How to Select Cyclone Separators     Image Credit: Koger Air Corporation, Aget Manufacturing Company, Ecologix Environmental Systems   Cyclone separators utilize gravity and a vortex to remove particulates from gaseous streams. Industrial cyclones are used in pollution control applications most commonly as a first stage, lower cost method for removing larger particulate matter (PM) from effluent gas streams. Because cyclone separators do not incorporate filter media or...
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Q & A on Cyclone Separators

We asked our users for their input on Cyclone Separators. Here are the results of 92 users familiar with Cyclone Separators.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing cyclone separator design?
14 answers
Answers:
Applications are becoming more difficult with automation and faster production speeds - units needs to be more efficient and require less maint.
~Jeff Hill, Manufacturer, Cortland, NE
Rather than new technologies, the trend is to treat larger quantities per unit equipment without forfeiting efficiency.
~Engineering, Consulting, Perth, Australia
Investment casting, separation techniques, aerodynamics, gas dynamics, fluid flow, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis.
~Suhaib A, Rotating Equipment Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative cyclone separators?
14 answers
Answers:
AirEx, Torit, Sternvent, AirLanco
~Jeff Hill, Manufacturer, Cortland, NE
The best separator I have seen in the last 10 years is not a cyclone type separator, it is the Micro Rotary Screener built by Product Engineered Systems.
~Kenny O, Engineer, Richmond, VA
Donaldson
~Paul S, Plant Engineer, Cloquet, MN
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used a cyclone separator for?
27 answers
Answers:
Mining Application ( Hg Scrubbers ), PetroChemical Applications (Off Shore HP Separators and Ethylene Compressor Train Separators ), etc....
~Marketing/Sales, Sparta, NJ
Coal preparation (relative density separator) and in mineral sands concentrators (desliming and water recovery applications).
~Dennis Riley, Process Engineer, Melbourne, Australia
I was heavily involved in designing, producing, and erected Turn Key Paint Finishing Systems. In several systems, using Powder Painting, I designed and produced the powder paint dust collectors as an alternative to more expensive Brand Name collectors in the Industry.
~Engineering, Consulting, Somerset, NJ
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that a cyclone separator has been used for.
4 answers
Answers:
Very high temperature applications White slag recovery Nanoparticles
~Romualdo Salcedo, CTO at Advanced Cyclone Systems, Porto, Portugal
Deaeration, liquid/liquid separation, solid/liquid separation
~Suhaib A, Rotating Equipment Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In my experience, most of the non-standard applications work marginally, at best, with a cyclone separator.
~Darrel P, Design Engineer, Fredericton, Canada

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of a cyclone separator?
6 answers
Answers:
If a product has a light density combined with an inefficient design, material could discharge through the suction side of cyclone.
~Kenny O, Engineer, Richmond, VA
Used too infrequently, sand bridges and never reaches the cyclones. Using them too often is never an issue.
~Bill B, Engineering Consultant, Tulsa, OK
Severe abrasion due to wrong materials of construction.
~Romualdo Salcedo, CTO at Advanced Cyclone Systems, Porto, Portugal

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
11 answers
Answers:
Compliant material, high level of separation, efficient disposal, easy maintenance, durability, can cope with sour service.
~Suhaib A, Rotating Equipment Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Minute restriction on airflow with high efficient micron particle separation at a low cost.
~Darrel P, Design Engineer, Fredericton, Canada
An effective water injection method to aid in sharper and/or coarser size separation.
~Dennis Riley, Process Engineer, Melbourne, Australia
75-80 PSIG inlet with 40-50 PSIG outlet pressures with removal down to 5-10 microns.
~Bill B, Engineering Consultant, Tulsa, OK
High airflow, heavy duty construction for long life.
~Paul S, Plant Engineer, Cloquet, MN
Fulfill separation requirements No maintenance
~Romualdo Salcedo, CTO at Advanced Cyclone Systems, Porto, Portugal
Separation of two phases with close density.
~MURGU O, General Management, Bucharest, Romania
Efficiency in removing small particles.
~Al Alkhalidi, Chief scientist, Pittsburgh, Alleganey
A basic selection tool/calculator
~Engineering, Consulting, Perth, Australia
Larger (4"-6") ports
~Mike D, Engineering Consultant, Avon, MN
Media-less
~Marketing/Sales, Sparta, NJ

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of a cyclone separator?
8 answers
Answers:
Many times a cyclone is purchased based on price only. One should look at weight of the product (the heavier the better) when choosing a cyclone versus some other separation device.
~Kenny O, Engineer, Richmond, VA
Don't try to operate these at below the design working pressure ... they fail miserably under lower pressure conditions.
~Bill B, Engineering Consultant, Tulsa, OK
Cyclone usually supplied as package. So make sure that the over function of the package matches requirement. Do not ask for separation of up to (say) 1 micron if it is not needed!
~Suhaib A, Rotating Equipment Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Do not try to design yourself, unless you are an experienced cyclone designer. Cyclones are deceptively simple to design, but most fail to perform as expected due to a poor understanding of the underlying phenomena.
~Romualdo Salcedo, CTO at Advanced Cyclone Systems, Porto, Portugal
Effective communication with the supplier to make sure the the cyclone suits the application.
~Dennis Riley, Process Engineer, Melbourne, Australia
Shop around and do your research.
~Paul S, Plant Engineer, Cloquet, MN
Consider the producer's advice.
~MURGU O, General Management, Bucharest, Romania
Do a simulation.
~Al Alkhalidi, Chief scientist, Pittsburgh, Alleganey

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using cyclone separators?
8 answers
Answers:
Be very careful of claims that cannot be proven. Have a cyclone separator properly sized for your specific airflow, cut size and product and do not believe that one separator can handle a large variety of airflow rates.
~Darrel P, Design Engineer, Fredericton, Canada
Look at the abrasiveness of the product you are separating, versus the construction material of the separator.
~Kenny O, Engineer, Richmond, VA
Just be specific of what you are trying to separate, and the size of separation.
~Suhaib A, Rotating Equipment Engineer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
To be prudent ; if possible – make separation test before buying.
~MURGU O, General Management, Bucharest, Romania
Ask for guarantees on collection efficiency.
~Romualdo Salcedo, CTO at Advanced Cyclone Systems, Porto, Portugal
Shop around and do your research.
~Paul S, Plant Engineer, Cloquet, MN
Get the guarantee in writing.
~Bill B, Engineering Consultant, Tulsa, OK
Do a simulation first.
~Al Alkhalidi, Chief scientist, Pittsburgh, Alleganey


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