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Hydro cyclone

Diagram of a hydro cyclone: 1. the liquid-solid mixture enters, 2. heavy solids leave, 3. cleaned liquid leaves. A hydro cyclone is a device to classify, separate or sort particles in a liquid suspension based the ratio of their centripetal force to fluid resistance. This ratio is high for dense (where separation by density is required) and coarse (where separation by size is required) particles, and low for light and fine particles. Hydro cyclones also find application in the separation of liquids of different densities.

whilst the finer. polypropylene. centrifugal force is countered by the resistance of the liquid. Metal lined with polyurethane is used in cases of combined abrasion and high pressure. or other types). If the size range of the particles is limited. In a suspension of particles with the same density. or less dense particles. Efficiency of separation is a function of the solids' concentration: the higher the concentration. Internally. the denser particles will exit preferentially at the apex. Contents Design A hydro cyclone has two exits on the axis: the smaller on the bottom (underflow or reject) and a larger at the top (overflow or accept). There is also a significant difference in suspension density between the base exit (fines) and the apex exit. Parallelflow hydro cyclones remove particles that are lighter than the surround fluid. ceramic or plastic (such as polyurethane. plays a role in determining operating characteristics. In a reverse hydro cyclone the overflow is at the apex and the underflow at the base. The angle. remain in the liquid and exit at the overflow side through a tube extending slightly into the body of the cyclone at the center [1]. Metal or ceramic hydro cyclones are used for situations requiring more strength.A hydro cyclone will normally have a cylindrical section at the top where liquid is being fed tangentially. for example. There are also parallel-flow hydro cyclones where both the accept and reject are removed at the apex. The underflow is generally the denser or coarser fraction. while the overflow is the lighter or finer fraction. The device is therefore a means of selective concentration of. and a conical base. the lower the efficiency of separation. When there is an occurrence of much abrasion (such as occurs with sand particles) polyurethane performs better than metals or ceramics. feed pressure and the relative characteristics of the particles and the liquid. The size at which the particles separate is a function of cyclone diameter. Forward hydro cyclones remove particles that are denser than the surrounding fluid. or durability in terms of heat or pressure. and hence length of the conical section. . exit dimensions. while reverse hydro cyclones remove particles that are less dense than the surrounding fluid. minerals. This device is also related to the centrifuge. a relatively sharp cut can be made. where there is little liquid flow. with the effect that larger or denser particles are transported to the wall for eventual exit at the reject side with a limited amount of liquid.[2] Hydro cyclones can be made of metal (mostly steel). but there are differences in density between types of particles. both of them are intended to separate heavies and lights in liquid by application of centrifugal force.

Uses A hydro cyclone is most often used to separate "heavies" from a liquid mixture originating at a centrifugal pump or some other continuous source of pressurized liquid. it is sometimes advantageous to accumulate them in the bottom of the hydro cyclone for batch wise removal. In the drilling industry to separate sand from the expensive clay that is used for lubrication during the drilling. plastic particles and other contaminants. staples. Applications include: y y y y y y In pulp and paper mills to remove sand. In potato processing plants to recover starch from waste water. A hydro cyclone is most likely to be the right choice for processes where "lights" are the greater part of the mixture and where the "heavies" settle fairly easily. Generally. Cyclonic separation . In cases where "heavies" are a very small part of the whole liquid. In industry to separate oil from water or vice versa. In mineral processing hydro cyclones are used extensively both to classify particles for recirculation in grinding circuits and to differentiate between the economic mineral and gangue. hydro cyclones are used in continuous flow systems so that the instantaneous liquid inflow to the hydro cyclone is equal to the total instantaneous outflow of "lights" plus "heavies". In metal working to separate metal particles from cooling liquid.

Air flows in a spiral pattern. without the use of filters. Larger (denser) particles in the rotating stream have too much inertia to follow the tight curve of the stream and strike the outside wall. Airflow diagram for Aerodyne cyclone in horizontal position. as the rotating flow moves towards the narrow end of the cyclone the rotational radius of the stream is reduced. A high speed rotating (air)flow is established within a cylindrical or conical container called a cyclone. an alternate design to minimize abrasion within the device . beginning at the top (wide end) of the cyclone and ending at the bottom (narrow) end before exiting the cyclone in a straight stream through the center of the cyclone and out the top. and smaller particles with a lower efficiency. gas or water stream. Rotational effects and gravity are used to separate mixtures of solids and fluids. Particles larger than the cut point will be removed with a greater efficiency.A cyclone separator Cyclonic separation is a method of removing particulates from an air. This is the size of particle that will be removed from the stream with a 50% efficiency. falling then to the bottom of the cyclone where they can be removed. defines the cut point of the cyclone. together with flow rate. through vortex separation. In a conical system. The cyclone geometry. separating smaller and smaller particles.

The secondary air flow enters from the top of the cyclone and moves downward toward the bottom. Cyclones are also used in oil refineries to separate oils and gases. These may be used to separate solid waste from water in wastewater and sewage treatment. Large scale cyclones are used in sawmills to remove sawdust from extracted air. Analogous devices for separating particles or solids from liquids are called hydro cyclones or hydro cyclones. Some are small enough to be worn clipped to clothing and are used to separate respirable particles for later analysis. and in the cement industry as components of kiln preheaters.Airflow diagram for Aerodyne cyclone in standard vertical position An alternative cyclone design uses a secondary air flow within the cyclone to keep the collected particles from striking the walls to protect them from abrasion. Contents Cyclone theory . The secondary air flow also allows the collector to be mounted horizontally because it pushes the particulate toward the collection area. Smaller cyclones are used to separate airborne particles for analysis. The primary air containing the particulate enters from the bottom of the cyclone and is forced into spiral rotation by a stationary spinner. intercepting the particulate from the primary air.

buoyant and centrifugal forces are balanced. and a radial velocity component Vr. Vt. Assuming Stokes' law.Steady state As the cyclone is essentially a two phase particle-fluid system. or the central axis of the cyclone until the drag. the drag force on any particle in this inlet stream is therefore given by the following equation: Fd = 6 rp Vr. A particle in the cyclonic flow will move towards either the wall of the cyclone. the particle is therefore subjected to centrifugal. The air in a cyclone is initially introduced tangentially into the cyclone with an inlet velocity Vin. If one considers an isolated particle circling in the upper cylindrical component of the cyclone at a rotational radius of r from the cyclone's central axis. Assuming that the system has reached steady state. p and f respectively: The force balance can be created by summing the forces together This rate is controlled by the diameter of the particle's orbit around the central axis of the cyclone. a simple analysis to calculate critical separation particle sizes can be established. a tangential component. Given that the fluid velocity is moving in a spiral the gas velocity can be broken into two component velocities. The centrifugal component is given by: The buoyant force component is obtained by the difference between the particle and fluid densities. Assuming that the particle is spherical. fluid mechanics and particle transport equations can be used to describe the behaviour of a cyclone. the particles will assume a characteristic radius . drag and buoyant forces.

given a value for Vt. the geometry of the separator is not considered. the forces are equated. These equations are. possibly based upon the injection angle. fluid density and fluid tangential and rotational velocities can then be found to be: Experimentally it is found that the velocity component of rotational flow is proportional to r therefore: 2[1] . a characteristic particle filtering radius can be estimated. limited in many regards. [edit] Alternate models The above equations are relatively simple and provide a basic approximation to the behavior of a cyclone separator. and the velocity at an arbitrary radius is therefore: Subsequently. denser particles will assume a solid flow at some larger radius than light particles. the particles are assumed to achieve a steady state and the effect of the vortex inversion at the base of the cyclone is also ignored. however. and a cutoff radius. The steady state balance assumes that for all particles.dependent upon the force balance. all behaviors which are unlikely to be achieved in a cyclone at real operating conditions. Heavier. This means that the established feed velocity controls the vortex rate inside the cyclone. above which particles will be removed from the gas stream. For example. . hence: Fd + Fc + Fb = 0 Which expands to: This can be expressed by rearranging the above in terms of the particle radius. The particle radius as a function of cyclonic radius.

Centrifuges are expensive precision rotating machines that often need sophisticated control.More complex differential equation based models exist. Generally. [Back to top] What are the uses and limitations of Hydro cyclones? A hydro cyclone is most often used to separate "heavies" from a liquid mixture originating at a centrifugal pump or some other continuous source of pressurized liquid. See the Hydro cyclone separation theory page for more information. It does this by directing inflow tangentially near the top of a vertical cylinder. If settling takes much longer than this. then you may need a centrifuge or other separation method. The key difference is that hydro cyclones are passive separators capable of applying modest amounts of centrifugal force. as many authors have studied the behaviour of cyclone separators [2]. Hydro cyclones and centrifuges are complementary rather than competing devices. A hydrocyclone is most likely to be the right choice for processes where "lights" are the greater part of the mixture and where the "heavies" settle fairly easily. Hydro cyclone Frequently Asked Questions y y y What is a Hydro cyclone? What are the uses and limitations of Hydro cyclones? See also our terminology/definitions page What is a Hydro cyclone? A hydro cyclone is a static device that applies centrifugal force to a liquid mixture so as to promote the separation of heavy and light components. you should investigate hydro cyclone separation. Light components move toward the axis of the hydro cyclone where they move up toward the outlet at the top of the vessel. whereas centrifuges are dynamic separators that are generally able to apply much more centrifugal force than hydro cyclones. This spins the entire contents of the cylinder. creating centrifugal force in the liquid. whereas hydro cyclones have no moving parts and usually no controls at all so they are lower cost devices. Heavy components move outward toward the wall of the cylinder where they agglomerate and spiral down the wall to the outlet at the bottom of the vessel. hydro cyclones are used in continuous flow systems so that the instantaneous liquid inflow to the hydro cyclone is equal to the total instantaneous outflow of "lights" plus . Numerical modeling using computational fluid dynamics has also been used extensively in the study of cyclonic behaviour. Another key difference between hydro clones and centrifuges is cost. The hydro cyclone is a closed vessel designed to convert incoming liquid velocity into rotary motion. Hydro cyclones are also related to centrifuges in that both are intended to separate heavies and lights by application of centrifugal force to liquids. If gravity alone will settle a significant portion of your solids in a minute or two using a quick bottle test.

Cyclones and Hydro cyclones A cyclone is a commonly-used apparatus that makes use of gravity and centrifugal force to separate solid particles from a gas stream. it is sometimes advantageous to accumulate them in the bottom of the hydro cyclone for batch wise removal. The behavior of the particulates can then be simulated using either the Eulerian multiphase model or the particle transport model. because of density difference. liquids and solids enters the hydro cyclone tangentially through the inlet which forces the mixture to spin inside the cyclone. A typical cyclone is a cylindrical vessel with a tangential inlet and top and bottom outlets. Chem Industrial hydro cyclones are capable of sharp separations of "heavies" and "lights". reducing the load on other. they are used for incremental enrichment. through the vortex finder. termed the underflow. The solids are forced towards the wall. In cases where "heavies" are a very small part of the whole liquid. the Second Moment Closure turbulence models available in the ANSYS CFX software are very valuable for the correct prediction of the fluid flow. Hydro cyclones are generally not recommended for removing long fibers from liquids. more costly separation equipment and improving the overall economics of operation. Separated solids fall down under gravity into the accumulator vessel situated beneath the hydro cyclone. and the details of the cyclone geometry. Cyclones are widely used in various industries because they are easy to build. In some applications. Hydro cyclones operate under pressure. The feed."heavies". even the fluid flow is difficult to simulate accurately. Hydro cyclones are similar devices to cyclones where the operating fluid is a liquid rather then a gas. For this application. and then travel down the length of the conical section of the hydro cyclone in a spiral pattern towards the solids outlet. In other situations. Because of the highly complex flows induced by the swirl. inspect and maintain. The gas and liquids migrate towards the center of the hydro cyclone where the flow reverses and moves upwards towards the over-flow. The liquid passes down into the conical section where the reduction in diameter accelerates the fluid thus generating centrifugal forces strong enough to cause the solids to separate from the liquid. . Chem Industrial's modular construction methods make it easy for us to provide accumulation configurations. a mixture of possibly gases. This spinning motion generates centrifugal forces which cause the gas to disengage quickly and exit through the vortex finder.