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Homogenizer – Principle, Parts, Types, Procedure, Uses

A homogenizer is a laboratory device used to mix, emulsify, and homogenize liquids. It can be used to break up large particles in a liquid ...

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Sourav Bio

A homogenizer is a laboratory device used to mix, emulsify, and homogenize liquids. It can be used to break up large particles in a liquid and evenly distribute them, creating a homogenous mixture. Homogenizers can be used in a variety of applications, including food and beverage production, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. The most common types of homogenizers are mechanical homogenizers, which use high pressure and shearing forces to break up particles, and ultrasonic homogenizers, which use high-frequency sound waves to create a cavitation effect that breaks up particles.

The history of homogenization can be traced back to the late 19th century, when the first mechanical homogenizers were developed. These early homogenizers were primarily used in the dairy industry to make homogenized milk. The process of homogenization involves breaking down the fat globules in milk to create a smoother, more consistent product.

In the early 20th century, homogenization technology advanced with the development of high-pressure homogenization. This method used a high-pressure pump to force milk through small nozzles, which broke down the fat globules. High-pressure homogenization became widely used in the dairy industry and other industries, including the production of emulsions and suspensions.

In the 1950s, ultrasonic homogenization was introduced. Ultrasonic homogenizers use high-frequency sound waves to create a cavitation effect that breaks down particles. This method is particularly useful for emulsifying and homogenizing small droplets and particles.

In the following decades, homogenization technology continued to evolve, with the introduction of new methods and equipment, such as high-pressure homogenization, high-shear mixing, and microfluidization. These advances have led to the development of a wide range of homogenization equipment that can be used in various industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.

Today, homogenization technology is widely used in many industries and applications, and continue to evolve with new research and development, for example, in the field of nanotechnology homogenization methods are being developed to handle nanoparticles, and in the field of biotechnology, homogenization methods are being developed to handle cells, tissues and microorganisms

What is a homogenizer? (Homogenizer Definition)

By squeezing material through a tight, limited space, a homogenizer creates a uniform and even combination. In addition to high pressure, several forces such as turbulence and cavitation are used to equally distribute the contents of a solution. Homogenizers consist of a homogenising pump and homogenising valve assembly. The pump forces the material to be processed through a small gap between the valve seat and the valve, under pressure. The pressure and flow through the valve create turbulence and mixing. Multiple sectors rely on homogenizers to create consistent, stable, and homogenous goods. Homogenizers are also used for emulsifying, suspending, grinding, dispersing, and dissolving, in addition to mixing. For the production and quality of their products, the pharmaceutical, beverage, and chemical industries depend on homogenizers.

Homogenizers are put downstream of high shear mixers, batch mixers, and paddle mixers to make finer mixes. Due to the risk of excessive energy consumption, decreased flow rate, heat generation, and increased material wear, some homogenizers are unable to handle goods with extremely coarse components. Upstream of the homogenizer, mixers prepare and condition materials by mixing them in advance.

What does a Homogenizer do?

Homogenizers are utilised to combine chemical and biological materials. This frequently involves lysing cells to create a homogeneous suspension. With the addition of a homogenizer to your laboratory, you will no longer require a mortar and pestle or physical force. Homogenizer instruments frequently utilise pre-filled microtubes containing ceramic beads to facilitate the disruption and mixing of cells. Typically, oscillation or reciprocal motion of the homogenizer aids in this process. Homogenizers are frequently employed in a sequence of steps to complete DNA, RNA, and mRNA extractions as well as other procedures requiring homogenization of samples without degrading nucleic acids. There are a variety of homogenizers available; factors to consider include capacity, speed (RPM) range, sample type, and suggested uses.

Purpose of Homogenization

Homogenization is a process used to evenly distribute particles or droplets within a liquid, creating a homogenous mixture. There are several purposes of homogenization, including:

  1. Improving product quality: Homogenization can improve the texture, appearance, and consistency of a product by breaking down large particles and creating a smooth and uniform mixture. This is particularly important in the food and beverage industry, where homogenization is used to create products such as homogenized milk, ice cream, and salad dressings.
  2. Increasing efficiency of a process: Homogenization can increase the efficiency of a process by breaking down particles or droplets and making them more easily mixable. This can be especially important in industrial processes, such as emulsifying lubricants or homogenizing pigments for paint and ink production.
  3. Increasing the shelf life of a product: Homogenization can help to stabilize a product, by breaking down large particles or droplets that can cause separation over time. This can help to increase the shelf life of a product, particularly in the food and beverage industry.
  4. Improving the bioavailability of drugs: Homogenization is used in the pharmaceutical industry to emulsify drugs for injection or oral administration, which can improve the bioavailability of the drug and increase its effectiveness.
  5. Analysis of cells and tissues: Homogenization of cells and tissues is used in the biotechnology industry to prepare samples for analysis, such as in the case of DNA or RNA extraction.
  6. Reducing particle size : Homogenization can reduce the particle size of suspensions, emulsions and suspensions. This can improve the performance of a product and increase the efficiency of a process.
  7. Increasing yield: Homogenization can increase the yield of a product by breaking down particles or droplets and making them more easily mixable. This can be especially important in industrial processes.

Homogenizer Theories

Throughout the years, numerous hypotheses have emerged regarding the high-pressure homogenization process. The two most notable surviving theories are the disruption of globules by turbulent flow and the cavitation theory. These two surviving hypotheses provide excellent illustrations of the impact of diverse influences on the homogenization process.

The hypothesis of globule disruption by turbulence or micro whirls is predicated on the idea that a liquid jet emerges at the outlet of a void, with miniature eddies emerging as the jet fragments. As the pressure increases, the velocity of the jets increases, resulting in smaller, more powerful eddies. When a droplet in an eddy collides with another droplet of the same size, it deforms and disintegrates. This hypothesis proposes that the degree of homogenization varies with the homogenising pressure.

According to the cavitation theory, pressure fluctuations during homogenization result in the formation of bubbles (cavities) in a liquid. As the bubbles increase in size, they collapse or cavitate, releasing energy. The exploding and collapsing bubbles provide kinetic energy that encircles particles in a liquid, producing high-velocity jets that disperse the particles. Collapsing bubbles on the surface of particles transmit energy straight to the particles, causing them to disperse. The process of exploding and collapsing bubbles generates turbulence in a liquid, which leads to cavitation.

How does a homogenizer work? (Principle of Homogenizer)

Homogenizing action is the result of the interaction of three fundamental physical principles: Shearing \Cavitation \Turbulence

How does a homogenizer work? (Principle of Homogenizer)
How does a homogenizer work? (Principle of Homogenizer) | Image modified from www.iqsdirectory.com

Due to the viscosity of the fluid, friction between fluid molecules is the primary source of shearing. In a no-slip state, fluid molecules adjacent to one another have the same velocity. When a disruption, such as acceleration induced by a rotor-stator or deflection caused by an impact ring, is present, the fluid’s internal friction causes distinct velocities to develop. At the boundary layer, or the layer between the surface of the homogenizer and the fluid, the fluid velocity is zero. Away from the boundary layer, the fluid’s velocity approaches the magnitude it had under no-slip conditions. A big particle or droplet experiences shearing when it is caught between fluid layers with varying velocities. The shear forces reduce the size of big particles and droplets.

Cavitation occurs when a fluid experiences a significant reduction in pressure. Generally, a pump that enters the fluid at a greater pressure is positioned upstream of a homogenizer valve. As the fluid travels through the homogenizer valve, the fluid’s pressure is converted to kinetic energy. When the pressure decrease is significant enough, the fluid’s vapour pressure exceeds the homogenizer’s absolute pressure. This permits the temporary creation of cavities from tiny vapour pockets. Upon the collapse or implosion of these cavities, shockwaves are generated, shattering the particles and droplets in the mixture.

Turbulence is the final physical principle involved in homogenization. When a fluid achieves a high velocity, turbulence ensues. The high velocity generates uneven fluid movements. These irregular motions are a type of energy dissipation in which the kinetic energy of the fluid is transformed into internal energy in the form of eddy currents and some heat. The resulting eddies assist in particle size reduction.

The degree to which each physical impact contributes to the homogenising process is dependent on the homogenizer valve’s design and fluid parameters such as temperature, pressure, composition, and viscosity. Nevertheless, the vast majority of studies and experiments indicate that the turbulence effect is the fundamental mechanism responsible for homogeneity.

Shearing, cavitation, and turbulence effects are not restricted to homogenizer valves. The various varieties of homogenizers act differently than the original, but provide the same result.

Parts of Homogenizer

The parts of a homogenizer can vary depending on the specific type and model of the homogenizer. However, many mechanical and ultrasonic homogenizers have similar parts, which might include the following:

Parts of Homogenizer
Homogenizer valve | Image source: Homogenizer valve
  1. Homogenizing valve: The homogenising valve plays a pivotal role in this transformation. It could come in a variety of forms and sizes. There are two different kinds of homogenizers, the single-stage homogenizer (which only has one valve) and the two-stage homogenizer (uses two valves).
  2. Valve seat: The homogenizer’s opening is made up of the homogenising valve and its matching seat. The homogenizer valve is the most crucial component of the homogenizer assembly. There are a variety of homogenizer valve types. Each type has advantages and disadvantages that make it suited for a specific use. The types of homogenizer valves are listed below.
    • Radial Diffuser Valve: The radial diffuser valve is also referred to as the standard valve since it is the most widely utilised valve in a variety of sectors. It includes a plug and a seat. A standard design includes a moveable seat for altering the distance between the two components. The premix fluid initially runs axially in this type of homogenizer valve before being diverted at a 90° angle by the stopper. This causes the fluid to flow radially along the narrow void. After passing through the void, the fluid stream collides with an annular surface known as an impact or wear ring. The primary benefit of a radial diffuser valve is its ability to control the homogenising pressure by only adjusting the gap size while maintaining a constant flow rate.
    • Axial Flow Valve: A flow axial valve is comparable to an orifice valve. A small void is produced by an aperture, a venturi, or a brief tube. Other types of axial flow valves incorporate a movable needle for adjusting the gap. The space between the needle and seat is axially orientated, hence the name. This is comparable to a radial diffuser valve that utilises a plug. The premix continues to flow axially as it traverses the aperture. Additionally, shearing, cavitation, and turbulence occur within the narrow space. In contrast to a radial diffuser valve, the fluid jet expands upon leaving the gap without an impact chamber. Depending on how the homogenising pressure is regulated, the design of axial flow valves differs. Flow rate variation controls the homogenising pressure in designs with just static components. Designs with a moving needle regulate pressure by altering the size of the gap.
    • Counter Jet Valve: Using microchannels, a counter jet valve divides the entering stream of premix fluid into two or more streams. These microchannels provide as the space necessary for homogenising the premix fluid. Upon exit, the streams are accelerated to high speeds and forced to collide. The microchannels route the streams into the interaction chamber, a small space. The operation of a counter jet valve has no moving parts, which is an advantage. Consequently, they are more reliable than radial diffuser valves. Furthermore, no impact ring tends to degrade with time due to the fluid’s continual impact. However, its reliance on flow rate to adjust homogenising pressure is a downside. In addition, because it separates the premix stream into many channels, it requires a high flow rate for proper operation. This restricts the homogenising pressure that the valve may achieve.
    • Microfluidizer: With a microfluidizer, the product enters through an intake reservoir and is pushed into an interaction chamber at pressures of up to 30,000 psi by a pumping system. The product is subjected to high shear rates, energy dissipation, and impact forces in the chamber as it is driven into microchannels, where it collides with the walls and its particles. Constant applications of diverse stresses damage cells and cause a consistent reduction in droplet size.
  3. Breaker ring: The breaker ring that makes up the valve. The fluid travelling through the gap between the valve and seat impacts the inner wall of the breaker ring at a right angle. Therefore, the bigger particles or globules become smaller, finer forms.
  4. Tension spring: Adjustable tension spring: keeps the valve in place with the right amount of force. The orifice is created when the fluid pressure against the valve increases by a few thousand inches.
  5. Homogenizing pumps: Pressure homogenization pumps create the ideal conditions for the homogenization process.
  6. Homogenizing chamber: This is the main part of the homogenizer where the material is processed. It is typically made of stainless steel and is designed to withstand the high pressures and shearing forces involved in homogenization.
  7. Rotor: This is the part of the homogenizer that rotates and generates the shearing forces that break down the particles in the material. It is typically made of stainless steel and is designed to withstand the high speeds and forces involved in homogenization.
  8. Stator: This is the part of the homogenizer that remains stationary and surrounds the rotor, it has grooves or teeth that work together with the rotor to generate the shearing forces that break down the particles in the material.
  9. Motor: This is the power source that drives the rotor. It can be electric or pneumatic, depending on the homogenizer model.
  10. Speed controller: This is the part of the homogenizer that controls the speed of the rotor. It can be adjusted to vary the shearing force and homogenization level.
  11. Pressure control system: This is the part of the homogenizer that controls the pressure of the material as it is processed. It can be adjusted to vary the homogenization level.
  12. Inlet and outlet valves: These are the parts of the homogenizer that allow the material to be fed into and out of the homogenizing chamber.
  13. Cooling system: Some homogenizers have cooling systems that help to maintain the temperature of the material during the homogenization process.
  14. Safety features: Some homogenizers have safety features such as emergency stop buttons, pressure relief valves, and alarms to ensure the safety of the operator and the equipment.
types of homogenizer valves
types of homogenizer valves | Image modified from www.iqsdirectory.com

Operating Procedure of Homogenizer

The operating procedure of a homogenizer can vary depending on the specific type and model of the homogenizer, as well as the material being homogenized. However, a general operating procedure for a mechanical or ultrasonic homogenizer might include the following steps:

  1. Prepare the material to be homogenized by measuring out the appropriate amount and ensuring that it is at the correct temperature and viscosity for the homogenizer.
  2. Assemble the homogenizer, including the homogenizing chamber, rotor, and stator.
  3. Turn on the homogenizer and adjust the speed and pressure settings as needed for the specific material and desired homogenization level.
  4. Slowly feed the material into the homogenizer, making sure to maintain a consistent flow rate.
  5. Monitor the homogenization process, checking for any issues such as clogs or leaks.
  6. Once the material has been homogenized to the desired level, turn off the homogenizer and disassemble it.
  7. Clean and sanitize the homogenizer and all of its components, in order to prevent contamination and to maintain the equipment in good working condition.
  8. Collect the homogenized sample and proceed with the next steps of your process or analysis.

It is important to refer to the manufacturer’s manual and follow their guidelines, as different homogenizers may have different operating procedures, and some homogenizers may have specific guidelines for handling certain materials.

Things to remember when operating Homogenizer

1. Prior to starting the homogenizer, the following items must be examined:

  • The pistons are lubricated and cooled with water.
  • The pressure controls are examined to ensure they are in the idle position.
  • Confirm the product’s availability for the machine.
  • During machine startup, verify that the oil pressure is greater than 1 kg/cm2; otherwise, the starter will trip.

2. Machine homogenizer start-up

  • Starting the motor.
  • The homogenizer is run for about 5 minutes on water before being turned off and the water emptied by loosening the inlet union and then tightening it again.
  • Leaks in the machine are examined.
  • Adjusting the 3-way valve allows milk to flow into the homogenizer.
  • First, the first stage pressure is changed, and then the second stage pressure using the pressure adjusting handle of the second stage valve. The one pressure gauge available attests to this.
  • The machine’s output of product is redirected until an adequate homogenising pressure is reached.
  • When steady state is reached, the bypass valve is turned to reroute the product into the processing system.
  • It’s worth noting that some homogenizers actually have a vent for escaping air.

3. Ending the homogenising process

  • The output is redirected at the cycle’s end.
  • When the hopper is nearly empty of the product to be homogenised, the water is poured in to cleanse the system.
  • Pressure is discharged in two stages: first from the first-stage valve, then from the second-stage valve.
  • To clean the homogenizer, simply enter the cleaning mode.
  • Once the cleaning process is complete, the homogenizer is turned off.

4. Security measures

  • The homogenizer must never be operated without any liquid. Feeding the machine properly at all times is essential to keeping it from going hungry.
  • The inlet strainer must be removed, cleaned, and reinstalled before the homogenizer may be used again.
  • Both homogenising valve handles should be in the released position before turning on the homogenizer.
  • Gradual increases in pressure are recommended.
  • If the 3-way valve on the product delivery line is ever closed while the homogenizer is operating, it could cause expensive damage.

5. Care for Homogenizers

  • Every day, check the oil level to make sure it’s where it needs to be.
  • Lubrication systems require routine maintenance. When the lubricating oil becomes emulsified, which happens after 500 operating hours or 6 months, replace it.
  • Check the oil seals to make sure water and oil can’t get in there.
  • If there is leakage, tighten the nuts or couplings, instal new gaskets, or swap out the pistons.
  • The homogenizer gauges’ accuracy should be checked on a regular basis using a standard gauge.
  • The homogenizer’s valves should be checked frequently, and if necessary, lapped with a fine abrasive to ensure a leak-free seal.
  • It’s important to take extra precautions to avoid getting scratches when disassembling the valves. A rubber mat is required for their storage.

Types of Homogenizer

There are several types of homogenizers that are used in different industries and applications, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. Some of the most common types of homogenizers include:

1. Mechanical homogenizers

These use high pressure and shearing forces to break up particles in a liquid. They are typically powered by an electric or pneumatic motor and can be adjusted to vary the pressure and shearing force. Examples include the Gaulin homogenizer and the Avestin EmulsiFlex.

Mechanical homogenizers use mechanical work as the primary source of energy for separating the components of the premix. They serve a same purpose as a high shear mixer. The premixed fluid or feed can be injected at atmospheric, low, or medium pressure, which is significantly lower than a high-pressure homogenizer. Instead of a valve, spinning components such as cones, blades, and paddles are utilised. The rotors are coupled with a suitable stator to provide the optimal homogenization conditions. The homogenization procedure is dependent on the mechanical tearing induced by moving pieces. However, the previously described physical principles governing particle disruption still apply to mechanical homogenizers.

Schematic diagram of mechanical homogenizer
Schematic diagram of mechanical homogenizer

Types of Mechanical Homogenizers

Below are the most popular types of mechanical homogenizers.

a. Colloid Mill

  • Colloid mills are homogenizers with conical rotor and stator components. There is a little space between the rotor and the stator through which the premix will flow due to shear and centrifugal forces.
  • As the premix is supplied gravimetrically into the rotor-stator assembly by a hopper, it is expelled into the exit slots or holes. The rotor’s high rotational speed (between 3,000 and 15,000 rpm) creates a huge amount of shearing, which shatters the premix fluid’s constituents.
  • In addition, because the fluid is propelled by the rotor, high fluid velocities are possible. With sufficient velocity, turbulence develops.
  • By adjusting the gap between the rotor and stator, the magnitude of shearing can be modified. However, decreasing the clearance will have a detrimental effect on the product’s flow rate. This restricts the size of the resultant particles, which are not as small as those produced by high-pressure and ultrasonic homogenizers.
  • Colloid mills are utilised for highly viscous or heavily suspended solid particle-containing substances.
Colloid Mill
Colloid Mill

Pharmaceutical uses of colloid mill

  • Colloid mills are typically utilised for the comminution of solids and the creation of suspensions, particularly suspensions comprising solids that are not wetted by the dispersion medium.
  • Additionally, it is utilised to improve the stability of suspensions and emulsions.
  • It is used to make colloidal dispersions, suspensions, emulsions, and ointments.
  • Colloid mills are used to grind, disperse, and homogenise ointment, cream, gels, and high viscosity fluids in a single process.

Advantages of Colloid Mills

  • It has a wide range of applications, including the comminution of slurry-like substances.
  • There is no pressure need for ionisation.
  • The machine’s construction is straightforward.
  • It can be modified easily.
  • It is simple to clean the colloid mill after use.
  • The apparatus is self-draining.
  • a high capacity with minimum needs.
  • Reduced wear as a result of the rotor-construction stator’s with hardened steel/corundum.
  • Low machine noise level.

Disadvantages of Colloid Mill

  • It has no widespread use in solids
  • deterioration of the rotatable plates
  • No ultrafine grinding
  • Consumes energy despite being dependant on certain conditions.

b. Rotor-Stator Homogenizers

  • In terms of design, these homogenizers resemble high-shear mixers the most. Sometimes, its rotor-stator assembly is referred to as a mixing head, generator, or probe. The assembly is lowered into a batching tank, tube, vessel, or container in which the premix fluid is homogenised.
  • Rotor-stator homogenizers function by tangentially accelerating the fluid, however due to fluid inertia, the fluid does not totally flow with the rotor. The fluid instead travels towards the shear gap or the region between the rotor tip and the stator.
  • Inside the shear gap, high velocity differentials and turbulent fluid flow produce high shear rates. The particle size is determined by the rotor and stator profiles, their separation distance, and other features such as holes and slots.
  • The material enters the spinning fixed rotor system at high speeds in an upward and downward spiral pattern. The sample is subjected to significant shearing forces due to the suction induced by the rotor and stator.
  • Solid samples cannot be processed by rotor-stator homogenizers, and processing several samples requires time and effort.
  • There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages associated with any instrument that employs a probe to homogenise samples, including rotor-stators. Due to the ability to swap between probes, a broader volume range may be handled than with other approaches.
  • Using various probes, rotor-stator homogenizers can homogenise contents ranging from 30 microliters to 30 litres. In addition, there is no volume limitation; rotor-stator homogenizers are available for laboratory, pilot, and industrial size applications.
  • For single samples, rotor-stator homogenizers are particularly quick and effective. Due to the usage of probes, rotor-stator homogenizers are less appropriate for high-throughput, multiple-sample applications. If the risk of cross-contamination is a concern, the probe must be cleaned after each use. Some manufacturers offer packs of inexpensive probes or disposable, limited-use probes that are intended to allow you to process many samples with a clean probe each time (such as the PRO Multi-Gen Generator Probes).
  • A number of automated, higher-throughput rotor-stator homogenizers are also available. In general, these are more expensive than a bead mill with an identical throughput, but they can process larger samples.
  • There are also a variety of rotor-stator homogenizers that permit semi-continuous in-line processing and are hence capable of handling extremely high volumes. At addition to high-pressure homogenizers, these are the only homogenizers available in real industrial scale.
  • Rotor-stator homogenizers are ideally suited for liquid applications like mixing and emulsification. Additionally, they are excellent at rupturing cells and homogenising relatively soft tissue. Keep in mind, when homogenising solids, that the particles must fit between the rotor and stator in order to be homogenised.
  • While the suction action can somewhat overcome the form of soft solids (such as most soft tissue), for tougher solids (such as tablets or fibrous tissue), the sample may need to be pre-processed so that the particle size is sufficiently tiny. Probes with sawtoothed heads can assist in tearing apart fibrous samples and a variety of other materials.
  • During use of a rotor-stator, the probe should be moved within the sample for optimal results. This ensures that the sample is completely and uniformly homogenised. It can also help reduce the required runtime, especially when working near the instrument’s maximum volume.
  • During operation, Rotor-Stators transfer a considerable amount of heat to the sample, due primarily to frictional forces. If your application is susceptible to heat, investigate ways for cooling the sample. Attaching the sample container to a clamp and immersing it in an ice bath is suitable for the vast majority of laboratory-scale applications.
  • To increase the longevity of your probes, ensure that they are cleaned after each usage. Using a volatile cleaner, such as 70% ethanol, to clean the probes will expedite their drying time.
Rotor-Stator Homogenizers
Rotor-Stator Homogenizers

c. Bead Mill

  • Bead mills (also known as ball mills) are homogenizers that use beads for mechanically grinding and fracturing big particles scattered in the premix fluid. The beads are grinding medium that reduce particle size by intense impact and shear pressures.
  • Beads are loaded within the container and come into touch with the premix fluid. Internally spinning components such as paddles and blades then stir them. The container can also be agitated by spinning it at extremely high centrifugal speeds.
  • Larger homogenizers in line with the manufacturing stream often employ revolving components for agitation. In laboratories, agitation through centrifugal action is widely employed to prepare homogenised product samples.
Bead Mill
Bead Mill

d. Blade Type Homogenizers

  • These homogenizers have a rotor comprised of blades. In contrast to colloid mills and rotor-stator homogenizers, they lack a stator-formed shear gap. The shearing action is only produced by the blade’s rapid rotation. Their structure and operation are quite similar to a blender’s.
  • Homogenizers with blades are less effective than those with rotors and stator. Their homogenising capacity is enough for producing a well-emulsified and dispersed mixture, but the resulting particle size is coarser than that of other types of homogenizers. Beads or other abrasive media are employed to boost the homogenising efficiency of a substance.
Blade Type Homogenizers:
Blade Type Homogenizers

Applications of Mechanical Homogenizers

Mechanical homogenizers are widely used in many industries and applications, due to their ability to break down particles in a liquid and create a homogeneous mixture. Some of the most common applications of mechanical homogenizers include:

  • Food and beverage production: Mechanical homogenizers are used to make homogenized milk, ice cream, and other dairy products, as well as emulsify salad dressings and other food products. They are also used to create protein concentrates and isolates for dietary supplements and nutrition bars.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Mechanical homogenizers are used to emulsify drugs for injection or oral administration. This can improve the bioavailability of the drug and increase its effectiveness.
  • Biotechnology: Mechanical homogenizers are used to homogenize cells and tissues for analysis, such as in the case of DNA or RNA extraction.
  • Industrial applications: Mechanical homogenizers are used to emulsify lubricants, homogenize pigments for paint and ink production, and break down particles in slurry and suspensions.
  • Personal Care and Cosmetic: Mechanical homogenizers are used in the production of creams, lotions, and other personal care products to ensure that ingredients are evenly distributed and to create a smooth, consistent texture.
  • Environmental Applications: Mechanical homogenizers are used to homogenize soil samples, to break down particles in waste water, and to prepare samples for analysis.
  • Biological Applications: Mechanical homogenizers are used to homogenize animal tissue, plant tissue, and microorganisms.
  • Oil and Gas Applications: Mechanical homogenizers are used to homogenize oil and gas samples and to prepare samples for analysis.

It’s important to note that mechanical homogenizers are versatile tools, and their applications are not limited to the above-mentioned examples, and can be used in many other fields.

Advantages of Mechanical Homogenizers

  • High-pressure homogenization: Mechanical homogenizers can generate high pressure, which is ideal for breaking down particles in high-viscosity liquids.
  • High-shear mixing: Mechanical homogenizers can generate high shear forces, which is ideal for emulsifying and homogenizing small droplets and particles.
  • Versatility: Mechanical homogenizers can handle a wide range of materials and are suitable for various applications, such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.
  • High Efficiency: Mechanical homogenizers can homogenize large volumes of material in a short period of time, which increases the efficiency of the process.
  • Cost-effective: Mechanical homogenizers are cost-effective compared to other types of homogenizers, especially for large-scale production.

Disadvantages of Mechanical Homogenizers

  • High maintenance: Mechanical homogenizers have moving parts, which require regular maintenance and replacement of wear parts.
  • Noise and vibration: Mechanical homogenizers can generate noise and vibration, which can be a problem in some environments.
  • Limited particle size reduction: Mechanical homogenizers are not suitable for reducing the particle size of suspensions and emulsions to a very fine level.
  • Limited temperature control: Mechanical homogenizers may have limited temperature control, which can be a problem when working with heat-sensitive materials.
  • High energy consumption: Mechanical homogenizers can consume high energy, which can be a problem in some cases.

It’s important to note that the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical homogenizers can vary depending on the specific model and application, and it’s essential to consider them when selecting the right equipment for a specific process.

2. Ultrasonic homogenizers

These use high-frequency sound waves to create a cavitation effect that breaks up particles. They are typically powered by an ultrasonic generator and can be adjusted to vary the frequency and amplitude of the sound waves. Examples include the Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizer.

Ultrasonic homogenizers, also known as sonicators or sonic disruptors, utilise the ultrasonic cavitation physical principle. Ultrasonic frequencies are sound waves with a frequency of at least 20 kHz. Inducing cavitation by alternating phases of rarefaction and compression at ultrasonic frequencies. Consequently, the cavitation effect is the leading cause of component failure.

The phase of rarefaction generates the vapour cavity, whereas the period of compression causes it to implode. These intervals occur inside a single cycle of an ultrasonic wave. The produced voids are on a tiny scale and cannot be observed during operation; yet, they are high-energy, localised zones that can reach extraordinarily high temperatures and pressures.

Ultrasonic homogenizers
Ultrasonic homogenizers | Image source: Babajide, et al. (2010).

Ultrasonic homogenizers consist of three components:

  • Generator: The generator is the component that converts incoming electrical power into a suitable form for activating the transducer at the correct frequency. The normal electrical frequency of utility power networks is between 50 and 60 hertz (Hz). Since ultrasonic frequencies range from 20 kHz and above, the frequency of the power supply must be adjusted accordingly. The power supply frequency must be fine-tuned based on the properties of the premix fluid in order to create cavities of the correct size.
  • Transducer: The transducer transforms the oscillating, high-frequency electrical current supplied by the generator into ultrasonic vibration. The piezoelectric transducer is the most prevalent type. Piezoelectric transducers function via inverse-piezoelectricity, which is the ability of a material to elongate or contract when an electric current is applied.
  • Probe: The probe is the component that makes contact with the premix fluid. Connecting one end of the probe to the transducer causes it to vibrate at the specified frequency. The vibration of the probe is passed to the premix fluid, which then develops cavitation.

Comparable to high-pressure homogenizers in terms of particle size reduction and energy efficiency are ultrasonic homogenizers. The atmospheric pressure operation of ultrasonic homogenizers is its primary benefit. Moreover, the degree of disruption is easily modifiable by adjusting the generator’s electrical output and the temperature of the premix fluid. This is achieved without the need of any moving parts.

Applications of Ultrasonic homogenizers

Ultrasonic homogenizers are laboratory devices that use high-frequency sound waves to create a cavitation effect that breaks up particles, they are widely used in various applications, some of the most common applications of ultrasonic homogenizers include:

  • Emulsification: Ultrasonic homogenizers are used to create fine emulsions, which can be difficult to achieve with traditional mechanical methods. They are particularly useful for emulsifying small droplets and particles, and can be used to make products such as lotions, creams, and other personal care products.
  • Suspensions and Dispersion: Ultrasonic homogenizers are used to create suspensions and disperse solid particles in liquids. They can be used to create suspensions of particles that are difficult to disperse, such as nanoparticles, and can be used to create suspensions of cells and tissues for analysis.
  • Cell lysis and protein extraction: Ultrasonic homogenizers are used to lyse cells and extract proteins for analysis. They are particularly useful for lysing cells and extracting proteins from difficult-to-lyse cells, such as bacteria, yeast, and plant cells.
  • Nanoparticle production: Ultrasonic homogenizers are used to produce nanoparticles, which are particles with a size of less than 100 nm. They are particularly useful for producing nanoparticles with a uniform size and shape

Advantages of Ultrasonic homogenizers

  • High-efficiency: Ultrasonic homogenizers can break down particles more efficiently than other types of homogenizers, especially in the case of small droplets and particles.
  • Versatility: Ultrasonic homogenizers can handle a wide range of materials and are suitable for various applications, such as emulsification, suspensions, and dispersion.
  • Low-heat generation: Ultrasonic homogenizers generate very little heat, which makes them suitable for use with heat-sensitive materials.
  • Low Shear: Ultrasonic homogenizers generate low shear force, which reduces the damage to sensitive samples.
  • Easy to use and Clean: Ultrasonic homogenizers are easy to use, and easy to clean and maintain.

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic homogenizers

  1. High cost: Ultrasonic homogenizers are more expensive than other types of homogenizers, especially for large-scale production.
  2. Limited particle size reduction: Ultrasonic homogenizers are not suitable for reducing the particle size of suspensions and emulsions to a very fine level.
  3. Noise and vibration: Ultrasonic homogenizers can generate noise and vibration, which can be a problem in some environments.
  4. Maintenance: Ultrasonic homogenizers require regular maintenance to keep them in good working condition, which can be a challenge in some cases.
  5. Limited control: Ultrasonic homogenizers offer less control over the process compared to other types of homogenizers, which can be a problem in some applications.

It’s important to note that the advantages and disadvantages of ultrasonic homogenizers can vary depending on the specific model and application, and it’s essential to consider them when selecting the right equipment for a specific process.

3. High-pressure homogenizers

These use high pressure to break up particles in a liquid. They can be operated at pressures up to 35,000 psi (2,400 bar) and are often used for high-viscosity liquids. Examples include the Niro Soavi high-pressure homogenizer.

The high-pressure homogenizer (HPH) is the first type of industrial homogenizer to be developed, and it is discussed in detail in this article. Its adaptability and homogenising effectiveness make it one of the most often used homogenizers in industrial and manufacturing environments.

Piston homogenizers, also known as high-pressure homogenizers, consist of a high-pressure pump and a homogenization valve. The high-pressure pump is a positive displacement reciprocating type since these kinds are inherently suited for viscous fluids and maintain efficiency despite flow and pressure fluctuations. Homogenizers with high pressure have three or more pistons or plungers. Choosing a reciprocating pump with an increased number of plungers stabilises fluid flow to the homogenizer valve and decreases equipment vibration.

The pressure delivered by the pump is dependent on the fluid type. Most food and pharmaceutical homogenizers run at pressures ranging from 8,000 to 40,000 psi (550 bars up to 2,750 bars).

As previously explained, the homogenization valve consists of a seat, a valve, and an impact ring. As the premix fluid travels through the valve, its velocity increases and turbulence is produced. In turn, the turbulence generates eddies that degrade the components of the premix. The tiny space between the seat and the valve contributes to the development of shear forces, which contribute to the failure of components. At the gap’s departure, cavitation occurs. The components are broken by the shockwaves generated by the implosion of the cavitating fluid. Cavitation enhances the effectiveness of the homogenising procedure.

High-pressure homogenizers
High-pressure homogenizers | Image source: Cho, et al. (2012).

Applications of High-pressure homogenizers

  • High-pressure homogenizers are commonly used in the food and beverage industry for emulsifying, homogenizing, and dispersing liquids.
  • They are also used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries for the production of emulsions, suspensions, and ointments.
  • Additionally, they can be used in the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries for the production of nanoemulsions and nanoparticles.
  • High-pressure homogenizers can also be used in research and laboratory settings for various applications such as cell disruption and protein purification.

Advantages of High-pressure homogenizers

  1. High efficiency: High-pressure homogenizers can reduce particle size to a very small size, which can improve product stability and texture.
  2. High throughput: High-pressure homogenizers can process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently.
  3. Versatility: High-pressure homogenizers can be used for a wide range of applications including emulsification, homogenization, and cell disruption.
  4. Adaptability: High-pressure homogenizers can be easily adapted to suit specific process requirements and can handle a wide range of viscosities, temperatures, and pressures.

Disadvantages of High-pressure homogenizers

  1. High cost: High-pressure homogenizers can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
  2. Complexity: High-pressure homogenizers can be complex machines that require specialized knowledge and skills to operate and maintain.
  3. Limited scalability: High-pressure homogenizers are not suitable for large scale production.
  4. Limited to liquid: High-pressure homogenizers are only used for liquid materials, it cannot be used for solid or semi-solid materials.
  5. Safety: High-pressure homogenizers can be dangerous if not operated or maintained properly, as they generate high pressure and high temperatures.

Other Types of homogenizers

4. High-shear mixers

These use high-speed rotor-stator systems to generate high shear forces and break up particles in a liquid. They can be used for mixing, emulsifying, and homogenizing. Examples include the Silverson high-shear mixer.

High-shear mixers
High-shear mixers

Applications

  • High-shear mixers homogenizers are used in the food and beverage industry for emulsifying, homogenizing, and dispersing liquids.
  • They are also used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries for the production of emulsions, suspensions, and ointments.
  • Additionally, they can be used in the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries for the production of nanoemulsions and nanoparticles.
  • High-shear mixers homogenizers can also be used in research and laboratory settings for various applications such as cell disruption and protein purification.

Advantages

  • High efficiency: High-shear mixers homogenizers can reduce particle size to a very small size, which can improve product stability and texture.
  • High throughput: High-shear mixers homogenizers can process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently.
  • Versatility: High-shear mixers homogenizers can be used for a wide range of applications including emulsification, homogenization, and cell disruption.
  • Adaptability: High-shear mixers homogenizers can be easily adapted to suit specific process requirements and can handle a wide range of viscosities, temperatures, and pressures.

Disadvantages

  • High cost: High-shear mixers homogenizers can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Complexity: High-shear mixers homogenizers can be complex machines that require specialized knowledge and skills to operate and maintain.
  • Limited scalability: High-shear mixers homogenizers are not suitable for large scale production.
  • Limited to liquid: High-shear mixers homogenizers are only used for liquid materials, it cannot be used for solid or semi-solid materials.
  • Safety: High-shear mixers homogenizers can be dangerous if not operated or maintained properly, as they generate high shear forces and high temperatures.

5. Microfluidizers Or Benchtop homogenizer

These use high-pressure, high-shear forces to break up particles and create fine droplets or emulsions. They are often used in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Examples include the Microfluidizer processor.

Microfluidizers
Microfluidizers

Applications

  • Microfluidizers homogenizers are used in the food and beverage industry for emulsifying, homogenizing, and dispersing liquids.
  • They are also used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries for the production of emulsions, suspensions, and ointments.
  • Additionally, they can be used in the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries for the production of nanoemulsions, liposomes and nanoparticles.
  • Microfluidizers homogenizers can also be used in research and laboratory settings for various applications such as cell disruption and protein purification.

Advantages

  • High efficiency: Microfluidizers homogenizers can reduce particle size to a very small size, which can improve product stability and texture.
  • High throughput: Microfluidizers homogenizers can process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently.
  • Versatility: Microfluidizers homogenizers can be used for a wide range of applications including emulsification, homogenization, and cell disruption.
  • Adaptability: Microfluidizers homogenizers can be easily adapted to suit specific process requirements and can handle a wide range of viscosities, temperatures, and pressures.

Disadvantages

  • High cost: Microfluidizers homogenizers can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Complexity: Microfluidizers homogenizers can be complex machines that require specialized knowledge and skills to operate and maintain.
  • Limited scalability: Microfluidizers homogenizers are not suitable for large scale production.
  • Limited to liquid: Microfluidizers homogenizers are only used for liquid materials, it cannot be used for solid or semi-solid materials.
  • Safety: Microfluidizers homogenizers can be dangerous if not operated or maintained properly, as they generate high shear forces and high temperatures.
  • High energy consumption: Because of the high shear forces involved, microfluidizers consume a high amount of energy.

6. Homogenizer Blender

These machines are used to blend and homogenize the mixture of two or more liquid or semi-liquid ingredients, typically for food and beverage industry.

It’s important to note that each type of homogenizer has its own advantages and disadvantages and the selection of the homogenizer depends on the specific application, materials, and product requirement.

Homogenizer Blender
Homogenizer Blender

Applications

  • Homogenizer blenders are commonly used in the food and beverage industry for emulsifying, homogenizing, and blending liquids.
  • They are also used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical industries for the production of emulsions, suspensions and ointments.
  • Homogenizer blenders can also be used in research and laboratory settings for various applications such as cell disruption and protein purification.

Advantages

  • High Efficiency: Homogenizer blenders can efficiently reduce particle size to small sizes, which can improve product stability and texture.
  • High Throughput: Homogenizer blenders can process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently.
  • Versatility: Homogenizer blenders can be used for a wide range of applications including emulsification, homogenization, and blending.
  • Adaptability: Homogenizer blenders can be easily adapted to suit specific process requirements and can handle a wide range of viscosities, temperatures, and pressures.
  • Low energy consumption: Homogenizer Blenders use less energy than other homogenizing equipment.

Disadvantages

  • Limited scalability: Homogenizer blenders may not be suitable for large scale production.
  • Limited to liquid: Homogenizer blenders are only used for liquid materials, it cannot be used for solid or semi-solid materials.
  • Safety: Homogenizer blenders can be dangerous if not operated or maintained properly, as they generate high shear forces and high temperatures.
  • Complexity: Homogenizer blenders can be complex machines that require specialized knowledge and skills to operate and maintain.
  • High cost: Homogenizer blenders can be expensive to purchase and maintain.

Effect of different operational parameters during homogenization

  • Homogenization at a high temperature reduces clustering, decreases viscosity, and improves the dispersion of fat globules.
  • Low-temperature homogenization (50-55°C) minimises fragmentation and increases flow resistance.
  • An increase in pressure causes fat globules to fragment more finely and enhances their inclination to form clusters or clumps.
  • Irregularly pulsating pressure decreases productivity.
  • Extreme heat and pressure destabilise casein to an extreme degree.
  • High acidity increases viscosity and tends to cluster or clump together.
  • If the produce is not held at the right temperature for 30 minutes, homogenization efficiency may be lowered.
  • Subtle flaws in the homogenising valve permit big globules to get through, preventing successful homogenization.
  • The membrane surrounding the fat globules is around 10 m thick and consists of approximately 48% protein, 33% phospholipids, and 19% water.
  • When a homogenizer reduces the size of fat globules, new membranes are generated automatically, provided the membrane material does not become limiting.
  • The demand for membrane material increases when fat globules are shrunk to a very small size.

What is homogenization of milk?

Homogenized milk is milk that has been processed to ensure that the fat globules have been broken up to the extent that, after 48 hours of storage, there is no visible separation of cream from the milk in a quart bottle, or that the fat percentage of the remaining milk, as determined after thorough mixing, does not vary by more than 10 percent in proportional volumes of other containers. To accomplish this, the fat globules must be tiny and consistent in size.

Homogenization is the process of reducing the size of fat globules in order to prevent the development of cream. The apparatus used for this purpose is referred to as a homogeniser. Normal milk contains fat globules ranging in size from 0.1 to 3 or 4 microns, depending on the breed of cows and other variables. By homogenization, we reduce the size of fat globules to less than 2 microns.

Homogenization of milk also serves the following purposes.

  • Prevents the production of cream.
  • Increases milk viscosity and gives tea and coffee a more robust appearance.
  • Fat globules do not readily rise, thus there is no need to shake the milk prior to serving.
  • Prevents fat from churning during hard handling or extreme agitation.
  • Forms a soft curd when homogenised milk is coagulated, i.e. milk becomes more pleasant due to its brighter look, heavier body, and richer flavour.
  • Milk becomes more digestible in part due to the smaller fat globules and in part due to the reduced curd tension. The homogenised milk is suitable for infants.
  • Reduces the likelihood of fat separation during the production of evaporated milk and ice cream, giving the product a smoother texture.
  • The homogenizer can be used to create reconstituted milk by combining butter oil or butter with skim milk.
  • The homogenised milk is less vulnerable to the oxidation of flavour.

However, if fat recovery is the objective, homogenised milk should not be consumed. Recovery of fat from homogenised milk is challenging.

Different forms of fat globules in milk

  • Unattached globules on their own.
  • Clusters composed of two or more loosely connected globules.
  • Clumps, which consist of two or more globules densely clumped together to the point where their separate appearance is nearly obliterated.
  • Individual globules in churned or butter particles that have lost their individuality. Unhomogenized milk contains clusters, clumps, and butter particles, which should be broken up using a homogenizer.

Why homogenizer is always required to maintain steady pressure?

  • The shearing effect of the valve varies with the fluid’s velocity, and for a given valve, the shearing effect is only acceptable at a specific fluid velocity.
  • If the pressure fluctuates, so will the velocity, resulting in erratic outcomes, nonuniform products, and a decrease in efficiency.
  • Since a single plunger pump will generate pulsing pressure, it is typical to use a three-plunger positive displacement pump, or triplex pump, for this application.
  • The overlapping of strokes tends to result in a rather consistent pressure (variation in pressure is around 20%).

Applications of Homogenizer

A homogenizer is a mechanical device used to reduce the size of particles in a liquid mixture. It typically functions by applying high pressure and/or high shear forces to the mixture, which breaks down the larger particles into smaller, more uniform particles. The specific function of a homogenizer can vary depending on the type and design of the device, but some common functions include:

  1. Emulsification: Homogenizers are often used to create stable emulsions by breaking down large droplets of one liquid into smaller droplets, which are then suspended in another liquid.
  2. Homogenization: Homogenizers can be used to homogenize a liquid mixture, meaning they can reduce the size of particles to a uniform size, which can improve product stability and texture.
  3. Dispersing: Homogenizers can be used to disperse solid particles into a liquid medium, resulting in a homogeneous mixture.
  4. Cell disruption: Homogenizers can be used to break down cells or other biological samples by applying high shear forces, which can release the contents of the cells.
  5. Protein purification: Homogenizers can be used to purify proteins by breaking down cells and extracting the proteins from the cell lysate.
  6. Nanoparticle production: Homogenizers can be used to produce nanoparticles by breaking down large particles into smaller nanoparticles.
  7. Microbial Inactivation: Inactivation of Microorganisms Inactivation of microorganisms is one of the primary process objectives in food and pharmaceutical manufacture. Homogenizers accomplish this by fracturing the cellular structure of scattered bacteria. This removes the chance for microbial growth, extending the shelf life of the product. Because homogenization relies on mechanical operations to destroy bacteria, it is a crucial alternative to heat treatment and pasteurisation, both of which can diminish product quality.
  8. Cell Fractionation: Cell fractionation is the process of rupturing a cell while maintaining the integrity of its internal components. Controlling the degree of homogenization permits the destruction of cells while preserving intracellular components. Recovery of intracellular components is utilised extensively in the biotechnology industry for the production of agricultural and medicinal bioproducts.
  9. Enzyme Activation/Inactivation: Homogenization at high pressure can alter the structure of enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that accelerate biological processes by serving as catalysts. By precisely regulating the homogenization pressure, it is possible to activate or deactivate specific enzymes. This function has potential applications in the manufacturing of beverages especially alcoholic beverages.
  10. Compound Extraction: Homogenizer-assisted Extraction, or HAE, refers to compound extraction utilising homogenizers. High-value chemicals such as polyphenols, flavonoids, lycopene, and so on are more stable and extractable when exposed to the dynamic pressure generated by a homogenizer.

Advantages of Homogenizer

  1. High efficiency: Homogenizers can reduce particle size to a very small size, which can improve product stability and texture.
  2. High throughput: Homogenizers can process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently.
  3. Versatility: Homogenizers can be used for a wide range of applications including emulsification, homogenization, and cell disruption.
  4. Adaptability: Homogenizers can be easily adapted to suit specific process requirements and can handle a wide range of viscosities, temperatures, and pressures.
  5. Improved stability of products: Homogenizers can improve the stability of products by reducing particle size and increasing homogeneity, which can prolong the shelf life of the product.
  6. Increased yield: Homogenization can increase the yield of final product, as it can help to release more of the desired substance.
  7. Improved product quality: Homogenization can improve the product quality by providing a more consistent texture and appearance in the final product.
  8. Enhanced bioavailability: Homogenization can enhance the bioavailability of ingredients in food and pharmaceutical products, as it can make it easier for the body to absorb the active ingredients.

Disadvantages of Homogenizer

  • High cost: Homogenizers can be expensive, especially for high-pressure models.
  • Maintenance and upkeep: Homogenizers require regular maintenance, including cleaning and calibration, to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Sample size limitations: Homogenizers may have limitations on the size of the sample they can process, which can be a problem for large-scale applications.
  • Noise pollution: High-pressure homogenizers can be loud, which can be a problem in laboratory or industrial settings where noise pollution is a concern.
  • Sample heating: Homogenization process may leads to heat generation and can cause thermal damage to the sample.
  • Shear force: The homogenization process may apply high shear force on the sample which may lead to denaturation or damage of some labile components.

Precautions

There are several precautions that should be taken when using a homogenizer:

  • Safety: Homogenizers can be dangerous if not used properly, so it is important to follow all safety instructions and precautions provided by the manufacturer. This includes wearing protective gear, such as safety glasses, and being aware of the potential risks associated with high-pressure systems.
  • Sample preparation: Make sure that the sample is prepared correctly, as per the homogenizer manufacturer’s instructions, before processing.
  • Sample volume: Be aware of the sample volume that the homogenizer is designed to handle and do not exceed that limit.
  • Sample temperature: Be aware of the sample temperature and try to maintain the sample at optimal temperature for the sample type.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Clean the homogenizer after each use and perform regular maintenance as per the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper functioning.
  • Operator training: Only trained personnel should operate the homogenizer.
  • Proper use of homogenizer: Always use the homogenizer as per the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines.

Examples Homogenizer

1. T10 BASIC ULTRA –TURRAX HOMOGENIZER

New dispersing device for capacities ranging from 0.5 to 100 ml. Even with tiny rotor diameters, it is possible to work at high circumferential speeds with a broad speed range.

Features

  • Extreme speed stability with varied media for 125 Watt high-performance drives.
  • It is ideal for manual labour due to its light weight and ergonomic shape.
  • Highly portable due to direct mains operation (no transformer required).
  • Dispersing elements made of stainless steel with diameters of 5 mm, 8 mm, and 10 mm can be cleaned quickly and without difficulty because they can be uninstalled without tools.
  • Two sizes of plastic disposable dispersion elements are acceptable for PCR analysis.
  • Quick-release coupling facilitates the replacement of dispersion elements
  • Included in shipment: Clamp R 200, empty storage case (for drive, dispersing elements and spare seals).

2. T18 Digital Ultra TURRAX

Price-competitive dispersion instrument for capacities between 1 and 1500 ml (H2O) with digital speed display. It offers a broad speed range from 3000 to 25.000 rpm, allowing users to work with tiny rotor diameters at high circumferential speeds. A large variety of dispersing elements ensures a vast array of applications.

  • Digital speed display
  • Electronic speed control
  • Electronic overload protection
  • Stainless steel dispersing elements can be cleaned quickly and easily
  • Plastic disposable dispersing elements are available in two sizes
  • Error code display
  • Quiet operation

3. T65 Basic Ultra-TURRAX

Extremely potent dispersion device for capacities between 2 and 50 l (H2O) for common pilot plant stations. Even with tiny rotor diameters, a fixed speed of 7200 rpm enables users to work at a high circumferential speed. Three rotor-stator configurations ensure a diverse array of applications. Reproducible procedures as a result of constant speed despite varying viscosities.

  • Electronic overload protection
  • Cables and plugs not included in the delivery
  • Plug-in connectors facilitate exchange of dispersing elements
  • Stainless steel dispersing elements for use under vacuum and pressure

4. Polytron homogenizer

The Polytron homogenizer is a type of high-shear mechanical homogenizer that is commonly used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries to homogenize liquids and emulsions. The Polytron homogenizer uses a rotating blade that is driven by a motor to create high-shear forces that break down particles and emulsify liquids. The speed of the blade can be adjusted to control the intensity of the shear forces and the size of the final particles.

One of the key advantages of the Polytron homogenizer is its ability to process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently. It can be used to homogenize liquids of varying viscosities and can handle particles of different sizes and shapes. The Polytron homogenizer is also known for its durability and ease of maintenance.

In addition to its homogenizing capabilities, the Polytron homogenizer can also be used for emulsification, dispersion, and particle size reduction. It is also capable of handling high-pressure applications, and can be used to homogenize samples with high solid content.

The Polytron homogenizer is available in various models with different power capacities and can be used for laboratory or industrial applications. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe and proper operation of the device, and to ensure the homogenizer is maintained and cleaned regularly.

5. Silverson homogenizer

A Silverson homogenizer is a type of high-shear mechanical homogenizer that is commonly used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries to homogenize liquids and emulsions. The Silverson homogenizer uses a rotor-stator principle in which a high-speed rotor generates intense shear forces that break down particles and emulsify liquids. The rotor and stator are designed to work together to create a highly efficient and effective homogenizing process.

The Silverson homogenizer is known for its ability to process large volumes of liquid quickly and efficiently. It can handle a wide range of viscosities and can handle particles of different sizes and shapes. The homogenizer is also known for its durability, ease of maintenance and ease of operation. The homogenizer can handle high-pressure applications, and can be used to homogenize samples with high solid content.

Silverson homogenizer can also be used for emulsifying, dispersing and particle size reduction. It can work with various materials such as liquids, semi-solids, and even high viscosity materials. The Silverson homogenizer is available in various models with different power capacities and can be used for laboratory or industrial applications. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe and proper operation of the device, and to ensure the homogenizer is maintained and cleaned regularly.

FAQ

What is homogenizer?

A homogenizer is a machine or device that is used to homogenize or emulsify liquids and suspensions. It works by applying mechanical force to a liquid sample to break down large particles or droplets into smaller, more uniform particles. Homogenization is a process that is commonly used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries to create stable emulsions, suspensions, and dispersions, and to improve the consistency and quality of products.
There are several types of homogenizers, including mechanical homogenizers, such as high-pressure homogenizers and high-shear homogenizers, and ultrasonic homogenizers. Mechanical homogenizers use a mechanical force, such as high pressure or high shear, to break down particles, while ultrasonic homogenizers use high-frequency sound waves to create small, uniform particles.
Homogenizers can be used in a variety of applications, including the production of cream and cheese, the preparation of emulsions and suspensions for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and the processing of food and beverage products such as milk, juice, and sauces.

What is homogenization example?

Homogenization is the process of breaking down large particles or droplets into smaller, more uniform particles in a liquid or suspension. An example of homogenization is the production of milk. Before homogenization, milk is made up of small droplets of fat suspended in water. However, the fat droplets tend to rise to the top and form a layer of cream. Homogenization is used to break down the fat droplets into smaller, more uniform particles that remain suspended in the milk, resulting in a more consistent product.
Another example is the production of salad dressings. Salad dressings typically contain oil and water, which naturally separate over time. Homogenization process is used to emulsify the oil and water, creating a stable, homogeneous mixture that will not separate.
In the pharmaceutical industry, Homogenization is used to create stable emulsions and suspensions of active ingredients. For example, an antibiotic solution may be made by suspending small particles of the antibiotic in water, then using a homogenizer to break down the particles into smaller, more uniform droplets. This ensures that the active ingredient is distributed evenly throughout the solution, making it more effective.
In the cosmetic industry, Homogenization is used to create smooth and consistent creams, lotions, and other personal care products by breaking down solid particles and incorporating them into a liquid base.

Why is homogenization important?

Homogenization is important because it improves the consistency, stability and quality of a wide range of products. It helps to create stable emulsions, suspensions, and dispersions, ensuring that ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the product. This ensures that the product is more consistent and effective, and can also help to extend its shelf life. In addition, homogenization can improve the texture and appearance of a product, making it more appealing to consumers. Homogenization is also used to improve the bioavailability and efficacy of drugs and other active ingredients, making them more effective and efficient.

Which pump is used in homogenizer?

Homogenizers typically use a high-pressure pump to generate the high pressure needed to homogenize liquids and suspensions. Two types of pumps that are commonly used in homogenizers are positive displacement pumps and centrifugal pumps.
Positive displacement pumps, such as reciprocating pumps or diaphragm pumps, are used in high-pressure homogenizers. These pumps work by trapping a fixed volume of liquid and then compressing it to generate high pressure. They are commonly used in low-volume, high-pressure homogenization applications.
Centrifugal pumps are used in high-shear homogenizers. These pumps use the principle of centrifugal force to generate high shear forces. They are commonly used in high-volume, low-pressure homogenization applications.
Both types of pumps can work with a variety of liquids and suspensions, and can be adjusted to produce different levels of pressure and shear force depending on the application. The choice of pump will depend on the nature of the sample, the desired homogenization results and the production scale.

Is homogenization positive or negative?

The effects of homogenization can be both positive and negative, depending on the context and application.
Positive effects of homogenization include:
Improved consistency and stability of products.
Improved texture and appearance of products.
Increased shelf life of products.
Improved bioavailability and efficacy of active ingredients.
Improved production efficiency and productivity.
However, there are also negative effects of homogenization that should be considered.
Homogenization can cause denaturation or damage of labile components.
Homogenization process may cause thermal damage to the sample.
Homogenization can lead to loss of nutritional value in food products.
Homogenization can lead to negative changes in the taste, smell, and color of food products.
Homogenization can increase the production cost and maintenance cost.
It is important to carefully evaluate the potential positive and negative effects of homogenization in a given application and make an informed decision about whether or not to use it.

How does a 2 stage homogenizer work?

A 2-stage homogenizer is a type of high-pressure homogenizer that uses two stages of homogenization to achieve a more efficient and effective process. It typically consists of a high-pressure pump and two homogenizing valves, one located after the pump and one after the first valve. The first valve is used to apply high pressure to the liquid, breaking down larger particles or droplets. The second valve further reduces the particle size and improves the uniformity of the particles.
The 2-stage homogenizer works by drawing the liquid sample into the high-pressure pump, which increases the pressure to a level that is high enough to break down the particles. The liquid is then forced through the first valve, which applies intense shear forces to the particles and breaks them down into smaller, more uniform particles. The liquid then passes through the second valve, which further reduces the particle size and improves the uniformity of the particles.
This process of two-stage homogenization allows for more efficient and effective homogenization, producing a more stable and consistent product with smaller particle size than one stage homogenization. However, it also increases the costs and maintenance of the homogenizer.

Why do we homogenize milk products?

Homogenization is used in milk products to create a more consistent and stable product by breaking down the fat globules in milk so they remain suspended throughout the liquid. Without homogenization, the fat globules will rise to the top and form a layer of cream. Homogenization makes the milk more consistent in texture, appearance and taste, increases its shelf life and also improves the nutritional value of the milk by making the fat-soluble vitamins more available for absorption. Homogenization also prevents creaming and sedimentation of milk, which is important for the production of milk-based products like ice cream, cheese and chocolate milk.

References

  1. Mondal, Pijush Kanti & Mandal, Bijan. (2019). A comparative study on the performance and emissions from a CI engine fuelled with water emulsified diesel prepared by mechanical homogenization and ultrasonic dispersion method. Energy Reports. 5. 639-648. 10.1016/j.egyr.2019.05.006.
  2. Onaneye-Babajide, Omotola & Petrik, Leslie & Bamikole, Amigun & Farouk, Ameer. (2010). Low-Cost Feedstock Conversion to Biodiesel via Ultrasound Technology. Energies. 3. 10.3390/en3101691.
  3. Cho, S.-C., Choi, W.-Y., Oh, S.-H., Lee, C.-G., Seo, Y.-C., Kim, J.-S., … Lee, H.-Y. (2012). Enhancement of Lipid Extraction from Marine Microalga,ScenedesmusAssociated with High-Pressure Homogenization Process. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2012, 1–6. doi:10.1155/2012/359432
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  7. https://www.centri-force.co.uk/products/homogenizers/
  8. https://homogenizers.net/pages/ac-rotor-stator-homogenization
  9. https://www.pharmapproach.com/colloid-mill-2/
  10. https://www.iqsdirectory.com/articles/mixer/homogenizer.html
  11. https://www.biocompare.com/Protein-Biochemistry/12986-Laboratory-Homogenizers/
  12. https://www.biocompare.com/Protein-Biochemistry/12986-Laboratory-Homogenizers/
  13. https://www.beei.com/blog/purpose-of-homogenization
  14. https://proscientific.com/the-field-of-homogenizing
  15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/homogenizer
  16. https://microbeonline.com/homogenizer-parts-types-and-function/
  17. https://microbenotes.com/homogenizer-principle-procedure-parts-types-uses-examples/
  18. https://us.vwr.com/store/category/homogenizers/590438
  19. https://dairyprocessinghandbook.tetrapak.com/chapter/homogenizers
  20. https://www.labcompare.com/General-Laboratory-Equipment/5173-Homogenizing-Systems/
  21. https://www.labotronics.com/homogenizers
  22. https://www.ultragroup.in/homogenizers.html
  23. https://www.labindiainstruments.com/rotor-stator-homogenizers.html

Citation

APA

Sourav Bio. (January 13, 2023).Homogenizer – Principle, Parts, Types, Procedure, Uses. Retrieved from https://microbiologynote.com/homogenizer-principle-parts-types-procedure-uses/

MLA

Sourav Bio. "Homogenizer – Principle, Parts, Types, Procedure, Uses." Microbiology Note, Microbiologynote.com, January 13, 2023.

MCQ

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