Rural Alternative Research Environmental (RAREL)

Frequently Asked Questions

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About Home ~ A Few FAQs

Introduction

high shear domestic socket The branches of help available from this introductory page will grow in size and complexity in years to come. We will endeavour to maintain readability and ease of use as the site develops. We anticipate that the bulk of questions will be technical in nature but some of you will be interested in how RAREL is funded.

RAREL's Funding

RAREL was originally funded by a body of like minded individuals and is now fully funded. Over the next 2 years, it will migrate to self funding by virtue of its publishing and educational activites.

Help with Emerging High Shear Applications

When our research started into high shear mixers some years ago, we were fairly clear about the main small business applications for our technology. In the intervening years, applications we were unaware of, began to emerge and they continue to emerge. As we know less about these applications than others, we like to work on site with one or two selected small businesses in the new sectors, as well as performing experiments at our own test site. The lessons learned will eventually be posted under the "Other" button in the left hand column.

Laboratory High Shear Applications

Our high shear technology is important for many labs because of its portability, stainless steel construction and single phase power requirement. Laboratories work in so many market sectors, that we cannot devote a page to each and every one. We will therefore initially pool all lab FAQs, duplicating them under other headings where appropriate. We are also aware that many lab technicians and academics run their own self help forums. We will happily contribute to these when we are invited so to do. Click the button marked "Laboratory" in the left hand column for more details.

High Shear in Food and Drink - Solubilising and Homogenising

To date, we have handled very few questions in these market sectors - probably because high shear mixers are widely used and understood in the food and drink industry. A possible exception to this may be the rapidly growing English wine industry and micro brewing in the UK. We are ready and able to assist these industries - together with any who come to us with new ideas and experiments. We also expect to receive questions from local producers of dairy and other farm products, as well as small enterprises who need to make large volumes of sugar syrup and saline without heat. Click the button marked "Food/Drink" in the left hand column for more details.

High Shear Mixers and the Local Production of Biodiesel

Our high shear mixers are starting to transform yield, consistency and quality in the low volume manufacture of biodiesel. They have refined water removal prior to transesterification, made cold transesterification possible, done away with the need for methoxide mixing and minimised the need to heat the methanol and oil mixture. However - high shear mixers will turn your mix to mayonnaise, if you fail to first remove all the water! We favour small businesses that cold press oil for the local deep fryer food chain, then recover it for the local manufacture of biodiesel. We expect to learn much in this sector over the next 5 years. Click the button marked "Biodiesel" in the left hand column for more details.

High Shear Mixers and the Small Scale Production of Chemicals

High shear mixers are of use in the manufacture of chemicals, partly because they promote rapid intimate mixing that cannot be achieved by conventional stirrers. Intimate mixing speeds up chemical reaction times and may therefore reduce the need for heat. However, many chemical reactants raise health and safety questions, as well as concerns about the environment. These and other reasons, such as the cost of compliance and the objections of neighbours, may render small, local production of chemicals unviable. An obvious exception is the local use of organic chemicals in the small volume production of perfumes, flavours and cosmetics, including soft soaps. Click the button marked "Chemicals" in the left hand column for more details.

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