Novel centrifuge design enables low energy separation (Result of EU-Project PRODIAS)

M. H. Kopf*, S. Szepessy, P. Thorwid, BASF SE, Germany

Since the early days of high-speed separators such as continuous disk-stack centrifuges, their operation was always connected to a significant energy demand.

Depending on the application, specific energy needs varied between 0,7 to >1kW/m³/h.

Two major aspects drive the energy consumption of a disk-stack separator:

By consequently applying physics both aspects can be successfully addressed.

The energy needed to accelerate the suspension to bowl-speed can be optimized via minimizing the radius difference inlet-to-outlet. A minimum radial difference (Center-to-Center) would theoretically lead to a maximum energy recovery. Subsequently, the energy loss would be reduced to friction-based losses inside the liquid phase and at the wetted surfaces.

Since a minimum radial difference inlet-to-outlet also significantly reduces the “suction effect” of the separator the feed pump must provide the necessary pressure to maintain the flow-rate through the machine. In consequence, an optimized geometry of the feeding system is crucial to allow for a minimized pressure drop inlet-to-outlet of the disk-stack separator.

The energy needed to maintain bowl speed against air / gas friction can be reduced by reducing the housing pressure via e.g. applying vacuum technology. In consequence, the inlet/outlet system needs to be hermetic which perfectly fist to the center-to-center approach

As part of the EU-Project PRODIAS (Processing Diluted Aqueous Solutions) Alfa Laval designed and successfully tested a respective separator geometry.

The presentation will explain the background and the design principles and as well show the results in terms of needed specific energy and separation performance...

Session: L12 - Novel Processes and New Separation Concepts
Day: 15 March 2018
Time: 09:00 - 10:15 h

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