The purpose of this invention is the separation of liquid and solid phases of different densities by rotation of a cylinder in order to subject them to centrifugal forces. Centrifugal pumps suffer from and are limited by problems with cavitation, corrosion, impeller wear, lack of prime, leakage, overheating, and surge. These problems are reduced or eliminated in this invention.
Pumps normally require a power source. In this Centrifugal Phase Separator, the only purpose of the power source (motor) is rotation of the cylindrical component. The motor can be placed either above or below the rotating cylinder, depending on the specific application.
This Centrifugal Phase Separator consists of two main components: a self-priming rotating cylinder and an air, electric, hydraulic, solar or wind powered motor. The diameter of the rotating cylinder or it's rotational speed are not critical and are mainly dictated by the density of the phases being separated i.e. liquids of different density and/or solids.
This invention consists of an open ended cylinder rotating about a vertical axis at or near the surface of a body of liquid, see Figure 1. Rotation causes the liquid phases to flow away from the center and toward the inside surface of the cylinder. Liquids with phases of different density are separated while entrained solids are deposited on the inside of the cylinder. The liquid and solid phases can then be collected as shown in Figures 2 and 3. We have constructed a small prototype to demonstrate this invention. The enclosed Figures and the Video demonstrate how this Centrifugal Phase Separator works.
Examples of some applications for separating a variety of liquid and entrained solids include spilled oil slick recovery; tramp plastic and solids removal; sanitation plant sludge removal; ore recovery in extractive metallurgy; separation of oil, water and solid phases; solvent recovery in dry cleaning; separation of oil, caustic liquid and solids in metal cleaning; diesel and gasoline refining; cooking oil purification; electroplating; electrorefining sludge separation and aquarium liquid solid separation.
In this invention no separate pump is required. This simplification reduces the cost of liquid and solid phase separation and can reduce the investment required when compared to current separation practices.