Hydrocyclone Separation Efficiency

The separation efficiency of a hydrocyclone under a particular set of running conditions can be described in terms of the "heavies" concentration in the "lights" outflow as a percentage of the "heavies" loading in the total inflow.

For example:

"Heavies" loading in inflow = 2.4%
"Heavies" loading in "lights" outflow = 0.2%

Separation efficiency = 100% x (2.4 - 0.2) / 2.4 = 91.7%

Volumetric percentage separation calculations (%v/v) are usually quicker and easier to perform. However, the separation efficiency calculation can also be performed on a mass basis (%w/w).

Changes in hydrocyclone operating conditions can lead to significant changes in separation efficiency. Some of the running conditions that can affect separation efficiency are:

  • Inflow "heavies" concentration
  • Inflow rate
  • Outflow ratio ("heavies" flow vs "lights" flow)
  • Temperature
  • Viscosity