Hydrodynamic cavitation: the enabling technology of the bioeconomy


Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, Palermo, Italy

In manufacturing, including chemical manufacturing, a technology is said to be enabling when it allows the rapid creation of usable products in large abundance. Controlled hydrodynamic cavitation -- the controlled formation, growth, and implosion of vapor bubbles in water releasing in milliseconds on the nanoscale huge amounts of energy -- applied to abundant, and virtually free, biological resources such as agriculture, agrofood industry and forest leftovers and by-products is the enabling technology of the bioeconomy (1).

In chemistry, cavitation is increasingly used for the intensification of chemical and physical processes in the chemical process industry (2), in wastewater remediation (3), and to recover valued bioproducts from biological resources that would otherwise undergo landfilling, incineration or composting and anaerobic digestion (4).

Cavitation based on the use of the Venturi tube, and no longer on barely scalable acoustic waves or costly and critical arrangements based on moving parts, can now be applied, among other things, to convert malt into beer (eliminating malt dry ...