Inline Mixing vs. Homogenization: What’s the Difference?
Posted by Tal Shechter on Mar 31, 2016 12:30:00 PM
Many of the products we use on a daily basis are comprised of emulsions, suspensions, dispersions, and other such mixtures. In the past, traditional mixing methods like turbines and propellers were the only option. Now, however, new formulations and raw materials combined with a competitive market has yielded an array of more modern high-shear designs such as inline mixers and homogenizers.
Yet how will you know which method to choose? Here we analyze the methods of each inline mixing and homogenization to help you determine which is better for your laboratory.
High-shear mixers, also termed rotor-stator mixers, consist of a stationary stator and an inside rotor that turns at high speeds. Mixing occurs when a sample is drawn in through one of the mixing heads while the blades rotate, and is then expelled at a high velocity through an opening in the stator. The inline term comes into play around the mode of sample entry into the mixing chamber. High-shear mixers were originally developed as batch-style, or top-entering; yet in the inline configuration, they are more similar to centrifugal pumps in that they require either static or positive pressure to introduce the sample into the chamber. The combination of high rpm from the rotor and exit through tiny slots allows the sample to be mechanically sheared into very small particles. (1)
In contrast to the above, high pressure homogenization forces the sample through a narrow space. This method uses force (such as turbulence and cavitation) alongside high pressure to create a consistent and uniform sample. Because of its powerful pressure, high pressure homogenization is well-matched for both particle size reduction and cell lysis, which oftentimes requires strong pressure to disrupt cell walls. Some high-quality homogenizers are customizable and can therefore break the cell wall without damaging the intracellular components, while others are better suited for less sensitive samples.
BEE: The Homogenizer Advantage
As you work to determine whether a high pressure homogenizer or inline mixer will be better suited for your laboratory, begin your search with BEE International Technology. We are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers for our high quality products and excellent customer support. Cell lysis and particle size reduction are two of a variety of applications for BEE homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. Additionally, the homogenizer processes can be controlled to suit your product, which will allow you to customize to your cell type. And finally, the equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and achieves results that are reproducible and scalable.