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Homogenizing Acidic Solutions

Laboratory and pilot plant homogenizer rotor-stator generators and companion flow through chambers are typically manufactured of nickel stainless steel such as AISI Type 304 and 316.  These are excellent alloys for general corrosion resistance and cleanability.  With proper care they can provide years of trouble-free service.

The same applies for rotor-stator shaft bearings and seals that either are in full contact with the media or keep the media from contacting the rotor shaft.

That said, on occasion we at CAT are asked if our homogenizers and flow through chambers can be used with highly acidic solutions and/or for processes that involve volatile elements.  The answer is yes.  But first it might be a good idea to explain how the equipment works.

Laboratory homogenizers consist of a rotor-stator assembly called a generator attached to a drive motor mounted on a stand.  The generator, which can be specified based on the purpose of homogenizing, is immersed in the sample.  When operating, it draws the sample into the generator where the rotor violently propels it against the stator. Knifelike edges on both the rotor and the stator perform the emulsifying action.  For more detail on homogenizers we invite you to our post on understanding homogenizer systems.

Flow-through chambers use similar rotor-stator configurations but encased in a container with an inlet from the sample source to an outlet to the sample destination.  In a closed loop system they may be the same.  This allows researchers to control the homogenizing process such as holding the sample in the chamber by restricting the discharge.  Check our article, How to Use CAT Scientific Flow-Through Chambers, for more details on using these chambers.

Homogenizing Acidic Solutions

This can be short and sweet.  Or more appropriately short and sour. We present it to assure you that highly corrosion-resistant alloys can be fabricated into homogenizer rotors, stators and flow through chambers.  Examples include HASTELLOY, INCONEL, MONEL and NITRONIC alloys that are widely specified for processing equipment involving aggressive media.

Rotor-stator bearings and seals and must likewise be resistant to attack and may require modifications in their composition.

These are not off-the-shelf components.  If you have problems with processing low pH acidic solutions and are looking for an answer the best way to approach the problem is taking the time to fill in our homogenizer questionnaire.  The more information you provide the better we are able to provide recommendations.

As to processing volatile elements, extra precautions must be taken to protect equipment and personnel from the danger of fire and explosion.  To address this please visit our post on homogenizing flammable substances.

 

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Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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