Choosing a centrifuge for your industrial processing plant or laboratory isn’t an easy decision to make. A wide variety of liquid-processing centrifuges are available on the market; each type designed for a specific processing task. A wrong choice can lead to less-than-desirable results, i.e. a cake that’s not dry enough or a solution that’s not pure enough.
The key to avoiding unfavourable results is choosing a centrifuge that’s designed for your applicant.
For example, oil refineries require precision from their centrifuges. Most refineries meet exacting liquids-solids content ratios. Using the wrong centrifuge for this type of application would produce dirtier fuels. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that refineries choose the right type of machine.
Selecting a Centrifuge: Factors to Consider
As you begin to research centrifugation choices, a few factors will help you narrow your options. Start by determining:
- Process parameters
- Processing time
- Washing efficiency
- Purity targets
- Cake dryness targets
- Amount of solid removed from liquid
Not all of these goals might apply, but having an idea of your process and goals is essential for starting. For example, if you require a faster processing time, a slow-spinning centrifuge won’t likely serve your purpose. Alternatively, if you need a drier cake solid, a slower centrifugal speed might serve you well.
Additional Centrifugation Considerations
1. Determine RPMs
Ultimately, the spinning speed of the centrifuge is a paramount concern. A slower-spinning centrifuge, for example, might be useful for dewatering processes, while a high-speed spinning centrifuge is necessary for laboratory DNA processing. The speed of your centrifuge – defined in RPM or G-force – is something that you must determine first.
Is your centrifuge adjustable? Can you swap out rotors for a different application? If you use your centrifuge for multiple applications, be sure that the rotor can be changed to accommodate a different process. Additionally, be sure that the machine is capable of handling different processes, for example both liquid-to-liquid and liquid-to-solid extractions.
How much space does the centrifuge take up? In industrial applications, with a lot of extra space, the size of the machine might not be important. But in laboratory settings, you should consider how much space you will need to accommodate the machine.
4. How Much Volume
Are you processing a lot of liquid each day? If so, you don’t want to limit yourself with a smaller centrifuge. If you need to process multiple batches each day, a continuous, large-volume centrifuge is the best option.
Finally, it’s important to choose a machine that your employees can use effectively. Some centrifuges are all-digital, while others are all-mechanical; some types are in the middle. What type does your process require?
Purchasing a centrifuge is a difficult task. There are so many options on the market, each designed to accommodate a different type of task. With such a wide array of options, it’s important that you choose the right type for your application.
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