Ultrasound is applied to improve various chemical processes. The operating parameters for the ultrasound equipment are usually determined empirically, as the interaction between sound field and ultrasound transducer has not yet been studied systematically and there is no method for measuring cavitation activity without applying additional sensors.
Based on a detailed experimental investigation of a sonochemical reactor Dr.-Ing. Peter Bornmann during his PhD set up a Finite-Element-Model, that considers the interaction between the ultrasound transducer and the sound field. The model-based analysis of the sonochemical reactor shows, that due to the acoustical characteristics of the autoclave, cavitation only occurs close to the tip of the sonotrode. The interaction between sound field and ultrasound transducer allows to obtain information about the sound field and the cavitation activity based on the feedback on the driving signals of the ultrasound transducer. Furthermore, the calculated sound field is suitable to predict the occurrence of cavitation. The presented model provides important information for the design, analysis and scale-up of sonochemical reactors.