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

  • Author / Creator
    Sabbagh, Reza
  • 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.‎

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Z31NT7Z
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Eisele, Timothy (Chemical Engineering)
    • Alexandra Komrakova (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Kresta, Suzanne (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)