Basic Mixology: Magnetic Hotplate Stirrers to Sophisticated Homogenizers

From the ancient alchemists to modern biotechnology labs, stirring has always been a fundamental activity in any laboratory. The pursuit of desirable chemical reactions and properly blended reagents often requires significant stirring. It’s the only way to blend diverse components.

A simple magnetic hotplate stirrer may suffice for many purposes in the lab; to mix reagents, for example, or to facilitate the dissolution of solids into liquids. Typically, speed is not of the essence in these instances, and mixing is a relatively simple matter involving the dissolution of a given solid in a solvent, such as water.

But some processes in the laboratory will require more energetic mixing capability. When a simple magnetic stirrer will not suffice, it may be time to turn to a rotor-stator handheld/stand homogenizer, or perhaps a high-capacity flow-through chamber homogenizer. These precision machines make quick work of even the most challenging mixing tasks.

Benchtop homogenizers offer the convenience of low-to-medium volume capacity, and the homogenizing power that comes from a rotor-stator combination capable of operating at up to 35,000 RPM. With interchangeable dispersing shafts, these handy units give you the flexibility to accommodate mixtures ranging from a minuscule 0.2 mL up to 2 L, with a single homogenizer drive unit. Larger, still more powerful stand units, such as the X1740, provide the capability to handle volumes ranging from 0.5 L to 20 L.

The Relevance of Thorough Mixing

Mixing is an ancient human activity. Stirring and mixing underlie advancements in everything from textiles and self-adornment, to art, medicine, and the culinary arts. On a typical day in modern America, a majority of people will use numerous products and technologies that would not be possible without current mixing technology.

From liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner used in the shower, to sunscreen applied before venturing out, to the creamer you pour into your coffee, to the milk you pour over your cereal — an ordinary day may involve dozens, if not hundreds, of instances where you benefit from products that would be impossible without industrial-scale mixing and homogenizing.

Emerging industries, such as those marketing cannabis-based CBD products for instance, depend on sophisticated mixing technology to achieve appropriate blends of ingredients containing precise concentrations of the beneficial compound. Benchtop homogenizers may represent the best possible technology to quickly and reliably achieve these sorts of blends, which often include lipids, highly viscous liquids, and other ingredients.

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