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Flows in Complex Systems

Analysis and Simulation of a Micro Hydrocyclone Device for Particle Liquid Separation

[+] Author and Article Information
P. Bagdi, P. Bhardwaj

Department of of Mechanical Engineering,  Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati - 781039, India

A. K. Sen1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai - 600036, Indiaashis@iitm.ac.in

1

Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Fluids Eng 134(2), 021105 (Mar 19, 2012) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006020 History: Received July 14, 2011; Revised January 19, 2012; Published March 16, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

This paper presents a three-dimensional simulation of a micro hydrocyclone for the separation of micron sized particles from liquid in a particulated sample. A theoretical analysis is performed to demonstrate the working principle of the micro hydrocyclone and develop design models. The geometry of the proposed device is designed based on the Bradley model, since it offers a lower cut-size, thus making it suitable for microfluidics applications. The operational parameters of the hydrocyclone are derived from a dimensional group model. The particle separation process inside the micro hydrocyclone is simulated by solving fluid flows using Navier-Stokes equations and particle dynamics using the Lagrangian approach in a Eulerean fluid. First, the numerical model is validated by comparing the simulation results with the experimental results for a macroscale hydrocyclone reported in the literature. Then, the micro hydrocyclone is simulated and the simulation results are presented and discussed in the context of the functioning of the micro hydrocyclone. Finally, the effects of inlet velocity, vortex finder diameter, particle size, and density on the separation efficiency are investigated. The proposed device can be easily integrated with micro-environments; thus, is suitable for lab-on-chip and microsystems development.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

(a) A cross-sectional view of the micro hydrocyclone device, and (b) spiral flow profiles inside a micro hydrocyclone

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Figure 2

Comparison of model predictions with experimental results [42] in terms of separation efficiency vs particle size

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Figure 3

Variation of separation efficiency with number of cells, particle size 10 μm, and velocity 1 m/s

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Figure 4

(a) The velocity contour, and (b) vectors across a horizontal section through the inlet of the micro hydrocyclone

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Figure 5

The (a) velocity contours across a vertical section through the center of the micro hydrocyclone, and (b) development of flow in one half (about vertical axis) of the micro hydrocyclone

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Figure 6

The variation of (a) axial velocity, and (b) pressure along the length of the micro hydrocyclone

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Figure 7

Tracking of (a) flow path lines, and (b) tracking of particles inside the micro hydrocyclone

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Figure 8

The influence of inlet velocity on particle separation efficiency

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Figure 9

Effects of the vortex finder diameter on separation efficiency

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Figure 10

Effects of the particle size on separation efficiency

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Figure 11

Effects of the particle density on separation efficiency

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