A hydrocyclone (often referred to by the shortened form cyclone) is a device to classify, separate or sort particles in a liquid suspension based on the ratio of their centripetal force to fluid resistance. This ratio is high for dense (where separation by density is required) and coarse (where separation by size is required) particles, and low for light and fine particles. Hydrocyclones also find application in the separation of liquids of different densities.

The fluid is feed into the cyclone under pressure from a feed pump. The velocity of the influent causes the particles to rotate rapidly into the inlet head of the cyclone. The liquid phase, and lighter solids spiral inward and upward for discharge through the liquid outlet. The heavy and coarse solids and the liquid film around the particles spiral to the outside and down the cone sections and out the discharge. Cyclones materials, sizes and the number of cyclones in a radial or inline system can vary depending on the feed pressure, particle size distribution and capacity.     HYDROCYCLONE 2

Desanding Hydrocyclones

A desanding hydrocyclone uses the rapid increase in rotational velocity to create centrifugal acceleration of the fluid. This forces the solids towards the outside of the hydrocyclone liner, before they are dropped into the vessel, where they are accumulated.

Solids that have been separated by the desanding cyclone are accumulated in either an integral sand accumulator section or a separate accumulator vessel for higher pressure systems. Discharge of solids from the accumulator can be manual or automatic to suit your application needs.

Whether you are removing solids from wellhead production fluids to protect downstream equipment or treating produced water for discharge or re-injection, supplied desanding hydrocyclones by our partners use the latest technology to meet the most diverse of requirements.

Throughput, pressure drop, reliability and the efficiency of solids removal are all important factors when specifying a hydrocyclone. supplied desanding hydrocyclones by our partners are designed to tolerate higher pressure drops and pass higher flow rates to bring highly efficient solids removal – all in the most compact of vessels. 

 Desanding Hydrocyclones

Deoiling Hydrocyclones

Produced water is channeled into the hydrocyclone head tangentially to the wall. The multiple tangential inlet design combined with a tapering internal geometry creates an accelerating vortex in the fluid as it flows through the liner. Because of the difference in density between the oil and water, the induced centrifugal force pushes the oil into a central core. Careful differential pressure control is used to remove the oily core in a countercurrent flow. 

Deoiling Hydrocyclones1
 Deoiling Hydrocyclones2

Hydrocyclone Applications:



Hydrocyclones effectively remove weld balls, urethane sealer, steel particles, sand, glass, and any other solids and debris from cleaning tanks in automotive paint systems.

A major automotive manufacturer all over the world use hydrocyclones to reduce the number of weld balls in the e-coat process. In addition, hydrocyclones can be used for the topcoat application which leads to a substantial reduction in Starburst defects at spill out. The more efficient the cleaning process the more improved paint adhesion and improved corrosion performance.

Wet Flue Gas Desulfurization Scrubbers

Hydrocyclones are used to classify limestone ball mill discharge in the reagent preparation area of wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) scrubbers in coal fired power plants. Hydrocyclone underflow is returned to the mill for further grinding. Hydrocyclones overflow reports to reagent storage, from which it is pumped through spray nozzles into the scrubber. In the forced oxidation process, the limestone reagent reacts with absorbed SO2 from the boiler exhaust, forming gypsum as a byproduct. Gypsum slurry from the absorber is pumped to hydrocyclones to be dewatered from about 15-20% solids by weight to approximately 50% solids by weight. This thickened slurry feeds a vacuum filter to produce a filter cake that is used as commercial grade wallboard gypsum or sent to a landfill. Additionally, smaller diameter secondary hydrocyclones process the primary gypsum dewatering hydrocyclone overflow. The secondary overflow is a chloride/inert fines purge stream that is treated in a waste water plant to maintain the fines and chloride levels in the process.

Oil Refinery

Solids from Water:

 •  Waste water grit removal and clean-up
 •  Coke fines removal from cutting water and calciners
 •  Intake water and fire suppression water systems
 •  Solids removal from desalter water system

Solids from a Hydrocarbon Stream:

 •  Catalyst removal
 •  Wash sands from tank residues
 •  Refinery amine system to separate solids, metals, and coke fines
 •  Hydrocracker and fluid unit feed to separate coke fines from HGO/LGO product streams

Oil and Hydrocarbons from Water:

 •  Waste water clean-up
 •  Hydrocarbon recovery
 •  Oil removal from desalter brine
 •  Dewater amine
 •  Coke blowdown / sour water treatment
 •  Treat feed to sour water stripper

Sewage/Waste Water Treatment

Solid debris such as sand, rocks, glass, pencils, bottle caps, and other debris found in the sewage plant feed cause abrasive wear on process equipment and can damage and adversely affect the operation of the digester. Deposited inorganic material causes loss of digester capacity and will eventually result in a complete plant shutdown for cleaning and renovation.

Hydro cyclones are used for superior separation and worry-free operation to remove solids from raw sewage and are less expensive than gravity based sedimentation systems. The cost savings are amplified when accounting for total installed costs versus gravity systems.

Quench Water Treatment

Hydro cyclones are a highly efficient cost effective device for removing mill scale from quench water in metal forming plants such as steel, aluminum, brass and copper mills.

With the solids removed, the water can be reused and downstream equipment such as valves , pumps, nozzles and other process equipment are protected from abrasive wear. Effective removal of the solids increases plant efficiency, lowers maintenance costs and reduces downtime. Cyclones have a high capacity and take up much less space than clarifiers or filters.

Food Industry

Hydrocyclones are used in a wide range of applications in the food industry. Their primary use is for protecting downstream processing equipment and reducing contaminants in food. They are also used to remove solids from wash water so that the water can be reused and or lower waste and water disposal costs. The cyclones are a high efficiency separator that remove sand and grit. The overflow of the cyclone is usually the cleaned product and is recycled back to wash for reuse, and the underflow is the waste solids, grit, dirt and sand.

Plastic Seperation

Hydrocyclones are used to separate floating from sinking plastics and also to remove glass, rocks, metal and other heavy trash from plastics. The plastic is chopped to about 1/4” and fed to the cyclones at 2% to 4% solids by weight.

Plant Intake Water Process

Hydrocyclones are commonly used to remove sand from well water, rivers, lakes or the ocean. Removing the sand prior to filtration and settlers reduces maintenance and chemical usage in downstream equipment. Materials of construction can vary from carbon steel with gum rubber lining, and urethane to different grades of stainless steel based on ASME code, Section VIII, Division I requirements.

Gas Scrubber Recycle

Hydrocyclones can be used for removing solids from scrubber effluent. By separating the solids, the liquid can be sent to the spray nozzles in the scrubber. The removal of the solids prevents the nozzles from plugging and reduces wear on the nozzles. The piping for the spray nozzles also is protected.


Krebs Cyclones have been used to remove glass shot from rock wool fibers and glass fibers. The shot is beads of rock or glass that form when the fibers are being spun. By removing the shot, the quality of the fiber material is improved.

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