasonic Scale-Up Scenarios

For example, in an continuous flow-through setup, you can scale your botanical extraction by installing 3x 2kW ultrasonic extractors UIP2000hdT in parallel (requiring 3 sonotrodes and 3 flow cells). This gives you an ultrasound processing power of 6kW.
Alternatively, you can install a single 6kW ultrasonicator UIP6000hdT, which is equipped with a single large probe and a larger flow cell reactor.

The advantages of a parallel setup of several ultrasonic extractors are redundancy, more flexible use (e.g. simultaneous extraction from various raw materials as each ultrasonicator can process a different plant material). This scale up model is also comfortable when you have already one type of ultrasonicator; adding one or several devices of the same model is convenient and can reduce your investment costs.

Investing in one larger ultrasonic extractor is especially suitable, when larger bulks of the same extract are produced at once. A single larger ultrasonicator is also more appropriate when installed in a space-restricted facility.

How to Approach Ultrasonic Extraction Scale-Up

For an efficient and economical extraction process, process parameter must be optimized. Optimization is achieved when the process is tuned to highest throughput under lowest energy input whilst obtaining the targeted extract quality. In an optimized ultrasonic process, energy, treatment time and labour costs are minimized to the point, where highest yield and quality of the final product are still obtained.
Ultrasonic process optimization is done by testing various parameter configurations and narrowing down to the optimal parameters for your raw material. General empirical values are normally used as start point helping to get to the individual ideal setting quickly. Ultrasonic process optimization tests can be run on small volumes, which helps to reduce efforts, saves material and gets relatively quick the results wanted.
Hielscher Ultrasonics has a well-equipped technical center and laboratory. Our facility not only has the full range of lab and industrial ultrasonicators for batch and inline sonication, but also sophisticated analytical devices for a comprehensive evaluation of the results. Our long-time experienced, well trained staff (with university degrees) will be glad to assist you with process optimization – running ultrasonic trials for you and/or advise you regarding most suitable ultrasonic process setups.

Scale-Up with Hielscher Ultrasonic Extractors: Fast, Reliable and Efficient

Overcome the Bottleneck of Extraction with Ultrasonication!
Whether you want to increase you production capacity in batch or continuous flow-though (inline) mode, Hielscher Ultrasonics has the ideal ultrasonicator and accessories for larger production capacities. We also help you to transfer your batch extraction to an inline process.
Get in contact with us now! We will be glad to discuss your production needs and give you technical specifications, in-depth guidance to ultrasonic extraction scale-up, and respective proposals!
For a first rough guide, 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
0.3 to 60L 0.6 to 12L/min >UIP6000hdT
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

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Ultrasonic extraction setup with probe-ultrasonicator UIP1000hdT and stirrer for botanical extraction

Probe-type ultrasonicator UIP1000hdT with stirrer for the production of botanical extracts such as cannabinoids (e.g., CBD, THC, CBG)

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Ultrasonic botanical extractor UIP4000hdT

UIP4000hdT – 4000 watts powerful ultrasonic extractor for the production of botanical extracts on industrial scale.

Literature / References

High performance ultrasonics! Hielscher's product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.

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