Theory of Cavitation and Design Aspects of Cavitational Reactors

  • Parag R. GogateEmail author


Cavitation is a phenomenon by which large magnitude of energy is dissipated locally due to the violent collapse of the cavities creating effects suitable for intensification of chemical and physical processing applications. The current chapter focuses on the basic aspects related to generation of cavitation in different reactors and explains the mechanistic details by which the cavitational effects bring about desired physicochemical transformations. Design aspects related to understanding of the cavitational activity distribution using experimental and theoretical investigations, optimization of equipment operating parameters such as frequency and intensity of ultrasonic irradiation, geometry of the reactor, liquid physicochemical properties and the operating temperature have been discussed. Some of the novel ways to intensify the cavitational activity using additives and combination with other techniques, with an objective of minimizing the cost of operation and maximizing the yields from processes, have also been highlighted. Overall, it appears that cavitational reactors show considerable promise for industrial applications in the area of chemical processing and combined efforts of scientists and engineers are required to successfully accomplish this intent.


Power Dissipation Ultrasonic Irradiation Bubble Collapse Acoustic Streaming Cavitational Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Mason TJ (1992) Practical sonochemistry: Users guide in chemistry and chemical engineering. Ellis Horwood Series in Organic chemistry, Chichester, UKGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Young FR (1989) Cavitation. McGraw-Hill, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Leighton TG (1994) The acoustic bubble. Academic Press, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Suslick KS (1990) Sonochemistry. Science 247:1439–1445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lindley J, Mason TJ (1987) Use of ultrasound in chemical synthesis. Chem Soc Rev 16:275–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thompson LH, Doraiswamy LK (1999) Sonochemistry: Science and engineering. Ind Eng Chem Res 38:1215–1249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cravatto G, Cintas P (2006) Power ultrasound in organic synthesis: Moving cavitational chemistry from academia to innovative and large-scale applications. Chem Soc Rev 35:180–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Abismaıl B, Canselier JP, Wilhelm AM, Delmas H, Gourdon C (1999) Emulsification by ultrasound: Drop size distribution and stability. Ultrason Sonochem 6:75–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Horst C, Chen Y-S, Kunz U, Hoffmann U (1996) Design, modeling and performance of a novel sonochemical reactor for heterogeneous reactions. Chem Eng Sci 51:1837–1846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dahlem O, Demaiffe V, Halloin V, Reisse J (1998) Direct sonication system suitable for medium scale sonochemical reactors. AIChE J 44:2724–2730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dahlem O, Reisse J, Halloin V (1999) The radially vibrating horn: A scaling up possibility for sonochemical reactions. Chem Eng Sci 54:2829–2838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dion J-L (2009) Contamination-free high capacity converging waves sonoreactors for the chemical industry. Ultrason Sonochem 16:212–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gogate PR, Tatake PA, Kanthale PM, Pandit AB (2002) Mapping of sonochemical reactors: Review, analysis and experimental verification. AIChE J 48:1542–1560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gogate PR, Pandit AB (2000) Engineering design methods for cavitation reactors I: Sonochemical reactors. AIChE J 46:372–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nickel K, Neis U (2007) Ultrasonic disintegration of biosolids for improved biodegradation. Ultrason Sonochem 14:450–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ruecroft G, Hipkiss D, Ly T, Maxted N, Cains PW (2005) Sonocrystallization: The use of ultrasound for improved industrial crystallization. Org Process Res Dev 9:923–932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gonze E, Gonthier Y, Boldo P, Bernis A (1998) Standing waves in a high frequency sonoreactor: Visualisation and effects. Chem Eng Sci 53:523–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Thoma G, Swofford J, Popov V, Som M (1997) Sonochemical destruction of dichloromethane and o-dichlorobenzene in aqueous solution using a nearfield acoustic processor. Adv Env Res 1:178–193Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gogate PR, Shirgaonkar IZ, Sivakumar M, Senthilkumar P, Vichare NP, Pandit AB (2001) Cavitation reactors: Efficiency analysis using a model reaction. AIChE J 47:2526–2538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Romdhane M, Gourdon C, Casamatta G (1995) Local investigation of some ultrasonic devices by means of a thermal sensor. Ultrasonics 33:221–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gogate PR, Mujumdar S, Pandit AB (2003) Large scale sonochemical reactors for process intensification: Design and experimental validation. J Chem Tech Biotech 78:685–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Keil F, Dahnke S (1996) Numerical calculation of pressure field in sonochemical reactor. Chem Ing Tech 68:419–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Keil F, Dahnke S (1997) Numerical calculation of Scale Up effects of pressure field in sonochemical reactors – homogenous phase. Hung J Ind Chem 25:71–80Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dahnke S, Keil F (1998) Modeling of three dimension linear pressure field in sonochemical reactores with homogenous and inhomogenous density distribution of cavity bubbles. Ind Eng Chem Res 37:848–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dahnke S, Keil F (1999) Modeling of linear pressure fields in sonochemical reactor considering an inhomogeneous density distribution of cavitation bubble. Chem Eng Sci 54:2865–2872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dahnke S, Swamy K, Keil F (1999) Modeling of three-dimensional pressure fields in sonochemical reactors with an inhomogeneous density distribution of cavitation bubbles. Comparison of theoretical and experimental results. Ultrason Sonochem 6:31–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Saez V, Frýas-Ferrer A, Iniesta J, Gonzalez-Garcý J, Aldaz A, Riera E (2005) Chacterization of a 20 kHz sonoreactor. Part I: Analysis of mechanical effects by classical and numerical methods. Ultrason Sonochem 12:59–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Klima J, Frias-Ferrer A, Gonzalez-Garcý J, Ludvýk J, Saez V, Iniesta J (2007) Optimisation of 20 kHz sonoreactor geometry on the basis of numerical simulation of local ultrasonic intensity and qualitative comparison with experimental results. Ultrason Sonochem 14:19–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Yasui K, Kozuka T, Tuziuti T, Towata A, Iida Y, King J, Macey P (2007) FEM calculation of an acoustic field in a sonochemical reactor. Ultrason Sonochem 14:605–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Pugin B (1987) Qualitative characterization of ultrasound reactors for heterogeneous sonochemistry. Ultrasonics 25:49–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Romdhane M, Gadri A, Contamine F, Gourdon C, Casamatta G (1997) Experimental study of the ultrasound attenuation in chemical reactors. Ultrason Sonochem 4:235–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Chivate MM, Pandit AB (1995) Quantification of cavitation intensity in fluid bulk. Ultrason Sonochem 2:S19–S25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Balasubrahmanyam A, Pandit AB (2009) Oscillating bubble concentration and its size distribution using acoustic emission spectra. Ultrason Sonochem 16:105–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kumar A, Gogate PR, Pandit AB (2007) Mapping of acoustic streaming in sonochemical reactors. Ind Eng Chem Res 46:4368–4373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Moholkar VS, Rekveld S, Warmoeskerken MMCG (2000) Modeling of the acoustic pressure fields and the distribution of the cavitation phenomena in a dual frequency sonic processor. Ultrasonics 38:666–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tatake PA, Pandit AB (2002) Modeling and experimental investigation into cavity dynamics and cavitational yield: Influences of dual frequency ultrasound sources. Chem Eng Sci 57:4987–4995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Couppis EC, Klinzing GE (1974) Effect of cavitation on reacting systems. AIChE J 20:485–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ratoarinoro C, Wilhelm AM, Delmas H (1995) Power measurements in sonochemistry. Ultrason Sonochem 2:S43–S47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ondruschka B, Lifka J, Hoffmann J (2000) Aquasonolysis of ether: Effect of frequency and acoustic power of ultrasound. Chem Eng Tech 23:588–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Koda S, Kimura T, Kondo T, Mitome H (2003) A standard method to calibrate sonochemical efficiency of an individual reaction system. Ultrason Sonochem 10:149–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wayment DG, Casadonte DJ (2002) Design and calibration of a single-transducer variable-frequency sonication system. Ultrason Sonochem 9:189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Beckett M, Hua I (2001) Impact of Ultrasonic Frequency on Aqueous Sonoluminescence and Sonochemistry. J Phys Chem A 105:3796–3802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kang W, Hung H-M, Lin A, Hoffmann MR (1999) Sonolytic destruction of methyl tert-butyl ether by ultrasonic irradiation: The role of O3, H2O2, frequency, and power density. Env Sci Tech 33:3199–3205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Servant G, Laborde JL, Hita A, Caltagirone JP, Gerard A (2003) On the interaction between ultrasound waves and bubble clouds in mono and dual-frequency sonoreactors. Ultrason Sonochem 10:347–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Prabhu AV, Gogate PR, Pandit AB (2004) Optimisation of multi frequency sonochemical reactors. Chem Eng Sci 59:4991–4998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Entezari MH, Kruss P (1996) Effect of frequency on sonochemical reactions II. Temperature and intensity effects. Ultrason Sonochem 3:19–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Saez V, Frýas-Ferrer A, Iniesta J, Gonzalez-Garcý J, Aldaz A, Riera E (2005) Characterization of a 20 kHz sonoreactor. Part II: Analysis of chemical effects by classical and electrochemical methods. Ultrason Sonochem 12:67–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Xie B, Wang L, Liu H (2008) Using low intensity ultrasound to improve the efficiency of biological phosphorus removal. Ultrason Sonochem 15:775–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Sivakumar M, Pandit AB (2001) Ultrasound enhanced degradation of Rhodamine B: Optimization with power density. Ultrason Sonochem 8:233–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Feng R, Zhao Y, Zhu C, Mason TJ (2002) Enhancement of ultrasonic cavitation yield by multi-frequency sonication. Ultrason Sonochem 9:231–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Nanzai B, Okitsu K, Takenaka N, Bandow H, Tajima N, Maeda Y (2009) Effect of reaction vessel diameter on sonochemical efficiency and cavitation dynamics. Ultrason Sonochem 16:163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Kumar A, Kumaresan T, Joshi JB, Pandit AB (2006) Characterization of flow phenomena induced by ultrasonic horn. Chem Eng Sci 61:7410–7420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Asakura Y, Nishida T, Matsuoka T, Koda S (2008) Effect of ultasonic frequency and liquid height on sonochemical efficiency of large-scale sonochemical reactors. Ultrason Sonochem 15:244–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Rae J, Ashokkumar M, Eulaerts O, von Sonntag C, Reisse J, Grieser F (2005) Estimation of ultrasound induced cavitation bubble temperatures in aqueous solutions. Ultrason Sonochem 12:325–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Vichare NP, Senthilkumar P, Moholkar VS, Gogate PR, Pandit AB (2000) Energy analysis in acoustic cavitation. Ind Eng Chem Res 39:1480–1486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Moholkar VS, Sable SP, Pandit AB (2000) Mapping the cavitation intensity in an ultrasonic bath using the acoustic emission. AIChE J 46:684–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Plesset MS (1970) Cation erosion in non-aqueous liquids. Trans ASME (J Fluid Eng) 92:807–818Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Ashokkumar M, Grieser F (1999) Sonophotoluminescence from aqueous and non-aqueous solutions. Ultrason Sonochem 6:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Gogate PR, Wilhelm AM, Pandit AB (2003) Some aspects of the design of sonochemical reactors. Ultrason Sonochem 10:325–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Majumdar S, Pandit AB (1998) Study of catalytic isomerisation of Maleic acid to Fumaric acid: Effect of Ultrasound. Ind Chem Engr 40:187–192Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Segebarth N, Eulaerts O, Kegelaers Y, Vandercammen J, Reisse J (2002) About the Janus double horn sonicator and its use in quantitative homogenous Sonochemistry. Ultrason Sonochem 9:113–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Shimizu N, Ogino C, Dadjour M, Ninomiya K, Fujihira A, Sakiyama K (2008) Sonocatalytic facilitation of hydroxyl radical generation in the presence of TiO2. Ultrason Sonochem 15:988–994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Seymore JD, Gupta RB (1997) Oxidation of aqueous pollutants using ultrasound- Salt induced enhancement. Ind Eng Chem Res 36:3453–3457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Wall M, Ashokkumar M, Tronson R, Grieser F (1999) Multibubble sonoluminescence in aqueous salt solutions. Ultrason Sonochem 6:7–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Chen JR, Xu X-W, Lee AS, Yen TF (1990) A feasibility study of dechlorination of chloroform in water by ultrasound in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Environ Technol 11:829–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Chemat F, Teunissen PGM, Chemat S, Bartels PV (2001) Sono-oxidation treatment of humic substances in drinking water. Ultrason Sonochem 8:247–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Teo KC, Xu Y, Yang C (2001) Sonochemical degradation of toxic halogenated organic compounds. Ultrason Sonochem 8:241–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Kang J-W, Hoffmann MR (1998) Kinetics and mechanism of the sonolytic destruction of methyl tert butyl ether by ultrasonic irradiation in the presence of ozone. Environ Sci Tech 32:3194–3199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Weavers LK, Ling FH, Hoffmann MR (1998) Aromatic compound degradation in water using a combination of sonolysis and ozonolysis. Environ Sci Tech 32:2727–2733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Weavers LK, Malmstadt N, Hoffmann MR (2000) Kinetics and mechanism of pentachlorophenol degradation by sonication, ozonation and sonolytic ozonation. Environ Sci Tech 34:1280–1285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Toma S, Gaplovsky A, Luche J-L (2001) The effect of ultrasound on photochemical reactions. Ultrason Sonochem 8:201–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Gogate PR, Pandit AB (2004) Sonophotocatalytic oxidation based reactors for wastewater treatment: A critical review. AIChE J 50:1051–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Toukoniitty B, Mikkola J-P, Murzin DYu, Salmi T (2005) Utilization of electromagnetic and acoustic irradiation in enhancing heterogeneous catalytic reactions. App Cat A Gen 279:1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Stankiewicz A (2006) Energy matters: Alternative sources and forms of energy for intensification of chemical and biochemical processes. Chem Eng Res Des 84:511–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Strauss CR, Varma RS (2006) Microwaves in green and sustainable chemistry. Top Curr Chem 266:199–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Peng Y, Song G (2001) Simultaneous microwave and ultrasound irradiation: A rapid synthesis of hydrazides. Green Chem 3:302–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Cravotto G, Beggiato M, Penoni A, Palmisano G, Tollari S, Lévêque J-M, Bonrath W (2005) High-intensity ultrasound and microwave alone or combined, promote Pd/C-catalyzed aryl–aryl couplings. Tetrahedr Lett 46:2267–2271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Trotta F, Martina K, Robaldo B, Barge A, Cravotto G (2007) Recent advances in the synthesis of cyclodextrin derivatives under microwaves and power ultrasound. J Incl Phenom Macro Chem 57:3–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Cravotto G, Di Carlo S, Curini M, Tumiatti V, Rogerro C (2007) A new flow reactor for the treatment of polluted water with microwave and ultrasound. J Chem Tech Biotech 82:205–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Mason TJ, Cordemans ED (1998) In: Luche JL (ed) Practical considerations for process optimization in Synthetic Organic Sonochemistry. Plenum, New York, USAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentInstitute of Chemical TechnologyMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations