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What is an Industrial Centrifuge?

An industrial centrifuge is a machine used for fluid/particle separation. Centrifuges rely on the use of centrifugal force, generating several hundreds or thousands of times earth’s gravity. The law of physics governing centrifugal separation is known as Stokes Law (see Wikipedia reference “Stokes Law” for more information). Industrial centrifuges are used for separating solids from liquids, liquid-liquid separation, and liquid-liquid-solid separation.

Industrial centrifuges can be classified into two main types: sedimentation and filtering centrifuges. Sedimentation centrifuges use centrifugal force to separate solids from liquids, as well as two liquids with different specific gravities. Sedimentation centrifuges include decanter, disk-stack, solid-bowl basket and tubular bowl centrifuges. Filtering centrifuges use centrifugal force to pass a liquid through a filtration media, such as a screen or cloth while solids are captured by the filtering media.  Filtering centrifuges primarily deal with perforate basket, pusher and peeler centrifuges. These centrifuges are used in a wide variety of process industries which can be divided into several categories:

♦ Wastewater processing deals with separation of municipal, farm, DAF (dissolved air flotation), trap grease, drilling mud, and environmental wastewater sludges.

♦ Chemical processing which produces raw products such as acids, salts, oil refinery by-products, polymers, oil-water-solids, and so on.

♦ Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries that manufacture drugs, vaccines, medicines, penicillin, mycelia, E-coli bacteria, algae, enzymatic waste, etc.

♦ Fuel and Biofuel industry including synthetic fuels, biodiesel, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, algae biomass dewatering; fuel and lube oil purification, etc.

♦ Food Processing which deals with refining of vegetable oils, dairy (milk, cheese, etc.); poultry, swine and beef rendering; yellow, white, and brown grease separation; fruit and vegetable juice; beer, wine and liquor clarification, etc.

♦ Mining and mineral processing including coal, tar sands, copper, precious metals, calcium carbonate, kaolin clay, and many more.

It is estimated there are approximately 200 specific applications industrial centrifuges are used for. Centrifuges are not a “one size fits all” type of machine, with every centrifuge originally manufactured by the OEM for a specific application to be used in. Centrifuges are not mass produced like pumps, motors, cars, refrigerators, etc., hence the cost associated with purchase of a centrifuge are normally higher when compared to other types of process equipment.

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