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Process Consideration

Centrifuges

Batch Centrifuge A batch centrifuge contains a basket, perforated and lined with a stainless-steel screen, which functions as a filtering media. The basket is connected t o a free-swinging vertical shaft driven from above by a motor. To reduce vibration, t h e baskets are suspension system designed with some cushion pads to absorb vibration. An adjustable unloading blade inside the basket moves inward and downward to remove the crystal layer accumulated on the basket wall and then returns to its original position. The discharging device is actuated by a direct or an indirect drive. Three or five sets of spray nozzles are on a vertical pipe for uniform washing of the sugar crystals. The discharging valve of most centrifuges opens downward. In the closed position, the discharging valve fits tight to prevent air being drawn into the basket.

In its typical design, the basket of a batch centrifuge is normally as follows 1: Diameter: 1000-1370 mm Height: 700-1000 mm Height to diameter ratio: <0.8 Angle of inclination of wall: 30º Speed of rotation: 850-1800 rpm Loading capacity: 1750-2200 kg massecuite per cycle Energy consumption of centrifuge: 1.0 -1.5 kWh per ton of massecuite. New centrifuges are programmable controlled to ensure accurate RPMs in different operating cycles. The total operating cycle per charge depends on the centrifugibility of the massecuite. White operations need shorter cycles (2 to 3 minutes) than raw massecuites. At a massecuite crystal content of 50 %, for example, a machine centrifuging 2200 kg of massecuite can produce 1100 kg sugar in one cycle or about 420 t per day
Figures according to book mentioned in references: (Asadi, 2007, p.425)

Advantages: Some newer centrifuges are equipped with a frequency-regulated drive that can adjust the speed of the basket to lower energy requirement. Some centrifuge suppliers use inverter drives instead of multi-speed d r i v e s in large batch centrifuges (above 2200 kg capacity). Centrifuges with inverter drives are more energy ef ficient than multi-speed drives (Grimwood 1999). Disadvantages: The first obvious disadvantage is the fact that the unit does not operate continuously. Hence buffer tank/storage may be required upstream and downstream of the centrifuge.

Batch-type centrifuges are not effective in white-massecuite centrifuging but are useful in high-raw and low-raw centrifuging. On some plough discharge centrifuges is the residual bed of solids left on the basket wall, typically 6~10mm thick. The residual bed surface can become glazed after several operations and then has to be removed to prevent reduction in filtration rates. A major disadvantage inherent in the design of batch filtration centrifuges, both with the vertical and horizontal axis units, is their inability to discharge the entire solid from the basket. It is not possible to scrape, peel or plough solids close to the filter media without the risk of causing damage. In the majority of cases if the discharge mechanism came into contact with the filter media it would simple rip it out of the centrifuge basket.

Continuous Centrifuge In continuous centrifuges, the basket rotates at a constant revolution and receives the feed without i n t e r r u p t i o n . Feed enters the small end of a funnel. The funnel m i ni m i z es crystal breakage, thus distributing the massecuite smoothly. Massecuite ent e rs at the axis of rotation of the basket. Constant rotation a n d feeding c r e a t e s an equal c e n t r i f u g i n g force, causing uniform distribution of the massecuite. The massecuite gains speed and moves up toward the large end of the basket. While the feed is moving, the mother liquor flows through the basket screen. A layer of sugar crystals 25 to 75 mm thick is formed. The sugar layer is moved up by a reciprocating pusher. Each stroke of the pusher moves the sugar toward the edge of the basket, from where it falls into a collector chute. Cycle timers and solenoid-operated valves control the operation. Washing during rotation is controlled as desired. Advantages: Continuous centrifuges offer higher efficiency t h a n batch types because of the short cycle and no holdup for loading and unloading. Disadvantages: However, continuous centrifuges require more energy than batch ones because the energy to accelerate the massecuite is not recovered ( der Poel et al. 1998). Continuous centrifuges are not used in white massecuite for a number of reasons: ■ breaking of crystals at the loading step ■ High moisture content in the sugar ■ Formation of crystal lumps Crystals break and become damaged mainly because of the high-speed rotation of the basket during the loading step.

Double Centrifuge A double centrifuge consists of two units, one installed on top of the other. The baskets are either on the same drive or driven with individual drives. In both designs, the massecuite is first pre-centrifuged in the top unit and centrifuged again in the bottom unit with or without washing. Usually, the liquor separated in the pre-centrifuging step is returned to the massecuite just before the massecuite reaches the centrifuge. As a result, the sugar loss to the mother liquor is decreased (lower mother liquor purity than in single centrifuging).

Disadvantages: High capital a n d maintenance costs. High-energy consumption (2.0 to 3.0 kWh per ton of massecuite compared with 1.0 to 1.5 in single centrifuging)

Advantages: Double centrifuging was offered in the 1980s to cover the following d e fi c i e n c i e s o f single centrifuging: ■ Inef ficient centrifuging ■ Loss of some sugar to the mother liquor ■ Dif ficulty determining the timing of washing ■ Dif ficulty controlling the separation of green from wash syrup

Types of centrifuges
May it be continuous or batch type centrifuges, there are mainly two main types of each kinds:  Vertically mounted rotating drums

Horizontally mounted rotating drums HORIZONTAL BOWL DECANTATION CENTRIFUGE: (Continuous feed centrifuge)

(M.Armenante, 2013, pp. 10) Fig. 1

Operating principle Feeding: The slurry is continuously introduced to the rotating solid bowl at one end and travels parallel to the bowl axis. Centrifugal force drives the solids to the bowl wall. Spinning: The mother liquor is clarified and the solids are sedimented and compacted. Liquid Discharge: The clarified mother liquor is discharged by either overflowing the bowl rim and / or with a tangential liquid skimmer. Scraping: A scraper knife (helical scroll) rotating at a slightly different speed than the bowl is used to move the solids toward the tapered end where they are continuously removed through ports.

Advantages:    Clean appearance, little to no odour problems and fast start-up and shut-down capabilities Easy to install and requires a relatively small area. Can operate with a highly variable feed solids concentration on many sludge types.

High rates of feed per unit, thus reducing the number of units required.

Disadvantages:        Pre-screening on the feed stream is recommended. Hard surfacing and abrasion protection materials are extremely important in reducing wear High noise production during operation. High power consumptions. Produces high vibrations during operation. Inability to remove bowl assembly during maintenance. Grit present in sludge.

HORIZONTAL BASKET FILTRATION CENTRIFUGE (batch centrifuge type)

(Tema.net, 2013) Fig. 2

Operating principle The peeler of the centrifuge is actuated by hydraulic cylinder. Feeding: The slurry is introduced to the rotating basket having a filter cloth. The filter cloth captures the solids. Centrifugal force drives the liquid through the caked solids and the mother liquor is discharged through perforations in the basket circumference. Washing: A wash liquid is introduced and is driven through the caked solids. The plug flow action of the wash liquid purifies the solids and removes residual mother liquor. Spinning: Residual liquors are driven from the caked solids and are discharged through the basket perforations to achieve maximum cake dryness. Scraping: A scraper knife advances into the rotating basket to discharge the solids to downstream equipment. Residual heel removal: After scraping, a 6-10 mm layer remains inside the rotating basket. With the scraper in an advanced position, high pressure nitrogen or air is used to dislodge this residual heel. This step can be performed after several centrifuge cycles, or after each cycle.

Advantages:      This type of centrifuge can be used for both thickening and dewatering. It is not affected by grit. Full automation is possible. Flexibility in producing different cake solids concentrations because of skimming ability. Machine is clean looking and has little to no odour problems.

Disadvantages:       The Unit is not continuous feed and discharge. It requires special structural support, much more substantial than for a solid bowl centrifuge. They have high ratio of capital cost to capacity. High noise production during operation. Requires washing once per shift. Inability to discharge the entire solid from the basket. It is not possible to scrape, peel or plough solids close to the filter media without the risk of causing damage.

BOTTOM DISCHARGE VERTICAL BASKET CENTRIFUGE (Continuous type centrifuge)

(Bottom discharge vertical basket centrifuge, 2013, pp. 1-2) Fig.3

Operating principle Feeding: The slurry is introduced to the rotating basket having a filter cloth. The filter cloth captures the solids. Centrifugal force drives the liquid through the caked solids and the mother liquor is discharged through perforations in the basket circumference. Washing: A wash liquid is introduced and is driven through the caked solids. The plug flow action of the wash liquid purifies the solids and removes residual mother liquor. Spinning: Residual liquors are driven from the caked solids and are discharged through the basket perforations to achieve maximum cake dryness. Scraping: A scraper knife advances into the rotating basket to discharge the solids to downstream equipment. The solids are discharged through openings in the basket bottom. Residual heel removal: After scraping, a 6-10 mm (¼" - ⅜") layer remains inside the rotating basket. With the scraper in an advanced position, high pressure nitrogen or air is used to dislodge this residual heel. This step can be performed after several centrifuge cycles, or after each cycle.

Advantages:     Easy scrapping of cake through scrapper with quick cake discharge and without manual contact. Less manual labour and cake handling The centrifuge can be operational under totally vapour tight conditions during scrapping Solid discharged from bottom of the centrifuge and its handling can be done easily to subsequent equipment or processing (ex. Transferred by conveyor)

TOP DISCHARGE VERTICAL BASKET CENTRIFUGE (Batch type centrifuge)

(Top discharge vertical basket centrifuge, 2013, pp. 1-2) Fig. 4 Operating principle Feeding: The slurry is introduced to the rotating basket having a filter bag. The filter bag captures the solids. Centrifugal force drives the liquid through the caked solids and the mother liquor is discharged through perforations in the basket circumference.

Washing: A wash liquid is introduced and is driven through the caked solids. The plug flow action of the wash liquid purifies the solids and removes residual mother liquor.

Spinning: Residual liquors are driven from the caked solids and are discharged through the basket perforations to achieve maximum cake dryness.

Solids Discharge: The filter bag containing the solids is removed from the basket and the filter bag inverts to discharge the solids into a receiver, or the solids are removed by manually scooping them from the filter bag.

Advantages:           Level of vibration is much lower & operates very smoothly. Can be mounted on upper floor and can be easily relocated. Almost negligible maintenance cost. Working area is free from abstracts and a clean area can be maintained. Easy and fast unloading Complete discharge of solids without residual heal Original crystalline structure intact since scrapping/ attrition does not take place. Reduction in batch time and hence increased production Easy inspection and cleaning of basket and fully opening cover for monitor cage Reduced human contact.

Disadvantages:  Loss of productivity in time loss to stop the machine, remove the basket, empting, cleaning and replacing the basket.

Verdict

Process chosen: Continuous process

Reasons for opting for continuous process Continuous operation is obviously ideal from the mechanical point of view: the machine runs at a constant speed without stopping, is fed by continuous streams of material, furnishes a constant output of sugar and requires no operator and only intermittent supervision.

Reasons for eliminating batch process The first obvious disadvantage is the fact that the unit does not operate continuously. Hence buffer tank/storage may be required upstream and downstream of the centrifuge. The complexity of the operations of each cycle, as expressed in a most impressive array of electrical equipment for automatic machines. (Hugot and Jenkins, 1986) The low efficiency in the use of energy in these machines with their accelerating and braking phases. (Hugot and Jenkins, 1986)

On some plough discharge centrifuges is the residual bed of solids left on the basket wall, typically 6~10mm thick. The residual bed surface can become glazed after several operations and then has to be removed to prevent reduction in filtration rates. A major disadvantage inherent in the design of batch filtration centrifuges, both with the vertical and horizontal axis units, is their inability to discharge the entire solid from the basket. It is not possible to scrape, peel or plough solids close to the filter media without the risk of causing damage. In the majority of cases if the discharge mechanism came into contact with the filter media it would simple rip it out of the centrifuge basket. (The Evolution of the Batch Basket Filtering Centrifuge, 2003, p. 2)

Type of centrifuge chosen: Bottom discharge vertical basket centrifuge
Advantages: The main advantage is that solid is discharged from bottom of the centrifuge and its handling can be done easily to subsequent equipment or processing (ex. Transferred by conveyor) and thus the whole process remains a continuous process, maximising efficiency, production output and therefore profit.

Other minor advantages are as follows:

   

Easy scrapping of cake through scrapper with quick cake discharge and without manual contact. Less manual labour and cake hanldling The centrifuge can be operational under totally vapour tight conditions during scrapping Level of vibration is much lower & operates very smoothly. Full automation is possible Machine is clean looking and has little to no odour problems.

List of figures

Fig.1: M.Armenante, P. 2013. Centrifugation. [e-book] New jersey: New Jersey Institute of Technology. pp. 10-21. Available through: New Jersey Institute of Technology http://cpe.njit.edu/dlnotes/CHE685/Cls10-1.pdf [Accessed: 3 Nov 2013].

Fig.2: Tema.net. 2013. Conturbex horizontal screening centrifuge. [online] Available at: http://www.tema.net/conturbex.aspx [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

Fig3: BASKET CENTRIFUGE. 2013. [e-book] Rousselet Robatel. pp. 1-2. Available through: Robatel http://www.robatel.com/products/pdfs/Bottom-Discharge-vertical-basket-centrifugeoperating-principle.pdf [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

Fig4: Top discharge vertical basket centrifuge. 2013. [e-book] Rousselet Robatel. pp. 1-2. Available through: Robatel http://www.rousseletrobatel.com/products/chempharma/pdfs/Top-Discharge-vertical-basket-centrifuge-operatingprinciple.pdf [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

References

Asadi, M. 2007. Beet-sugar handbook. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Interscience.

BOTTOM DISCHARGE VERTICAL BASKET CENTRIFUGE. 2013. [e-book] Rousselet Robatel. pp. 1-2. Available through: Robatel http://www.robatel.com/products/pdfs/Bottom-Discharge-vertical-basketcentrifuge-operating-principle.pdf [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

Centrifuges. 2013. [e-book] Nsi. p. 3. Available through: NSI equipments http://www.nsiequipments.com/basket-centrifuges.pdf [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

HowStuffWorks. 2013. HowStuffWorks "Centrifuge". [online] Available at: http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/physics-terms/centrifuge-info.htm [Accessed: 3 Nov 2013].

Hugot, E. and Jenkins, G. 1986. Handbook of cane sugar engineering. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

M.Armenante, P. 2013. Centrifugation. [e-book] New jersey: New Jersey Institute of Technology. pp. 1021. Available through: New Jersey Institute of Technology http://cpe.njit.edu/dlnotes/CHE685/Cls101.pdf [Accessed: 3 Nov 2013].

OPERATING PRINCIPLE – HORIZONTAL PEELER CENTRIFUGE. 2013. [e-book] Rousselet Robatel. p. 1. Available through: robatel http://www.robatel.com/products/pdfs/Horizontal-peeler-operatingprinciple.pdf [Accessed: 3 Nov 2013].

Tema.net. 2013. Conturbex horizontal screening centrifuge. [online] Available at: http://www.tema.net/conturbex.aspx [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

The Evolution of the Batch Basket Filtering Centrifuge. 2003. [e-book] Feature article. p. 2. Available through: Elsevier Ltd http://www.ncdsep-solutions.co.uk/articles/batch-basket-filtering-centrifuge.pdf [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

Top discharge vertical basket centrifuge. 2013. [e-book] Rousselet Robatel. pp. 1-2. Available through: Robatel http://www.rousselet-robatel.com/products/chempharma/pdfs/Top-Discharge-vertical-basketcentrifuge-operating-principle.pdf [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].

Web.deu.edu.tr. 2013. Wastewater Engineering. [online] Available at: http://web.deu.edu.tr/atiksu/ana52/sludisx2.html [Accessed: 4 Nov 2013].