The chemical processing industries (CPI) are frequently confronted with the challenge of removing a mother liquor from a process slurry. The phase in which the valuable component resides determines the type of equipment necessary for the separation process.
Typically after the initial mixing reactions, a bulk separation process removes the easy-to-separate, large, course product solids (greater than 5 μm), as well as any unwanted solids. As processes have become more sophisticated and quality requirements have increased, manufactures have looked to methods for removing more difficult to separate residuals. These fine particles are typically between 1 and 5 μm, but can be even smaller, and are at very low concentrations (on the parts-per-million scale).
This article provides a brief overview of coarse separation equipment. It then discusses in detail, clarification technologies that remove and recover small particle fines. To conclude, a review of installations in the chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and bioenergy industries provide engineers with examples of how to evaluate process filtration problems and solutions.