The Ubiquitous Hydrocyclone Separator: Theory and Practice

Originally delivered Feb 10, 2009
Developed by: AIChE
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The hydrocyclone separator, which was invented in 1891 (see E. Bretney, “Water Purifier”, U.S. Patent 453,105) is widely used in process engineering as a classifier, a clarifier, or a thickener. The continuous phase is a liquid and the dispersed phase may be a solid, a gas, or an immiscible fluid. The shape of a hydrocyclone controls the internal secondary flows within the separator and, thereby, depends on the specific application. If you are curious about how this “KISS” technology works and would like to know how this idea has been used over the past 100+ years, then please join us in an AIChE Webinar conversation related to this interesting and noteworthy unit operation.


Dr. Charles A. Petty

Dr. Charles A. Petty is a member of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University and is presently the Director of the NSF Center for Multiphase Transport Phenomena. In 1966, Professor Petty received a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida. He completed his PhD studies in 1970 at Florida and joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware as an Assistant Professor. While at Delaware, he participated in a fluidized bed coal combustion program at the Argonne National Laboratory as an NSF Summer...Read more

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