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Flow-Through Reactor Chambers (Flow Cells)

Continuous Ultrasonic Liquid Processing

With the use of ultrasonic reactor chambers (flow cells), ISM's ultrasonic systems can be configured for continuous sonochemical liquid processing in a "flow-through" mode (see below). When a large amount of material needs to be processed, this arrangement is preferable to the "batch" mode because it results in a much higher processing capacity, improved ultrasonic exposure uniformity and better temperature stability. During continuous ultrasonic processing, the use of a properly designed reactor chamber ensures that all working liquid is directed through the active cavitation zone(s) created by the incorporated Barbell horn (commonly, HBH), resulting in homogeneous processing and a high-quality product. ISM's sonochemical reactor chambers can include a water-cooling jacket to help maintain the temperature of the working liquid at a desired level. Alternatively, a separate heat exchanger may be used.

Bench-Scale Ultrasonic Reactor Chamber (Flow Cell)

Bench-Scale Reactor Chamber

ISM's bench-scale reactor chamber, assembled with an HBH Barbell horn, is illustrated on the left. The output diameter of the horn is commonly in the range of 30 - 33 mm, and the internal volume of the assembly is about 80 ml. The same reactor chamber may be used with any Barbell horn type. The penetration of the horn into the chamber is arranged such that the non-vibrating mounting flange on the horn is "sandwiched" between the body of the chamber and its lid through two rubber o-rings, which ensures a reliable, pressure-resistant seal. The processed liquid is supplied through the "inlet" and collected through the "outlet" sanitary flanged connections, as indicated in the illustration. Depending on the required process temperature, chilled water or ethylene glycol/water mixture may be supplied through the "cooling" hose barb connections for temperature control. Recirculating, single-pass or multi-reactor configurations are possible.

Industrial-Scale Ultrasonic Reactor Chamber (Flow Cell)

Industrial-Scale Reactor Chamber

ISM's industrial-scale reactor chamber, assembled with an HBH Barbell horn, is illustrated on the left. The output diameter of the horn is commonly 47 - 50 mm and the internal volume of the assembly is 250 - 300 ml. Larger horn diameters and reactor chamber volumes are available upon request. The same reactor chamber may be used with any Barbell horn type. The penetration of the horn into the chamber is arranged such that the non-vibrating mounting flange on the horn is "sandwiched" between the body of the chamber and its lid through two rubber o-rings, which ensures a reliable, pressure-resistant seal. The processed liquid is supplied through the "inlet" and collected through the "outlet" sanitary flanged connections, as indicated in the illustration. A separate heat exchanger may be used with this reactor chamber for temperature control. Recirculating, single-pass or multi-reactor configurations are possible.

Recirculating configuration, where the material is recirculated many times through the reactor chamber, is recommended for challenging processes, such as nanocrystallization, nanoemulsification, deagglomeration, etc, requiring longer exposure times. Recirculation increases the cumulative exposure time and eliminates active zone bypass.

Single-pass configuration is commonly used as a part of multistep processing involving different modalities. In this configuration, the liquid coming from a previous processing step passes through the reactor chamber, after which it is either collected as the final product or continues down the line for further processing. This arrangement is common for fast processes requiring a single pass through the system.

Five Ultrasonic Reactors in Series

Multi-reactor configuration is also possible, which combines the advantages of both configurations described above. For many processes, such as the production of nanoemulsions, nanoparticle deagglomeration, water purification, cell disruption and plant oil extraction, this arrangement allows for a single-pass processing without the need for recirculation or multriple passes throught the system. For challenging processes, such as primary particle size reduction (nanocrystallization), this arrangement provides an additional productivity scale-up factor equal to the number of utilized reactors.