Application of Decanter Centrifuge



A centrifuge is a device, which employs a high rotational speed to separate components of different densities. This becomes relevant in the majority of industrial jobs where solids, liquids and gases are merged into a single mixture and the separation of these different phases is necessary. A decanter centrifuge separates solid materials from liquids in slurry and therefore plays an important role in wastewater treatment, chemical, oil and food processing industries. There are several factors that affect the performance of a decanter centrifuge and some design heuristics to be followed which are dependent upon given applications.

The operating principle of a decanter centrifuge is based on separation via buoyancy. Naturally, a component with a higher density would fall to the bottom of a mixture, while the less dense component would be suspended above it. A decanter centrifuge increases the rate of settling through the use of continuous rotation, producing a force equivalent to between 1000 and 4000 G's. This reduces the settling time of the components by a large magnitude, whereby mixtures previously having to take hours to settle can be settled in a matter of seconds using a decanter centrifuge. This form of separation enables more rapid and controllable results.

The main application of decanter centrifuges is to separate large amounts of solids from liquids on a continuous basis. They are also used to wash and dry various solids in industry, such as polystyrene beads, clarify liquids and concentrate solids. Below table displays various examples of the utilization of decanter centrifuges in various industries.


Industries with corresponding examples that use decanter centrifuges
Industry Examples
Food processing
  • Edible animal fat
  • Plant oils such as olive oil and vegetable oil
  • Wine (clarification)
  • Fruit juice
  • Soy protein
  • Dairy (recovery of lactose, whey fines and cheese fines)
  • Coffee and tea
Petrochemical/oil
  • Refining
  • De-watering
  • Oil well drilling
  • Lubricating oil additives
  • Waste oil stream recycling
Industrial and biological wastewater treatment
Fish processing
  • Fish meal
  • Fish oil
Chemical
  • Herbal medicines
  • Chemical extraction
Mineral processing
  • Bentonite and titanium dioxide manufacturers
  • Kaolin clay and calcium carbonate processing
Organic chemical industry
  • Organic intermediate and end products
Polymer Industry
  • Thermoplastics for example PVC, synthetic rubber and fibres
Inorganic chemical industry
  • Bleaching agents
  • Acids
  • Silica products
  • Fertilizers
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