How Does An Oil Centrifuge Works?

Centrifugal separators are quite common in industries. They are used to separate unwanted particles from oil, emulsions, biodiesel and other solvents. The basic principle of oil centrifugal separators is the use of centrifugal forces to separate solids and liquids of different densities. Centrifugal force arises from the inertia created by a body moving in a circular path. The force drives objects away from the centre with dense particles moving furthest. Centrifugal forces are affected by the mass of the particles, the radius of the circular path and speed of rotation. The exertion of different centrifugal forces on different materials is the principle that guides centrifugal separation

There are primarily two types of industrial centrifuges: filtration and sedimentation centrifuges. Screen centrifuges or the filtration type have a drum with perforations and a fitted filter; filter cloth, lot screen or wire mesh. The suspension flows through the filter and the perforated drum leaving solid materials restrained outside the drum. The cake (solid particles is then removed manually or periodically to clear the surface for more filtrates. Modern filtration centrifuges run automatic clearance systems that minimize interruptions. 

Sedimentation centrifuges are used in the purification of suspensions. They accelerate the natural deposition process using centrifugal forces. The conical plate centrifuge is particularly useful in the oil and gas industry. It removes water, solids and salts from fuel to yield high purity liquid oil. Inversely the centrifuge is also useful in treating water by removing oil contaminants. According to the law, the separation ought to be done before discharging water back to the sea. The centrifuge also serves in oil production by separating the fuel from impurities during the processing stage. Disc stack centrifuge separates fuel from methanol and converts oils from raw materials into diesel fuel. These functions are important in the production of biodiesel.

Modern oil centrifuges have unique properties that enhance efficiency. Capacity drives how much oil can be separated within a given period of time. Low bowl capacities accumulated sediments quickly within the system and cause numerous interruptions to clear out the separated cake. Modern large capacity units allow long hours of operation. Since accumulation takes time, interruptions are kept to a minimum. The IC-45M is a solid bowl centrifuge with a holding capacity of 3 litres. It runs a manual cleaning system that requires the cessation of the separation process to allow clearance of solid deposits. However, the large capacity minimizes interruptions and improves overall efficiency.

Some oil centrifuges run an automated cleaning system. The IC-45A is a good example. This bowl centrifuge automatically ejects separated solids and eliminates interruptions. The centrifuge uses weight detection to trigger the cleaning system. Four load cells fitted in the system track the weight of the sediments and activate the cleaning system when a particular threshold is reached. Lighter weighted solids present a dilemma for the system since they may not yield enough weight difference to activate the cleaning system. This is why a timer is installed to periodically activate the cleaning system. The automated cleaning system saves time and makes oil separation convenient.

When it comes to separation capacity, oil centrifuges can effectively separate contaminants less than 1 micron in size. As a result, the yield is more pure. The processing rate of oil centrifuges is also high. Improved designs have enhanced processing rates and efficiency.  The latest units have processing rates of up to 4800 litres and generate high G forces. The quality of separation is also high. The efficiency of the centrifuges allow separation of large volumes of oil.

There are some additional features that come with most oil centrifuges. VSD controls and flow metering control is fitted on the supply pump. Fault alerts are also installed in the unit and they go a long way in rebooting the system and executing repairs. Vibration sensors ensure the system remains in a balanced state. Since centrifuges operated in a tight-knit environment, the slightest vibration should be addressed. PH dosing systems also assess acid levels. 

Oil centrifuges are efficient units and do a great job in clearing contaminants. There are numerous types in the market and each feature unique properties. Be sure to buy a centrifuge that meets your needs.

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