Managing Chemically Aggressive and Abrasive Products with High Pressure Homogenizers

Posted by Chris Davey on Mar 9, 2023 3:35:41 PM


Creating a uniform and stable dispersion with abrasive and chemically aggressive materials can be a significant challenge. The right mixer for this application requires a balance of adequate mixing and an acceptable rate of wear. Homogenizers and, depending on the application, high pressure homogenizers are the ideal mixers for creating uniform dispersions in less time. However, abrasive products, such as electronic and medical ceramics, graphene, and carbon nanotubes can eat away at high pressure seals and damage plunger surfaces while chemically aggressive products, such as acidic cannabis flavor additives, and low ph sanitizers used for cleaning, can attack the binder material used in the tungsten carbide plungers.  Damage created by these aggressive materials creates high pressure leaks, endless maintenance and, if not attended to, can result in additional damage to surrounding components. For this reason, simpler mixers which may take longer to produce a less-than-superior result and may have higher downtimes due to wear, are sometimes used.

To allow these challenging applications to take advantage of the benefits of homogenization, BEE International offers scalable solutions for customers struggling with these problems using the following options.

  • Inline Preprocessing - Wet
    • Simplify the addition of materials with a proprietary integrated preprocessing system
    • Digitally controlled peristaltic metering pump, 500 mL/min max flowrate, and tubing for material addition through secondary EC feed port downstream of the nozzle 
  • Inline Preprocessing - Dry
    • Simplify the addition of materials with a proprietary integrated preprocessing system
    • Digitally controlled gravimetric feeder with reservoir for addition of dry particulate through secondary EC feed port downstream of the nozzle 
  • Proprietary Plunger Coating
    • Upgrade to proprietary coating for use with chemically aggressive or abrasive materials for one plunger on new equipment
  • Seal Quenching
    • Extends high pressure seal life for abrasive or chemically aggressive products.
    • Supplies compatible fluid behind the high-pressure seals to wet the retracted plungers and back surface of the seal, preventing buildup of particulate or chemicals on the reciprocating seal surface.
    • Quench fluid is recirculated via a chemically resistant pump and reservoir and will not pass through the pressure seal to impact product formulation due to the pressure balance.


Primary ingredients for pharmaceuticals / nutraceuticals, material additives for chemical processing in electronic, thermal, and building materials all have the potential to be abrasive.  Small, non-spherical, high aspect ratio particles can abrade the surfaces they come in contact with. 

Chemically aggressive materials can also be encountered in any industry.  Most commonly, these are seen as acidic additives used for flavoring in cannabis applications, aggressive solvents used in nano/electronic materials, and general cleaners and sanitizers used across multiple different industries. 

BEEI process sections are manufactured using primarily stainless steel.  The process design is meant to promote efficient and smooth flow, and minimize the risk of abrasion to major product contact parts.  One exception to this is the drive of the system, which consists of a high-pressure cylinder and plunger that is part of the intensifier pump. Here, material is pressurized up to 45,000 psi, forced through a small orifice, and then flows through the Emulsifying Cell. Wear management in this section is critical. 

The plunger reciprocates in the high-pressure cylinder and breaks the continuity of the flow when transitioning from the suction to pressure stroke.  Over time, more dense particles can fall out of suspension and accumulate in the high-pressure cylinder, eventually abrading the plunger as it reciprocates in and out.

Large Particles Falling Out of Suspension

As the plunger moves in and out of the high-pressure seal, some localized heat is generated.  The surface outside of the high-pressure seal, not in contact with product, dries.  As it then proceeds back through the seal on the pressure stroke, it dries the inner lip of the high-pressure seal.  This dry area on the seal creates a surface that wetted particles stick to, taking them out of suspension.  This buildup of solids on the inner lip of the seal abrades both the seal and the plunger.  The backup ring, and eventually even the high-pressure cylinder, can be damaged if not resolved in a timely fashion.  The seal will wear quickly and require frequent replacement.  Over a short period of time, damage will accumulate on the plunger and will eventually require premature replacement.

Particle Build Up On Inner Seal Lip and Dry Surface Behind Seal


Let’s look at how the Inline Preprocessing, Coated Plunger and Seal Quench options listed previously in this paper would help solve this problem. 

The IPP (Inline Preprocessing)

The IPP (Inline Preprocessing) specifically allows removal of the solid particles from the raw material.  In doing this the abrasive content of the suspension or slurry does not travel through the feed line.  This means abrasive material doesn’t enter the high-pressure cylinder and users are able to skip both the time and money spent on traditional preprocessing steps.

IPP With Wet or Slurry Feed

IPP With Dryer Feeder

IPP Injection Point

 In this option, the abrasive material is introduced through a secondary port downstream of the EC nozzle directly into the path of the supersonic fluid jet in the processing chamber.  This allows the dry material or a slurry concentrate to be added to the EC and is processed without passing it through the intensifier pump.  This eliminates both solid particles dropping out of suspension and material passing through the high-pressure cylinder, where it might damage the seal and plunger. 

PLG (Coated Plunger) and SQ (Seal Quench)

In formulations or processes where adding the particulate material separately is not suitable, a combination of the plunger with a PLG (Coated Plunger) and the SQ (Seal Quench) option offers the next step in BEEI’s innovative solutions.  

The PLG creates a harder, more wear-resistant surface with lower friction potential and better heat dissipation.

Coated Plunger

Thus, this coating is more resistant to abrasions and creates less heat at the inner seal lip. In turn, it prevents material from drying and adhering to surfaces, resulting in minimal damage to the seal and plunger over time.  In addition to the benefits of these option packages detailed above, the OPT-PLG also significantly expands the range of compatibility for BEEI’s tungsten carbide plungers.  Tungsten carbide plungers remain our go-to standard as they are harder and tougher than most ceramic alternatives.  However, one drawback is their low ph compatibility.  By adding the PLG option, customers can now use this plunger in every conceivable application of cannabis, pharma, food or chemical where an acidic additive, cleaner, or solvent may be present.

By adding Seal Quenching Capabilities, the plunger and seal are additionally lubricated through ports in the high-pressure cylinder that wet areas outside of the high-pressure seal. 

Seal Quench Fluid Injection Behind High Pressure Seal

Using a product-compatible fluid supplied by the customer, these surfaces now remain wetted during the entire suction and pressure stroke.  This prevents dry powder buildup on the inner lip of the high-pressure seal.  The SQ and PLG can be used independently or in combination.

This suite of solutions was designed to enhance reliability, minimize unexpected downtime, and reduce costs for BEEI customers.  BEEI innovations are how we enable you to achieve your goals and improve the lives of your customers.

To learn more about BEEI and how our innovations can help you manage chemically aggressive or abrasive products, please contact us today.

Strategies to Reduce Drug Discovery and Development Time

Posted by Deb Shechter on Mar 9, 2023 2:54:17 PM


“Drug development” is a professional term used to define the process of bringing a newly discovered drug or pharmaceutical device to market. The process includes drug discovery, chemistry and pharmacology, nonclinical safety testing, manufacturing, clinical trials, and regulatory submissions. Drug development is a lengthy process, with many drugs taking an average of 10 years to be developed and prepared to be introduced to market and made available to the general public. Luckily, numerous strategies have been developed in recent years that aim to reduce drug discovery time.

Common Strategies Include:

  • High-throughput screening: This method uses automated techniques to screen large numbers of compounds quickly and efficiently, which can help identify potential drug candidates faster.
  • Computer-aided drug design: This approach uses computational tools to predict the properties and behavior of potential drug candidates, which can help identify compounds that are more likely to be effective and have fewer side effects.
  • Collaboration: Collaborating with other research groups, industry partners, and government agencies can help share resources and expertise, which can speed up the drug discovery and development process.
  • Targeted drug development: By focusing on specific disease targets, the drug discovery process can be streamlined and targeted, which reduces the number of compounds that need to be screened and tested.
  • Advancement in technologies: Advancements in technologies such as genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics can help to better understand the underlying biology of diseases, which can lead to the identification of new drug targets and the development of more effective drugs.
  • Regulatory streamlining: Implementing a more efficient, flexible, and predictable regulatory process can help to speed up the approval process and reduce the time needed to bring new drugs to market.
  • Repurposing existing drugs: Identifying new indications for existing drugs can help to speed up the drug development process, as these compounds have already been through safety and efficacy testing.
  • Choosing the right process equipment can play a role in reducing new drug discovery time by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the drug discovery and development process. Furthermore, the use of advanced equipment for the production and formulation of the drug, can also help to speed up the development process by increasing the yield and purity of the drug substance and improving the stability, bioavailability and shelf-life of the final product.


Overall, a combination of these strategies can be used to reduce drug discovery and development time, while also increasing the chances of success.

Why BEE International?

BEE High pressure homogenizers can play a role in reducing drug discovery and development time by enabling the production of nanoemulsions and liposomes, which can improve the bioavailability and efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs.

Nanoemulsions are stable, homogenous mixtures of oil and water that can encapsulate hydrophobic drugs, increasing their solubility and bioavailability. High pressure homogenizers can be used to create nanoemulsions by forcefully pushing the mixture of oil and water through a small orifice under high pressure, which can break the mixture into small droplets.

Liposomes are spherical vesicles composed of a phospholipid bilayer that can encapsulate hydrophilic or hydrophobic drugs, increasing their stability and targeted delivery. High pressure homogenizers can be used to create liposomes by forcefully pushing the phospholipids and drug through a small orifice under high pressure, which can form the spherical vesicles.

Additionally, High pressure homogenizers can also be used to reduce the particle size of drugs, which can improve the dissolution rate and bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs.

Therefore, the use of high pressure homogenizers can help to improve the bioavailability and efficacy of drugs, which can ultimately lead to faster identification of new drug candidates and can reduce the time needed to bring new drugs to market.

It's worth noting that high pressure homogenization is just one step in the drug development process, other steps such as preclinical and clinical studies, regulatory approval, and manufacturing must be completed as well. However, the use of high pressure homogenization can help to improve the quality and effectiveness of the final product, which may ultimately lead to faster approval and market availability of new drugs.

For more information about BEEI high pressure homogenizers and the role they can play in the reduction of drug discovery and development time, please contact us here.

The Importance of Nanoemulsions for Drug Discovery

Posted by Deb Shechter on Mar 9, 2023 2:52:02 PM


Nanoemulsions are nano-sized emulsions that are manufactured to improve the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients. There are numerous reasons why nanoemulsions are important for new drug development. Keep reading to learn more about how nanoemulsions can help pharmaceutical professionals overcome common drawbacks and challenges associated with conventional methods of drug discovery.

What Are Nanoemulsions?

Nanoemulsions are manufactured to improve delivery methods of active pharmaceutical ingredients. They are the thermodynamically stable isotropic system in which two immiscible liquids are mixed to form a single phase by means of an emulsifying agent, i.e., surfactant and co-surfactant.

Why Are Nanoemulsions Important For Drug Discovery?

Nanoemulsions can improve the bioavailability of drugs that are not easily water-soluble; by reducing the particle size of the active ingredient on the nanometer scale, the drug can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream, increasing its effectiveness. Additionally, nanoemulsions can be used to protect sensitive drugs from degradation and can be used as a delivery system for targeted drug delivery.

Nanoemulsions are important for liposomes because they can be used to encapsulate liposomes and protect them from degradation, increasing their stability and shelf-life. Nanoemulsions can also be used to enhance the penetration of liposomes through the skin, which is important for transdermal drug delivery. Additionally, nanoemulsions can be used to increase the loading capacity of liposomes, which allows for a higher concentration of the active ingredient to be delivered. Overall, nanoemulsions can be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of liposomal drug delivery.

Nanoemulsions are critical for intravenous drugs because they can improve the solubility and stability of hydrophobic drugs, which are typically not soluble in water. By reducing the particle size of the active ingredient to the nanometer scale, these drugs can be more easily dissolved in water, allowing them to be administered intravenously. Additionally, nanoemulsions can be used to protect sensitive drugs from degradation, such as oxidation, and can be used for targeted drug delivery by conjugating the drug to the surface of the nanoemulsion. This can enhance the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and bioavailability of the drug. Overall, nanoemulsions can enhance the efficacy, safety and dosing regimen of intravenous drugs.

Creating Nanoemulsions with High Pressure Homogenization 

High pressure homogenization is a process used to create nanoemulsions by reducing the particle size of the active ingredient to the nanometer scale. Particle size reduction is an important aspect of new drug development because it can improve the bioavailability and efficacy of poorly water-soluble drugs. By reducing the particle size of the active ingredient to the nanometer scale, the drug can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream, increasing its effectiveness. Additionally, particle size reduction can be used to protect sensitive drugs from degradation and can be used as a delivery system for targeted drug delivery. The particle size reduction can help to increase the solubility of drugs which leads to an increase in bioavailability and, subsequently, the efficacy of the drug. Furthermore, reducing the particle size can increase the surface area of the drug, which can lead to a higher rate of dissolution and absorption. This can also improve the stability of the drug by reducing the risk of aggregation and precipitation. 

High pressure homogenization works by passing the mixture of the oil and water phases through a high-pressure homogenizer, which uses a high-pressure pump to create a high-pressure stream of fluid. The mixture is then forced through a small opening, such as a nozzle. With most high-pressure homogenizers, this generates intense shearing forces. Due to the modularity of BEE technology, intense cavitation and impact may also be applied to the mixture to further reduce particles or reduce process time. These forces break up the droplets of the dispersed phase into smaller droplets, resulting in the formation of a stable nanoemulsion. High pressure homogenization can be used to create nanoemulsions with droplet sizes in the range of 20-200 nm. The process can be repeated multiple times to achieve even smaller droplet sizes, which can improve the stability and bioavailability of the nanoemulsion.

To learn more about the value of using BEE International high pressure homogenizers to create nanoemulsions, please contact us today.

Cannabis Processing: Sonication vs. High Pressure Homogenization

Posted by Bryan Colwell on Aug 17, 2022 12:45:00 PM


Manufacturing cannabis so that it can be used in consumable products is difficult. This is because the chemical compounds (i.e., “cannabinoids”) that are found in the cannabis plant and (generally) responsible for a product’s psychoactive and modulative effects are naturally fat-soluble; it is impossible to mix them with water and/or other ingredients without first finding a way to break them into extremely small pieces. Even then, no cannabinoid will ever be truly water-soluble. Instead, its particles will simply be small enough that they can be mixed into a stable emulsion or suspension and, thus, ready for use. Take a look at the difference between using sonication vs. high pressure homogenization to produce heterogenous mixtures during the production of cannabis oils, beverages, edibles, topical creams and capsules (to name just a few):

Using Sonication for Cannabis Processing

Sonication uses sound energy to disrupt the molecular bonds that hold cells together, causing cells to break into nano-sized particles. It works like this: a probe is inserted into a solution containing the sample. This probe vibrates at a super high speed so that bubbles form in the solution, grow and then burst; it’s a process that simultaneously sends shock waves into the solution, breaks apart the sample and ultimately disperses the resulting particles evenly throughout the solution. While sonication is effective for small batch samples of delicate materials, it is not especially suitable for processing large quantities of certain types of tissues. Many plant tissues, for example, are so tough that it would require a longer duration and higher intensity of force to break down the sample’s cell walls. This often produces heat that causes molecular damage to the sample itself, rendering any subsequent products biologically ineffective.

Why High Pressure Homogenization is a Better Solution for Cannabis Processing

High pressure homogenizers use pressure to break down a sample, forcing it through a series of orifices so that its cellular bonds are eventually broken. BEE International homogenizers, in particular, are able to be customized with a combination of additional forces (shear, cavitation and impact) to further maximize particle reduction, speed processing and lower the time and overall cost of production. In this way, high pressure homogenization (HPH) is a far superior option for cannabis processing. Not only can high pressure homogenizers be used for large batches and with multiple types of samples, they can be set up as part of an inline process, allowing the mixing and homogenization of large volumes of the sample to occur without interruption. Indeed, this continuous flow of operation ensures faster and more consistent results and is a lot more economical than sonication since no additional pieces of equipment or processing steps are needed to produce readily useable cannabinoid nanoparticles.

The BEE International Advantage

The proprietary emulsifying cell technology behind our high pressure homogenizing equipment produces stable nanoemulsions, enhancing the bioavailability of cannabis products by up to 75%; reducing the amount of active ingredient needed for optimal effect; speeding the rate of absorption into the body; extending shelf life; and ensuring consistency and clarity for better appearance and taste! To learn more about the value of using BEE International high pressure homogenizers for cannabis processing, please contact us at this link.

Feel free to also download our free eBook, “3 Reasons Why High Pressure Homogenization Improves Cannabis Products,” for additional information.

Graphene Processing: When Particle Size Reduction Isn’t Enough

Posted by Bryan Colwell on Aug 1, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 3.31.15 PM

Graphene is a form of carbon. It was discovered in the early 2000s and has the potential to literally change the world. But only if it is processed correctly. Keep reading to learn why high pressure homogenizers are the key to improving graphene processing and, thus, crucial to the dawn of an exciting new world of manufacturing possibilities.

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a single, two-dimensional slice of graphite, a form of carbon. (You might remember that graphite is commonly used in pencil lead.) Scientists suspected graphene existed, but it wasn’t until 2004 that two researchers were actually able to isolate it and spur extensive study into its possible uses. And there are many uses because even though graphene is one million times thinner than a human hair, it is 200 times stronger than steel. It is also lightweight, transparent, flexible, highly conductive, and nearly impermeable, making it useful for many different types of applications. What’s especially unique about graphene is the fact that it is only one atom thick, extending in width and length but having no discernible height! Scientists are looking into using graphene in wearable and portable electronics; renewable energy sources; water filters; insulation; sporting goods; semiconductors; industrial lubricants and coatings; adhesives; biomedicine; and more!

How is Graphene Processed?

Using graphene for any application depends on isolating it from graphite. If you consider graphite a stack of towels, then each towel is a layer of graphene and the scientist must separate this stack to isolate a single layer of graphene. He or she must peel one towel off the stack in order to “make” graphene. However, unlike a stack of towels, which has a uniform width and length and a known number of individual components, graphite is irregularly shaped with an unknown number of layers to be revealed. In this case, our scientist must carefully separate each graphene layer from the graphite (or separate each towel from the stack) while keeping its total length intact, never knowing exactly when to stop. It’s not an easy task despite the fact that the first graphene processing tool to be used was simple scotch tape; scientists used tape to peel off layers of graphene from a chunk of graphite and then apply it to a substrate material. When the tape was removed from the substrate, an atom-thick layer of carbon was left behind— graphene! While this method works, separating and leaving behind separate layers of graphene over and over again, it’s neither cost-effective nor scalable for large volume production. Other options, including chemical exfoliation, are like-wise insufficient since they utilize complex processes that risk exposure of and/or contamination by toxic materials and/or take a lot of time and produce poor concentration and low yield. The best graphene processing equipment overcomes the electric forces that hold the layers of graphene together. It exfoliates and reduces the layer of graphene sheets and increases viscosity. A high pressure homogenizer is the best graphene processing tool.

Why BEEI High Pressure Homogenizers Improve Graphene Processing

High pressure homogenizers use pressure to reduce a substance to its smallest individual particles. You might believe that this alone makes them best-suited to shearing off graphene sheets from a larger graphite sample. Graphene processing, however, is a lot more than particle reduction. Reliable graphene processing also renders precise layer counts and enhances the stability of graphene-based nano-fluids, and only BEE International high pressure homogenizers have the patented emulsifying technology (EC) capable of delivering these things. Indeed, the proprietary combination of forces we use in our EC technology ensures not just the smallest particle reduction of any sample, but scalability and high yield, as well. Furthermore, the design of our flexible modular system is easy to use, clean, maintain and service, utilizing a multipass automation system and allowing custom processing for any type of application so that results are always scalable and the integrity of all graphene layers is always preserved. With our equipment, flake graphite can be easily transformed into useable graphene in less time and with less money, enabling you and/or your customers to start using this versatile material and usher in a brave new world of possibilities. Please contact our team at BEE International to learn more about using our high pressure homogenizers for graphene processing.

Why Cell Disruption is More Efficient Using Homogenization

Posted by David Shechter on May 27, 2022 9:30:00 AM


Cell lysis (also called cell disruption) is a critical part of many laboratory and manufacturing processes. It is the method by which a cell wall or cell membrane is broken so that the cell’s intracellular contents are released. The objective of any cell disruption procedure is to get as much viable material (molecules and other particles of interest) from the cellular fluid so that it can be studied and/or used for other purposes. 

There are several tools that help facilitate cell disruption, including ultrasonication, mechanical grinding, freeze-thawing, osmotic shock and more; however, homogenization is the only cell disruption method that is efficient for the widest range of applications.

What is BEE International’s Homogenization Technology?

BEE International are experts in high pressure homogenization, which is used to break particles apart and to facilitate cell lysis. Specifically, it involves the use of fluid pressure to force a sample — in this case, any type of cell — through a narrow passage of different-sized orifices. As the cell traverses the system, it is acted upon by a variety of additional forces depending on the velocity of the fluid’s flow (which can be manipulated for any type of cellular material, whether it’s plant or animal, algae, bacteria, fungi, etc.). Thus, upon exit from the homogenizing system, each cell has experienced a customizable combination of forces (pressure, turbulence, shear, cavitation, impact and intensity) that has effectively broken it apart and released its intracellular contents in good form.

What Makes BEE Homogenization Technology So Efficient for Cell Disruption?

BEE technology works so well for cell disruption because:

It utilizes a customizable combination of forces that reduces the need for other equipment and steps.

BEE technology supplies constant pressure so that every cell that passes through the pumping system experiences the same combination of shear, cavitation and/or impact forces, which results in reliable, consistent results each and every time. Hard plant cell membranes that are difficult to rupture can be exposed to greater pressure and more force, while animal cells that are often fragile can be treated more gently. This allows manufacturers and scientists to use the same piece of equipment with a greater variety of cell samples.

It is an in-line process

In-line processing is not only more consistent but also saves time, thereby reducing manufacturing costs.

It delivers results that are easily repeatable and scalable regardless of volume.

Homogenization technology delivers reliable scale up from the lab to production due to several key features. In addition to having a customizable PLC panel that controls the level of pressure, temperature and other forces used during any one run, BEE homogenizers utilize extremely powerful motors that convert hydraulic power through high pressure cylinders and make it possible to process reliable results no matter the original sample size or volume.

It preserves valuable intracellular contents.

Oftentimes, chemicals or enzymes in the form of detergents and chaotropic agents are used for cell disruption (particularly when extracting proteins), but these chemicals can denature sensitive proteins and/or require removal before the proteins can be used. Homogenization, however, requires no chemical additives; it also generates little heat, which can similarly alter the integrity of intracellular contents. By eliminating the need for chemical detergents and reducing the potential of other harmful by-products (like heat and too much rigor), microfluidization ensures that cell lysis always results in a usable biological sample that most represents its natural form.

The BEE International Advantage

While BEE high pressure homogenizers provide a technology edge for cell lysis, we understand successful manufacturing requires ease of use, reliability and excellent customer service. In short, our homogenizers save our clients money and a lot of time! To learn more about how high pressure/microfluidizer technology works and the specific benefits it can offer you, please contact us.

3 Materials Where Particle Size is Essential for Effective Production

Posted by David Shechter on Mar 25, 2022 11:15:00 AM


The ability to manufacture quality products depends on the quality of the materials. And quite often the best materials are the ones with a consistent size and distribution of their particles. That’s because the stable distribution of particles directly impacts the physical and chemical composition of the materials they compose, affecting the ability of those materials to function as needed when coming off a production line. Take a look at three materials where particle size is especially essential for effective production:


Today, the majority of the food we eat is manufactured in some way. It has been altered from its natural state to satisfy safety and storage standards and to provide consumers with reliable products that are good to eat every time we purchase them. In many — probably most — of those instances, manufacturers have had to combine several ingredients in order to make these products. Items such as milk, salad dressings, juices, coffee, flour, chocolate, spices and more rely on equipment that reduces at least one of their ingredients to a very small size because breaking particles into smaller-sized pieces increases the surface area of each particle and provides more opportunity for chemical bonding to take place. More bonds mean better cohesion amongst all the ingredients and an extended shelf life for the final food product. Indeed, with all ingredients of a food item thoroughly mixed, it simply tastes better and lasts longer, and its flavor remains consistent with every bite! Small particles frequently improve the nutritional value of the food, as well, especially when nutrients need to pass through bodily membranes and/or preservatives need to be added to food to keep it safe for consumption. Small particles mean the preservatives are not visibly noticed or tasted and the food is still nutritious and safe to eat.

Take, as an example, milk. When smaller in size, the fat globules in milk stay more evenly dispersed; they don’t float to the top of the milk and settle into a layer of cream. They are also easier to digest when they are smaller, meaning the body is able to more quickly access the milk’s nutrients and put them to use to keep us healthy.

Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Particle size is similarly important in the manufacturing of drugs and pharmaceutical products including but not limited to injectables, tablets, sublingual dissolvables, dermal patches, and creams. By reducing the particle size of the chemical components or “API” within pharmaceutical formulations, it allows them to be easily absorbed by the body, enhancing bioavailability. As pharmaceutical products must meet reproducible standards for drug delivery in both efficacy and dosage accuracy, the importance of consistent particle size during production cannot be understated.

Cannabis Products

Traditionally, cannabis and hemp products go through an extraction process where chemical compound rich oil is isolated from plant matter. This oil is considered hydrophobic, which means it does not easily mix with other water-based products. However, by reducing the particle size of the oil droplets and creating a nanoemulsion, it becomes possible to suspend these submicron oil particles in water-based products for prolonged periods of time.

Similarly to pharmaceutical applications, cannabis and hemp products also become more bioavailable through particle size reduction. The human body cannot readily absorb cannabinoid molecules because they are too large to pass through mucus membranes and enter the blood stream. The body first must digest the cannabinoids and THEN absorb them which is why traditional edibles take so long to take effect.

Cannabinoids that have undergone particle size reduction have quicker onset time, are more consistent in active ingredient dosing, have longer shelf life, and are quickly becoming the gold standard method of consumption among users.

The BEE International Advantage

Particle size and distribution are important aspects to consider during the manufacturing of thousands of products. Food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and cannabis products are just a few groups where particle size becomes critical for ensuring stability, consistency, and effectiveness. One of the most efficient and scalable ways to guarantee a tight particle size distribution across the widest array of industries is through high pressure homogenization.

BEE International manufactures top of the line high pressure homogenizers that provide unparalleled process control and allow the user to manipulate all three forces involved in high pressure homogenization (Shear, impact, and cavitation) for extensive formulation discovery and efficiency optimization.

To learn more about our proprietary Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology, please contact us today.

How Better Particle Packing Improves Pharmaceutical Suspensions

Posted by David Shechter on Feb 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM


Pharmaceutical suspensions are dispersions of insoluble solid particles in a suspending (often liquid) medium. They represent a common form of drug delivery, with pharmaceutical suspensions safeguarding the accurate dosage of many insoluble drug ingredients. Of course, pharmaceutical suspensions taste and/or smell better and are more effective when the size of the solid particles are as small and as uniform as possible; small particles that are similar in size can be more evenly packed, making them more stable and a lot more reliable as chemical agents. Take a look at why controlled particle packing improves pharmaceutical suspensions and the type of equipment needed to render the best particle packing results:

Small, Uniform Particles Improve Pharmaceutical Suspensions

Think about mixing together sand and water, and then about mixing together pebbles and water. Which one is easier to do? It’s sand and water, right? The small size of each sand grain makes it easier to mix them all into the water. It also diminishes their weight, allowing them to stay “floating” in the water for a longer amount of time. In much the same way, pharmaceutical suspensions that have smaller particles in them remain stable (i.e., mixed and “useable”) for longer periods since they necessarily delay sedimentation (which would render the drug ineffective and, consequently, useless). Furthermore, smaller particles help to control the delivery of the drug’s active ingredient by evenly dispersing it throughout the suspending medium, ensuring that each dose contains equal parts of all ingredients. Finally, smaller particles work to keep pharmaceutical suspension costs down since the volume of active ingredient(s) of any one product remains constant and can be consistently measured and dispersed during each manufacturing run.

High Pressure Homogenizers Render the Best Particle Packing Results

There are many types of equipment specifically designed to break apart substances. The industry often determines the type used. When making pharmaceutical suspensions, for example, drug manufacturers frequently choose bead mills, rotor-stator homogenizers and/or ultrasonic homogenizers. The problem, however, is that all of these types of homogenizers only use one force each (such as shear, impact or cavitation). Indeed, each piece of equipment has limitations regarding the type of material it can process and the minimum size of particle it can guarantee. Our high pressure homogenizers offered here at BEE International, however, use a combination of agitation, shear, impact , cavitation and pressure to ensure the most versatile range of applications available on the market today.

The BEE International Advantage

The patented and propietary technology of BEEI high pressure homogenizers combines multiple forces to ensure the most controlled particle size reduction processes. Our equipment not only allows pharmaceutical suspension manufacturers to accurately and consistently render the smallest and most uniform particles, but we also deliver the least variance in particle size distribution in the fewest passes. Typically, users realize at least 10% improvement over other conventional HPH in this capacity.  BEEI empowers users to create the most efficient, thus, more affordable, process for their products.

Please contact us to learn how high pressure homogenizers from BEE International improve particle packing so that the pharmaceutical suspensions made with them are longer lasting, safer and more effective than those made with other types of equipment.

What Is Cavitation and How Does it Compare to Shear Mixing Forces?

Posted by David Shechter on Jan 27, 2022 9:45:00 AM


Have you ever wondered: “What is cavitation?” If you’ve had a chemistry or biology class you may have encountered the term and learned a little about its meaning in various situations. 

Cavitation is basically the formation and collapse of “bubbles” (i.e., cavities) within a liquid substance that occur due to pressure changes. It can be a harmful process (like when vibrations work to erode mechanical parts), but in many instances, cavitation is a beneficial and often necessary part of certain types of industrial, medical and research processes. Thus, answering the question, “what is cavitation,” helps shed light on the role physics plays in our everyday lives. Here’s what you need to know:

The Simple Answer to “What is Cavitation?”

Cavitation is a type of force. 

As a type of force, cavitation changes energy, the very essence of life. It occurs when a liquid’s vapor pressure rises above its static pressure, causing pockets of vapor to form within the liquid. As the pressure again rises within the liquid, these “vapor bubbles” implode sending out shock waves that are able to break the bonds of surrounding particles. The resulting turbulence from these collisions and the destruction they cause then creates subsequent impact forces, which, in turn, cause even more bonds to disrupt. The result, a substance that has been broken up into tiny (often nano-sized) pieces.

There are Many Types of Forces That Can Be Used in a Variety of Ways

There are many types of forces. All forces occur naturally, but oftentimes humans use one or more types of force to create something or break it down. Doctors, scientists and manufacturers, for example, intentionally induce cavitation via the use of homogenizers in order to cleanse, study, test and produce a variety of substances. Sometimes they use cavitation machines to facilitate multiple types of medical treatments, as well. Together these products and processes include — but aren’t limited to — medications, paint, plastic materials, water purification devices and many different cosmetic, weight-loss and other medical procedures!

How Does Cavitation Compare to Shear Mixing Forces?

Cavitation is often a preferred source of energy force when making or using certain types of products because it’s extremely powerful and able to impact a large number of particles at one time, meaning more products can be made and more cells can be affected (when used with/for biological samples). Other types of forces, like shear mixing forces, can’t render the same effects. 

Shear mixing forces are forces that work in different directions to break apart and mix the particles of a substance. They’re a bit like a knife that chops away at an onion, dicing it at different angles. Because shear mixing forces move haphazardly, they aren’t as powerful as cavitation’s cyclic stress. Produced as the bubbles of cavitation rise, burst and shrink over and over again, cyclic stress is a controlled process, leaving a type of uniform destruction in its wake. Shear mixing forces, on the other hand, which utilize no established or reliable exertion of force, can’t be depended upon to break apart particles with any guaranteed conformity or regularity when employed singularly.

The BEE International Advantage

Cavitation is a useful and necessary process in many industries. It effectively disrupts cellular bonds and creates the smallest-sized particles, ensuring manufacturers and healthcare professionals alike have access to substances that can be better — i.e., more easily — mixed and, thus, making it possible for them to develop products that actually work

Here at BEE International, however, we don’t just recognize the power of cavitation, we aim to maximize it! We’ve designed a patented emulsifying (EC) technology that combines cavitation forces with shear and impact forces to ensure that industries have access to the smallest-sized particles possible so that even better products can be made. Our proprietary blend of multiple forces offers results that surpass the limited effects of shear, impact and even cavitation alone. Furthermore, our equipment is completely customizable, allowing users to intensify processes according to the task at hand. The result: the best high pressure homogenizers on the market today. Please contact us to learn more.

3 Industries Where Ultrasonic Emulsification is Changing the Game

Posted by David Shechter on Dec 28, 2021 10:45:00 AM


Many industries depend on ultrasonic emulsification to get their products out the door and in front of customers. Put plainly, ultrasonic emulsification is basically vigorous mixing, and many industries use it because it is the only way to facilitate the combining of certain types of substances: those that are naturally immiscible, like oil and water, for example. Keep reading for a quick overview of ultrasonic emulsification, the industries that rely on it and info on an alternative piece of equipment that can vastly improve the process:

What is Ultrasonic Emulsification?

As mentioned, ultrasonic emulsification is a powerful way of mixing two liquids so that one is completely dispersed throughout the other and neither will revert back to its original properties over time. Of course, there are other ways of facilitating emulsification, but ultrasonic emulsification relies on ultrasound energy (high frequency vibrations that cause cavitation) to forcibly combine the two substances. Think about many popular food items, like salad dressing; you know that oftentimes you need to shake the bottle before pouring in order to evenly blend the dressing’s ingredients and not end up with a bowl full of oil (or vinegar) only! Ultrasonic emulsification is just a high-tech method of performing the same process. Since oil and water do not mix, (no matter how much shaking or cavitation is applied) an emulsifier or surfactant, an additional ingredient that mixes well with both water and oil, is added so that two substances mixed with the right mixing technology can stay mixed in a homogeneous state.

Industries that Depend on Ultrasonic Emulsification

In addition to the food industry, there are many other industries that create common and highly useful products via ultrasonic emulsification.

  • The Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is often necessary to create oil-in-water emulsions in order to make medicines more palatable and to increase their efficacy by evenly dispersing their active ingredients. Without ultrasonic emulsification, for instance, many drug products would remain in an unmixed state, too bitter to ingest and/or unable to work effectively since they would inevitably deliver inconsistent dosages of the ingredients needed every time they were taken. It's just like that bottle of dressing that was not shaken before being poured and therefore spurted out alternating globs of oil and vinegar but never an actual vinaigrette.

  • The Beauty Industry

Similarly, most cosmetics, perfumes, and skin and hair care products need to undergo some type of emulsification process to ensure that they look appealing and can be applied evenly across the skin. Ultrasonic emulsification, in particular, simultaneously mixes and breaks apart substances into incredibly small particles (more so than mere mixers or blenders), enabling manufacturers to better guarantee that their products will possess a smoother consistency and be more easily absorbed into the skin. Furthermore, substances with smaller particle sizes are more stable, meaning they last longer than products that haven’t been properly mixed or have been mixed using only mechanical means.

  • The Cannabis Industry

Perhaps, however, the cannabis industry is currently reaping the best results as a result of their emulsification processes. In this rapidly growing market, the best-tasting and most potent cannabis products are the ones in demand. Ultrasonic emulsification allows manufacturers to guarantee a consistent product each and every time it leaves a production line since it reduces the size of cannabinoid molecules, making it easier for them to be absorbed by the body and also delivering a more uniform amount of active ingredient with every swig, bite, puff, swallow, chew, rub, spray or any other type of ingestion/application!

The BEE International Advantage

There’s no doubt that emulsification has changed the game for countless industries, allowing them to create products that last longer, taste better and/or provide better and more consistent effects than those that haven’t undergone the same type of robust processing. 

There is an even better alternative, though: high pressure homogenizers (HPH). Our HPHs here at BEE International, for example, utilize a patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology that surpasses the limited cavitation capacity of ultrasonic equipment and also employs other mixing forces of turbulence such as shear and impact. Control levels of each of these forces is in the hands of the user with BEE HPHs which means you can control the most efficient process for your product and the very best efficiency yield. Products emulsified with our homogenizers possess the tightest distribution of the smallest possible particle sizes and provide even higher quality products than ultrasonic mixers, sonicators, or other types of sonic mixers. Unlike sonication, BEE's proprietary homogenizing processes can scale up with ease as all our technology is built on the same platform (from R&D or Lab to pilot to manufacturing). Ultimately, this means companies spend less time and less money during their process manufacturing!

There’s a reason we’re called BEE; we offer the “Best Emulsifying Equipment” on the market. To learn more about our products and the technologies that make our HPHs the best option for your own emulsifying needs, please contact us today.