Aurizon Ultrasonics is a spin-out from Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where fundamental ultrasonic research had been conducted over a 30 year period. The ultrasonic expertise in Kimberly-Clark was redeployed with the launch of Aurizon Ultrasonics in 2009. Today, Aurizon’s core business is designing, manufacturing, and selling high power ultrasonic systems for a variety of industrial applications. An exciting part of Aurizon’s portfolio is their novel ultrasonic nozzle technology developed for a broad range of applications where enhancing or enabling the effective atomization of viscous liquids can add value. The prime focus of this development has been incorporating their ultrasonic devices inside of atomizers and fuel injectors to enhance the combustion of fuels.
Over $5 million has been invested to develop and protect Aurizon’s unique Ultrasonically Assisted Pressure Nozzle (UAPN) technology and applications. Sixty-Five (65) US and international patents have been issued, with fifteen (15) more international patents pending. The quick allowance of many key claims speaks to the novelty of the technology.
The basic elements found in ultrasonic technology include a series of waveguides tuned to mechanically resonate at frequencies in the range from twenty thousand to several hundred thousand cycles per second (Hz). The resonant vibration is often created using a piezoelectric transducer that converts an electrical charge into mechanical motion. The working end of these devices is a horn or sonotrode. Aurizon has incorporated these design elements into a patented system where an ultrasonic device fits inside a custom-engineered pressure chamber in a way that enables virtually all the ultrasonic energy to be delivered to the liquid being atomized. The UAPN device applies intense ultrasonic energy to a pressurized liquid immediately before it exits the orifice.
This technology has been proven to change several conditions that enhance the spray process and therefore the atomization characteristics of liquids including:
- The UAPN device vibrating in an extensional mode at ultrasonic frequencies ranging from 20 – 50 kHz causes a rapidly alternating change in velocity of flow of the liquid, resulting in significant collision of droplets after they exit the orifice.
- These collisions cause enhanced jet break-up, higher-velocity plumes for improved penetration, and increased lateral expansion (fully dispersed jets seen in the “UAPN ON” photo below) which improves air entrainment and plume volume
- The high frequency oscillation of the ultrasonic horn induces a tremendous shearing effect on the liquid which is very effective in creating atomization of high viscosity fuels.
- The intense pumping of the ultrasonic horn face has been shown to reduce nozzle plugging as well as to clear nozzles that are already plugged.
Case Study: Observed Benefits with UAPN
- Effectively atomized bunker fuel without the need for a secondary atomization fluid (e.g. steam, high pressure air)
- Reduced NOx output by 33-66%
- Produced a brighter, longer and more stable flame
- Increased flame penetration into furnace
- Significantly improved in furnace operating consistency, including FEGT, Oil Feed Rate, O2, and NOx output
- Delivered benefits with relatively low power demand (300 – 800 watts continuous power)
- Scalable – Results achieved at 29#/hour oil feed; devices to support larger flows possible
Aurizon is seeking licensing or joint venture partners willing to complete the relatively minimal necessary development steps and facilitate bringing the product to market.