Different Types of Centrifuges and How They Compare 1

A centrifuge is a laboratory instrument that separates fluids, gases, or liquids with different densities. It uses centrifugal force to separate the sample components based on their size, shape, or density. The centrifuge works by spinning the specimen at high speeds, thus causing the heavier particles to separate and settle at the bottom of the tube. Centrifuges come in different types, and each type has its own unique features and advantages. This article compares the most common types of centrifuges and their applications.


The ultracentrifuge is a high-speed centrifuge that can spin samples at speeds of over 100,000 RPM. This type of centrifuge is used for separating small particles such as DNA, proteins, and viruses. Ultracentrifuges are used in molecular biology research, biochemistry, and pharmaceuticals. Ultracentrifuges have rotors that can be refrigerated, therefore allowing samples to be chilled during separation. This centrifuge is expensive and requires a specialized technician to handle, but it offers extremely high separation efficiency and precision. If you’re looking to delve even further into the topic, Decanter Centrifuge. We’ve specially prepared this external content, where you’ll find valuable information to broaden your knowledge.


Microcentrifuges are small, bench-top centrifuges that are used in many biological and chemical laboratories. They are used to separate small volumes of fluids, such as blood samples, cell lysates, and nucleic acids. Microcentrifuges are affordable, easy to use, and portable. They can spin samples at speeds up to 20,000 RPM. The typical rotor has the capacity to hold many tubes, ranging in size from 0.2 mL to 2 mL. They are commonly found in academic, clinical, and research labs.

Refrigerated Centrifuge

A refrigerated centrifuge is a centrifuge that has an in-built refrigeration system to maintain low temperatures during separation. This type of centrifuge is used to preserve samples and prevent degradation by limiting heat. Refrigerated centrifuges are commonly used in medical labs, biotechnology, clinical, and research environments. They have the ability to spin samples at various ranges of speeds, making them versatile in different applications. They come in different sizes and can handle a variety of sample tubes ranging from microcentrifuge tubes to large capacity tubes. A disadvantage is that they are much more expensive than non-refrigerated centrifuges.

Benchtop Centrifuge

The benchtop centrifuge is a versatile centrifuge that can accommodate a wide variety of samples and applications. They can operate at different speeds ranging from low to high speed. They are compact, easy to use and can be used for a variety of centrifugation methods, such as pelleting, separating, washing, and sonicating. Benchtop centrifuges are commonly used in many different fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical, and clinical research. They are relatively affordable, easy to install and maintain. However, they may require more attention to sample balance during use due to their size.

Floor Model Centrifuge

The floor model centrifuge is a powerful and heavy-duty centrifuge that can spin large volumes of samples at high speeds. They are generally used in industrial and research settings that require larger capacities to separate components. These centrifuges have a higher throughput capacity and can handle large amounts of blood tubes, serum tubes, and conical tubes. They can also spin at higher speeds for longer periods of time, allowing for more accurate and precise separations. However, floor models are much more expensive than benchtop centrifuges, take up a lot of space, and require more attention with installation and maintenance. Immerse yourself further into the topic by exploring this external source we’ve chosen for you. Check out this additional page, uncover extra and worthwhile data to enhance your study and understanding of the subject.


The type of centrifuge used depends on the samples being spun and the level of accuracy and precision required. Ultracentrifuges are ideal for spinning small particles like DNA, while microcentrifuges are perfect for smaller volumes. Refrigerated centrifuges are valuable for preserving samples, but can be expensive. Benchtop centrifuges and floor model centrifuges are versatile, but floor models take up significantly more space and are much more expensive than benchtop models. Choosing the right centrifuge for the job ensures that the best results are obtained and the samples are kept safe from degradation.

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Different Types of Centrifuges and How They Compare 2