Centrifugal separator (cyclone)
Cyclonic separation is a method of removing particulates from an air, gas or liquid stream, without the use of filters, through vortex separation. Rotational effects and gravity are used to separate mixtures of solids and fluids. The method can also be used to separate fine droplets of liquid from a gaseous stream.
Air flows in through a tangential inlet at the top (wide end) of the cyclone at an angle, which creates a spinning vortex. Larger (denser) particles in the rotating stream have too much inertia to follow the tight curve of the stream, and strike the outside wall, then fall to the bottom of the cyclone where they can be removed. In a conical system, as the rotating flow moves towards the narrow end of the cyclone, the rotational radius of the stream is reduced, thus separating smaller and smaller particles.
Centrifugal separators have many advantages:
- simple construction
- lack of moving parts (except from cyclones with turbines)
- ability to work in high temperature and high pressure conditions
- low operating costs
- uncomplicated operation
- high dedusting efficiency
- ability to work in conditions of very big streams
- ability to be cleaned in place
See also: Inertial classifier