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Introduction

The hydrocyclone is very important in the separation industry. It is popular due to its simplicity in

design and effective operation. It was required that an investigation into the operation and design of the hydrocyclone was performed. The necessary information that was obtained included the theoretical background of the hydrocyclone as well as to how it should be designed. The hydrocyclone uses centrifugal forces as a separation mechanism and during the separation process;

it produces an overflow and underflow stream. A mass and energy balance was required for a

hydrocyclone system so that it can be seen how the system works in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in separation. Also it was necessary so that the control and safety factors of the system can be implemented. The design of the system was undertaken to obtain the ranges and capacities of the hydrocyclone. It can be seen that from the research and calculations preformed,

the hydrocyclone is reliable for separation of substances.

Hydrocyclone Theory:

Description

A hydrocyclone is a simple mechanical machine which contains no moving parts and uses centrifugal

forces to separate substances. It promotes separation of heavy components from light components.

It is also known as a static device. It is most popular in separating solid particles from liquid but it

can also be used for liquid-liquid separation and solid classification. However, it is not as effective

during liquid-liquid separation as it is for solid-liquid separation.

It is a closed vessel which consists of a cone body which is

also known as a vertical cylinder. It has a vortex finder, orifice and an air core. The centrifugal force is induced by the feed flow entering tangentially into the hydrocyclone.

The centrifugal force generated by the hydrocyclone is mild. The feed flow usually consists of a slurry with small particles. It is then divided into heavier and lighter particles. The heavier parts are discharged out the bottom which is known as underflow, while the lighter

and lighter particles. The heavier parts are discharged out the bottom which is known as underflow,

particles discharge via the top of the hydrocyclone which is known as overflow. The extent of separation depends on the particle size and density (3). The particles are thrown against the wall by centrifugal forces and thereby fall into the outlet hopper.

Figure 1-Hydrocyclone (4)

The dimensions of individual cyclones range from 10mm to 2500mm and flow capacities can range

from 0.1 to 1000

. The particles that are separated could range from 10 to 500 micron. Operating

pressure will vary between 0.2 to 10 bars. The higher pressure is usually for smaller particle separation. The underflow solid concentration will be between 40 to 60% by volume. It cannot be higher otherwise the flow at the bottom shall be restricted. (1)

The hydrocyclone is the most cost effective method of separating substances (1). It doesn’t require maintenance because it contains no moving parts. It is simple in design and easy in operation. They are excellent tools in reducing the load on the expensive filters and de-emulsification devices. They protect and increase efficiency of other equipment such as the spray nozzles, heat exchanger and pump seals (2).

Industrial uses of the Hydrocyclone

The alumina industry

Pulp and paper

Power plants

Industrial or Municipal wastewater treatment

Effluent treatment

They also form an integral part of the development loop in the following process industry application:

Multiphase Reactor System

Fluidized Solid/Liquid

Contactor/Reactor System

Liquid/Liquid Extraction System

Limitation of the Hydrocyclone

They do not work of all separations.

They do not achieve perfect or complete separation.

There will be some heavy substances in the overflow and even some light substances in the

under flow.

They cannot handle variable flow rates because it causes the spin in the hydrocyclone to

vary. This means that if it is used in a process, the flow rate entering the hydrocyclone

should always be the same.

Material Balance Hydrocyclone

The circuit below shows the output from the Ball Mill and a Rod Mill going to a hydrocyclone with 2 products i.e. the underflow and overflow. The underflow product is recirculated to a ball mall to be further ground. The initial hydrocyclone slurry density is 1140 kg/m 3 and is sent for separation. It produces an underflow slurry density of 1290 kg/m 3 and an overflow slurry density of 1030 kg/m 3 . The density of the dry solid is 3000 kg/m 3 . It takes 4 seconds for 3 litres of sample to reach underflow.

Flow Diagram:

for 3 litres of sample to reach underflow. Flow Diagram: ROD MILL SOLIDS M S R

ROD MILL

SOLIDS

M SR = 163.96 kg/hr

Flow Diagram: ROD MILL SOLIDS M S R = 163.96 kg/hr M TB = 3488.18 kg/hr
M TB = 3488.18 kg/hr HYDROCYCLONE BALL MILL
M TB = 3488.18 kg/hr
HYDROCYCLONE
BALL MILL
= 163.96 kg/hr M TB = 3488.18 kg/hr HYDROCYCLONE BALL MILL M T R = 3779.5

M TR = 3779.5 kg/hr

M WR = 3615.54kg/hr

M T = 3779.5 kg/hr

kg/hr M W R = 3615.54kg/hr M T = 3779.5 kg/hr CONCENTRATION OF MINERAL UNDERFLOW OVERFLOW

CONCENTRATION

OF MINERAL

UNDERFLOW

OVERFLOW

M T = 3779.5 kg/hr CONCENTRATION OF MINERAL UNDERFLOW OVERFLOW MUF T =3488.18 kg/hr MOF T

MUF T =3488.18 kg/hr

MOF T =3779.5 kg/hr

Percentage Solids in Feed:

Similarly:

and

Dilution Ratio:

Similarly:

and

Solids Flow rate for the UF:

By using the water balance:

Hence the solids balance:

Hence:

;

Using Dilution Ratios:

Hence Total Flows are:

Recirculation Ratio

and

Energy Losses Hydrocyclone

The balance for a cyclone without a pump is given by:

The following assumptions where made:

Level difference is negligible compared to other terms,

Kinetic energy of the exiting stream is negligible

Hence

Now from calculation of each term:

Choosing and the fluid inlet velocity calculated under design section. The second term is calculated as 17.61.

Therefore

The rate of mechanical energy that is lost from the system is given b the following equation:

Hence

These losses are made up by a pump in order to maintain flow through the system.

Design of a Hydrocyclone:

A hydrocyclone uses centrifugal forces to separate the solids from the liquids or one liquid from another liquid. A centrifugal force (vortex motion) is produced by the liquid flow. When designing a hydrocyclone, it is important to note the following:

The operating conditions i.e. the flow rate of the inlet stream as well as the bulk density of this stream and viscosity

The particle size of solids

The d 50 or cut size and/or the efficiency of the cyclone

Sizing of the hydrocyclone

There are many different methods that have been provided by engineers that are experts in this field. The design method that was used for this assignment was given by Zanker (1977). Zanker’s method is used as a preliminary design method using charts and equations. This method is highlighted in Chemical Engineering Design, 4 th edition (Coulson 1993).

The diagram below was used to calculate the cut size of the hydrocyclone. Particles of 100μm were used as the particle size of the design. The cyclone efficiency was calculated as shown:

Using the chosen particle size (100µm) and the efficiency that was calculated above, the d 50 was found to be 71µm.

The equation below was used to calculate the chamber diameter of the hyrdocyclone and all other dimensions of the hydrocyclone are ratios of the chamber diameter.

(Coulson 1993)

Where:

d 50 particle size (µm)

D c diameter of the cyclone chamber (cm)

µ - viscosity of liquid (centipoise, mN.s/m 2 )

L Feed flow rate (l/min)

ρ s density of solid (g/cm 3 ) ρ L density of liquid (g/cm 3 )

ρ s – density of solid (g/cm 3 ) ρ L – density of liquid (g/cm

Hence,

, by substitution

and

The inlet velocity of the fluid can be calculated as follows:

Summary of the design

DIMENSIONS

   

Hydrocyclone diameter

0.204

m

Inlet pipe diameter

0.029

m

Overflow pipe diameter

0.041

m

Underflow pipe diameter

0.020

m

Wall thickness

3

mm

Inlet velocity of fluid u in *

2.68

m

All other dimensions of the hydrocyclone are ratios of the chamber diameter. All dimensions are in mm and are represented in the sketches below.

are in mm and are represented in the sketches below. Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a
are in mm and are represented in the sketches below. Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a
are in mm and are represented in the sketches below. Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a
are in mm and are represented in the sketches below. Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a
are in mm and are represented in the sketches below. Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a

Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a hydrocyclone

sketches below. Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a hydrocyclone Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a hydrocyclone

Figure 2: Dimension ratios of a hydrocyclone (Coulson 1993)

Materials of construction:

The chosen material for this design in stainless steel. Stainless steel is suitable because:

It is suitable to be used in hot and cold conditions

It has a high tensile strength (>540 N/mm 2 ) (Coulson 1993).

It is less susceptible to corrosion

It does not crack easily.

Although stainless steel is more expensive than most other materials, it requires less maintenance so the cost balances out on a long term basis.

Mild steel can be used but it does not have a high tensile strength and since cyclones are high pressure and high velocity vessels, a material with higher strength is more suitable.

To prevent damage to the steel wall, a lining can be placed on the inside of the wall of the cyclone. Rubber can be used to line the cyclone. The only disadvantage of having a lining in a hydrocyclone is that it requires constant inspection and maintenance and the lining can break off and disturb the separation process.

Bibliography

Coulson, J.M., Richardson, J.F. and Sinnott R.K. Chemical Engineering(Design). Vol. 6. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 1993.

L, Svarovsky. Solid-Liquid Separation. 4th Edition. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000.

REFERENCES

1. http://www.mamko.com/hydrocyclone.html MAMKO DESIGN AND ENGINEERING (1)

3. Coulson J.M, Richardson J.F, Chemical engineering design, volume six, 2003.

5. http://www.hydrocyclone.com/faq.htm