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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2000 Feb 5;67(3):265-73.

The use of laboratory centrifugation studies to predict performance of industrial machines: studies of shear-insensitive and shear-sensitive materials.

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  • 1The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK.


A method for using a bench-top centrifuge is described in order to mimic the recovery performance of an industrial-scale centrifuge, in this case a continuous-flow disc stack separator. Recovery performance was determined for polyvinyl acetate particles and for biological process streams of yeast cell debris and protein precipitates. Recovery of polyvinyl acetate particles was found to be well predicted for these robust particles. The laboratory centrifugation scale-down technique again predicted the performance of the disc stack centrifuge for the recovery of yeast cell debris particles although there was some suggestion of over-prediction at high levels of debris recovery due to the nature of any cell debris aggregates present. The laboratory centrifuge scale-down technique also proved to be an important investigative probe into the extent of shear-induced breakup of shear-sensitive protein precipitate aggregates during recovery in continuous high speed centrifuges. Such breakup can lead to over 10-fold reduction in separator capacity.

Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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