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Guest Editors: Enrico Bardone, Marco Bravi, Taj Keshavarz Copyright © 2014, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.,

ISBN 978-88-95608-29-7; ISSN 2283-9216


13 A publication of

The Italian Association of Chemical Engineering

DOI: 10.3303/CET1438003

Comparison Between Hydrodynamic and Acoustic Cavitation in Microbial Cell Disruption

Mauro Capocellia, Marina Prisciandarob, Amedeo Lanciac, Dino Musmarraa

aDipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Design, Edilizia e Ambiente, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Real Casa dell’Annunziata, Via Roma 29, 81031 Aversa (CE), Italy

bDipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, dell'Informazione e di Economia, Università dell’Aquila, viale Giovanni Gronchi 18, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy

cDipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica, dei Materiali e della Produzione Industriale, Università “Federico II” di Napoli, P.le V. Tecchio, 80, 80125 Napoli, Italy

Cavitation phenomena are associated with the formation, growth and the collapse of microbubbles and consequently, to the generation of very high pressures, shear stresses and temperatures, locally. Thanks to the cited features, the application of cavitation is a reliable tool for cell damage and hence disruption. In this paper a theoretical model for quantifying the mechanical effect of hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) and acoustic cavitation (AC) in killing micro-organism is reported. A physical model accounting for bubble dynamics, fluid turbulence, shear stress and pressure pulse generated from cavity collapse is developed, aimed at calculating the turbulent shear generated and the extent of microbial disinfection. The theoretical results are compared with the mechanical resistance of microbial cells in order to estimate the damaging effect.

Numerical results provide a practical tool for the estimation of process efficacy and parameter optimization, both for HC and AC devices. The effect of parameters is estimated and typical experiments from the pertinent literature are simulated in order to estimate the treatment efficiency. Results are in agreement with the related; moreover, from the energy efficiency point of view, it was observed that HC is almost an order of magnitude more energy efficient than AC.

1. Introduction

Cavitational devices are novel and promising multiphase reactors, based on the principle of release of large magnitude of energy due to the violent collapse of the cavities resulting in very high local energy densities (Gogate, 2007). Cavities can be generated by sound waves, usually ultrasounds (Acoustic Cavitation, AC) or by constrictions in the liquid flow (Hydrodynamic Cavitation, HC).

In the environmental field, cavitation is establishing itself as an energy-efficient tool for degrading persistent pollutants in waste liquid streams (Capocelli et al, 2012, 2013b). However, due to the generation of shear stresses, hot spots, highly reactive free radicals and turbulence associated with liquid circulation, cavitation process has been proven also to be a valid solution in the field of biochemical engineering. For the large-scale disruption of microorganisms, mechanical disintegrators such bead mills and high-pressure homogenizers are used, but with two main drawbacks: low energy efficiencies (5–10%) and high energy dissipation in the form of heat, which has to be efficiently removed (Gogate and Kabadi, 2009). This last feature is particularly relevant if the process is aimed at recovering intracellular components from micro- organisms, i.e. to protein release or intracellular enzyme extraction, to retain the integrity of these delicate bio-products.

As a matter of fact, microstreaming resulting from cavitation has been shown to produce shear stresses sufficient to disrupt cell membranes in water disinfection and biochemical downstream processes. The main mechanism is the onset of turbulence which creates vortices, shock waves and high shear stresses

Please cite this article as: Capocelli M., Prisciandaro M., Lancia A., Musmarra D., 2014, Comparison between hydrodynamic and acoustic cavitation in microbial cell disruption, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 38, 13-18 DOI: 10.3303/CET1438003

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