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Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Hydrocyclone Performance and the Influence of Underflow Pumping Effect Open Access


Other title
design chart
centrifugal separator
underflow pumping
equivalent settling area
energy consumption
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sabbagh, Reza
Supervisor and department
Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)
Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Eisele, Timothy (Chemical Engineering)
Alexandra Komrakova (Mechanical Engineering)
Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)
Kresta, Suzanne (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Centrifugal separators have many applications in industry. Comprehensive information based on performance and ‎energy consumption for a detailed comparison between different types of centrifugal separators is essential to allow ‎design optimization and is the focus of this work.‎ Equivalent settling area factor is typically used to compare and scale up centrifuge separators. A performance chart ‎based on this factor is available in the literature that compares the performance of different centrifuge separators ‎including hydrocyclones. However, the available performance chart for centrifuge separators is problematic in terms ‎of over-predicting the hydrocyclone performance and not being updated for the progresses in the centrifuges ‎technologies. ‎ Predicting the equivalent settling area of the ‎hydrocyclones is important for selection and design of the device. It ‎also allows comparison of hydrocyclones to other separators that work using a similar concept. A mathematical ‎model based on the physics of the separation phenomenon in the reverse flow hydrocyclones is developed to ‎predict the equivalent area factor of the hydrocyclone. A framework for comparing performance with an updated ‎performance chart for four types of centrifugal separators and a comparison with a continuous gravity settling tank ‎is described. A model and chart for performance and energy consumption, which makes it possible to compare ‎different separators, is a key result of this work which extends current available handbooks and guidelines.‎ ‎ Studying the effect of using a pump in the underflow on the operating conditions is another focus of this study. This ‎effect can be used for controlling the device as the underflow of the hydrocyclone is usually adjusted to overcome ‎the variable conditions of the feed flow to achieve a desired performance. It is observed that a pump in the ‎underflow through either back pressure or by pump suction allows simulating the function of underflow variable ‎pipe size or valves to control the flow rate. An empirical correlation is developed in this research for the effect of ‎underflow pumping that can be used to predict the pumping influence on the hydrocyclone operating variables and ‎for controlling the hydrocyclone performance.‎
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
R. Sabbagh, M. G. Lipsett, C. R. Koch, D. S. Nobes. Hydrocyclone Performance and Energy Consumption Prediction: A Comparison with Other Centrifugal Separators, Separation Science and Technology, 50(6):788-801, 2015R. Sabbagh, M. G. Lipsett, C. R. Koch, D. S. Nobes. Theoretical and experimental study of hydrocyclone performance and equivalent settling area, In Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Congress and Exposition IMECE2014, ASME, Montreal, Canada, Montreal, Canada, 2014. ASMER. Sabbagh, M. G. Lipsett, C. R. Koch, D. S. Nobes. A mathematical model of equivalent settling area for predicting ‎hydrocyclone separation performance, In European Conference on Fluid Particle Separation-FPS 2014, pages 61-62, Lyon, France, 2014. Societe Franc¸aise des Separations Fluides-Particles

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