Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

Define Homogenizer A sample is divided into identical fragments by homogenization, which preserves the molecular structure of other parts of the sample even when part of it is removed. It is also often used to completely mix naturally immiscible ingredients. The purpose of homogenization is to reduce particle size, break down the cell wall and/or cell membrane, destroy pathogens, and facilitate stable emulsions and dispersions. A classic example of this is milk homogenization, which distributes and reduces milk fat globules so that they are evenly dispersed throughout the rest of the milk.

A mechanical device known as a homogenizer achieves homogenization. Auguste Gaulin developed homogenizers to mix the milk. A three-piston positive displacement pump with capillary tubes installed in the discharge formed the mechanism.

Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

Common names for mechanical homogenization equipment include homogenizer, cell lyser, high shear mixer, polytron, rotor and stator homogenizer, disperser, sonicator, and tissue ripper. Several procedures, including the use of homogenizers, are often used to perform DNA, RNA, or mRNA extractions, as well as other tasks that require sample homogenization without reducing nucleic acids. Homogenizers often use prefilled micro tubes filled with ceramic beads to help break up and mix cells. This is often facilitated by oscillations or the reciprocal movement of symmetries.

What are the Principles of Homogenizer

Shearing, cavitation, and turbulence, the three fundamental physical principles, work together to produce smooth action.

Shearing: The main cause of shear in fluids is the friction between fluid molecules caused by viscosity. Large particles and droplets are reduced in size by shear forces. A large particle or droplet experiences shear when it becomes trapped between layers of fluid moving at various speeds.

Cavitation: Cavitation occurs when a fluid has a considerable pressure reduction. A pump that introduces fluid at higher pressure normally has an upstream homogenizing valve. This makes it possible for cavities to form from small pockets of steam briefly. Shock waves are generated when these cavities collapse or implode, breaking up the particles and droplets in the mix.

Turbulence:¬†When the fluid reaches a high speed, it becomes turbulent. The fluid moves erratically as a result of the high speed. These unstable movements are a type of energy dissipation in which the fluid’s kinetic energy is transformed into internal energy in the form of eddy currents and a small amount of heat. The particles are reduced in size by the eddies created.

What is the Operating Procedure of a Homogenizer?

Operating Procedure of a Homogenizer

Before starting the homogenizer

  • The position of the pressure controls is checked to ensure they are idle.
  • The water is turned on to lubricate and cool the piston.

Starting of homogenizer

  • The motor is turned on.
  • After about 5 minutes of running with water, the homogenizer is turned off and the water is drained by loosening the inlet union, which is then tightened.
  • The equipment is checked for leaks.
  • The sample is supplied to the homogenizer by adjusting the 3-way valve appropriately.
  • As soon as the machine begins to pump at full capacity, the pressure adjustment handle on the second stage valve is adjusted to the desired pressure. Then the pressure of the first stage is adjusted.
  • The product discharge from the machine is redirected until the required homogeneity pressure is reached.
  • Once the normal operation is achieved, the bypass valve activates to allow the product to flow to the processing system.

Closing down the homogenizing operation

  • The product flow is diverted at the end of the stroke.
  • The water is poured into the hopper to rinse as soon as the product is homogenized and emptied.
  • The first-stage valve pressure and the second-stage valve pressure are released.
  • By switching to the cleaning sequence, you can now clean the homogenizer.
  • After cleaning is complete, the homogenizer turns off.

What are the Parts of a Homogenizer?

The homogenizer comprises a high-pressure pump that has been equipped with a small opening having adjustable opening through which very high-pressure fluids are conducted. 

The pump, the homogenizing valve, the breaker ring, the tension spring, and the valve seat constitute the essential parts of a homogenizer.

Homogenizer valve: It is the heart of the homogenizer. The valve is supported by a strong spring with adjustable tension. Homogenizers come in single-stage, two-stage, and even multi-stage varieties. There is only one homogenizing valve on single-stage homogenizers. Generally, a homogenizing valve consists of a valve, a valve seat, and an impact ring. In contrast, two-stage homogenizers have an additional homogenizing valve.

Homogenizing Pump: The homogenizing pump provides the desired pressure needed for homogenizing.

Valve seat: The opening of the homogenizer is formed by both the seat and the homogenizer valve.

Breaker ring: A breaker ring is the main component of the valve. The inner wall of the breaker ring is struck perpendicularly by fluid flowing through the opening created by the valve and seat. The larger particles or globules are further reduced in size to finer shapes.

Tension Spring: The valve must be held at a tension that can be adjusted. A few thousand inches of fluid pressure increases as fluid pressure against the valve increases, causing the hole to develop.

What are the Types of Homogenizers?

Mechanical homogenizers, high-pressure (or piston pump) models, and sonic disruptors are the three most common types.

Mechanical homogenizer

The main source of energy to break down premix components in mechanical homogenizers is mechanical work. Rotating components such as vanes, cones, and vanes are used instead of valves. The ideal circumstances for homogenization are produced by coupling the rotors with the appropriate stator. The mechanical tear produced by the moving parts is what drives the homogenization process. Colloid mills, rotor-stator homogenizers, and bead mills are the most popular types of mechanical homogenizers.

Colloid mill

The homogenization process begins with the mechanical tear caused by the moving parts. The rotor-stator principle governs the operation of the colloid mill. By creating a dispersion of components in a liquid, the machinery breaks down the materials. Between a static cone (the stator) and a rapidly rotating cone (the rotor), there is a small gap where shearing occurs. The most frequent applications of a colloid mill are the grinding of solids and the creation of suspensions, particularly those that comprise solids that are not wetted by the dispersion medium.

Rotor-stator homogenizer

In rotor-stator homogenization, a metal shaft (the rotor) is used that rotates inside a stationary metal case (the stator). The sample is drawn into the space between the rotor and the stator by the rotation of the rotor. It is subject to extremely strong shear forces due to the extreme change in speed in the restricted area between the rotor and stator. Rotor-stator homogenizers are excellent for mixing or making emulsions from liquids.

Bead mills

The bead mill is used to grind or disperse minute particles into suspension by shaking the grinding media (beads) in a cylindrical container. The mill rotor creates bead motion, causing the particles to experience a strong shear and collision force.

Blade type homogenizers

These homogenizers have rotors made of vanes. Only the high-speed rotation of the blade produces the cutting effect.

High-Pressure Homogenizer

Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

Homogenizing valves and high-pressure pumps form high-pressure homogenizers, often known as piston homogenizers. These are normally used with comparable liquids and materials. This approach is most often used to homogenize milk. Using a piston pump that operates at extremely high pressures (up to 1,500 bar / 21,750 psi with continuous operation on a large scale), they force the substance through small tubes or valves.

Ultrasonic Homogenizer

Ultrasonic homogenizers, commonly known as sonicators or sonic disruptors, use the physical principle of ultrasonic cavitation. By alternately producing periods of rarefaction and compression at ultrasonic frequencies, cavitation is created. Cavitation is the main reason for the component breakdown.

What are the Applications of Homogenizers?

Microbial inactivation: High-pressure homogenization primarily kills vegetative bacteria by mechanically destroying the cell wall due to turbulence, impact, spatial pressure, and velocity gradients.

Emulsification: One of the key objectives in food and drug production is the inactivation of microorganisms. Since heat treatment or pasteurization has the potential to harm product quality, homogenization becomes a crucial alternative because it uses mechanical actions to destroy bacteria.

Cellular fractionation: Biotechnology companies frequently use the recovery of intracellular components to create medicinal and agricultural bioproducts. Therefore, control of the degree of homogenization allows cell rupture and preservation of intracellular components.

Enzyme Activation/Inactivation: The homogenization pressure can be carefully adjusted to select certain enzymes for activation or inactivation. The manufacture of beverages and alcoholic beverages could use this capacity.

Compound Extraction: High-value chemicals such as polyphenols, flavonoids, lycopene, and other similar compounds are more stable and easier to extract when a biological matter is subjected to dynamic pressure through a homogenizer.

Advantages of homogenizer

  • Frequent mixing is not necessary.
  • Effectively kills microorganisms in food samples by the heat generated during homogenization.
  • Results in the formation of micro/nanoemulsions and reduction in particle size.
  • It guarantees homogeneity, stability, and reproducibility.

Limitations of homogenizer

  • A greater area of microbial contamination.
  • In some emulsion/dispersion formulations, homogenization has low energy efficiency, meaning that about half of the energy is lost as heat.
  • You cannot efficiently manufacture solid or large particle foods by the homogenization process, as it reduces the particle size of liquids.

Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

Define Homogenizer, Types, and Parts of Homogenizer

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