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Industrial scale mesofluidic particle separation
Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification  (IF4.237),  Pub Date : 2022-01-13, DOI: 10.1016/j.cep.2022.108795
Leonard F. Pease, Nathan R. Philips, Jason Serkowski, Timothy G. Veldman, Michael J. Minette, Carolyn A. Burns

Here we explore the potential of a mesofluidic separator that fits within industrial piping to remove large aspherical particles out of an abrasive slurry at fast flowrates. Mesofluidic separators have demonstrated separation of spherical particles at flowrates of ∼1 gpm (6.10−5 m3/s). Yet, the performance of these separators at flowrates achievable within industrial piping has not been explored. Here we evaluate the exiting flowrate split, large particle mass fraction, and pressure drop observed in a mesofluidic separator operating in a three-inch (0.076 m) tube carrying an abrasive and modestly non-spherical slurry at flows ranging from 35 to 100 gpm (0.0022–0.0063 m3/s). We find the flow through the separator and pressure drop both increase with flowrate, though the pressure drop remains modest. Only two feet (0.6 m) of inserts removed 97.6 ± 2.1% of large particles for conditions tested. Separation was demonstrated in both vertical and horizontal orientations with the horizontal orientation benefiting marginally from gravitational settling.