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Comment PDF Separation Processes

Beyond Gravity: Centrifugal Separations in CPI Operations

By Alan Gabelman |

 Follow these recommendations to select the right centrifuge for your application Many chemical process operations require the separation of multiple phases. This can be done in a number of ways, including simple gravity separation, traditional or crossflow membrane filtration and centrifugation. This article focuses on centrifugation, which is a phase-separation brought about by exertion of a centrifugal force greater than the force of gravity. While centrifugal separation of a solid from one liquid phase is most common, centrifuges are also employed to separate two liquid phases, and to separate two liquids and a solid phase. Unless otherwise mentioned, separation of a solid from one liquid phase is assumed in the discussion that follows.   Separating solids from liquids The objective of a centrifugation process is either clarification, solids concentration or classification. Each is discussed below. Clarification. The goal of clarification is to obtain a liquid phase (known as supernatant) that is clear. This may require discharging more liquid with the solids than would otherwise be necessary, to ensure that the resulting supernatant is in fact solids-free. The separated solids are discharged as a wet paste, sludge…
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