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Parallel Path Animation . Enhanced Parallel Path Animation
Animation of the
Parallel Path Method
. Animation of the
Enhanced Parallel Path Method

Parallel Path Method

US Patent # 5,411,208
Canadian Patent # 2,112,093

The Burgener Parallel Path Method of atomizing is a new, unique, patented design. It works on the basic principal that any body of liquid can be used to produce a fine mist with a gas stream, if they are in close proximity to each other. Induction from the gas draws the liquid into the gas stream, similar to concentrics, cross flows and Babington nebulizers. But in the previous designs, the alignment and configuration are critical whereas in this method, it is NOT necessary to have a critical alignment of the gas stream and the liquid.

The liquid will be inducted into the gas stream by the low pressure around the gas stream. The low pressure will draw the liquid as long as the liquid can move easily into the gas stream. Any liquid that is caught in the gas flow will be pushed away with the gas, and broken into small droplets from the energy of the gas flow. Also, it will flow away from the main body of the liquid, allowing more liquid to move into the gas stream. As long as the liquid moves smoothly into the gas stream, the mist produced will be constant. This interaction can be accomplished with any configuration of liquid and gas as long as the liquid can flow smoothly to the gas.

IN this method, the body of liquid can be of any size as the only criteria required for a constant mist production is that the liquid can flow smoothly into the gas stream.

This understanding allowed us to produce nebulizers with a very large opening for the liquid path, preventing the common problem of tiny particles in the liquid plugging the sample path. Original Parallel Path nebulizers actually had the sample path increase in size near the gas stream, so that any plugging occurred in the capillary tubing that delivered the sample to the nebulizer, and not in the nebulizer itself. This allowed easy cleaning of particles in the liquid lines, should one ever occur, by just replacing the capillary tubing leading to the nebulizer.

This design also allowed us to fabricate the nebulizer out of any material including Teflon® (PTFE & FEP). PTFE & FEP are essentially inert to laboratory chemicals, acids and solvents, and are practically non-wetting. This enabled the nebulizers to operate with high dissolved solids. The common problem of salts forming around the gas stream did not occur with Teflon. Teflon does not wet and the salts do not form. There was occasionally some salting with very high Sodium (Na) salts. This is a reaction between Na ions with the Fluorine in the Teflon, and can produce an insoluble salt in some instances. The salts could usually be washed off with a dilute HF acid wash.

Closeup of the tip of Parallel Path Method nebuizers

Comparision of original T2002 to concentric design

The original Burgener Nebulizers were Parallel Path nebulizers. This included the BTN (Thermo Trace), BTS 50, BTS 90, T2000, T2001, and T2002. The Burgener Legere nebulizer was a Babington V Groove design. Since 2002, all Burgener Nebulizers have been made with the better Enhanced Parallel Path method. The Parallel Path and Teflon® construction allowed maintenance free operation. A typical Burgener Nebulizer was installed in the Spectrometer's chamber when it is received, and left there until it died.

Typical life spans ranged from 6 months to 3 years.

Note that the nebulizer could Not plug. Only the capillary could plug, and it could be replaced easily.

The Parallel Path Method provided a good mist, but generally not as good as concentric nebulizers. The %RSD would run around 1-2% compared to concentrics that ran about 0.5 to 1%. The main advantage was the maintenance free usage and non salting and non plugging nature of them.

The Enhanced Parallel Path is very different although it appears similar to the original method. It does not use induction to draw the liquid into the gas stream - it uses surface tension instead. It provides BETTER stability than a standard concentric, except for the first few hours of a concentric's life when the results are about the same.

UpChurch Scientific a division of Idex is a producer of chromatigraphic and gas line fittings.
Teflon is a registered trademark of E.I. DuPont De Nemours Company and in all cases in this web page refers to PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene) or FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene-Propylene)