- Numerically Optimized Cyclone


Hurricanes are optimized cyclone collectors, considering how interparticle agglomeration affects particle collection efficiency. The Traditional Approach: Since the first patent was issued in 1886, cyclones have been generally designed and improved by empirical means. Building a reliable efficiency prediction method is very difficult due to the modeling complexity, since these pieces of equipment handle multiphase and highly turbulent flows, and because there is an overwhelming number of prototypes that have to be built in order to confirm the effect of changing dimension ratios on cyclone performance. Fact is that the efficiency of general cyclones is insufficient for clients' needs, especially for small particle sizes less than 10 µm.

  • Very high efficiencies: around 50 % of the emissions of other high efficiency cyclones
  • Custom designs (single or parallel arrangement)
  • Low pressure drop: < 100 mm w. g.
  • Direct product discharge avoiding product degradation and cross contamination
  • Break-apart construction for easy cleaning
  • Very smooth surface finishing to meet pharma requirements
  • Materials of construction in 316L stainless steel
  • Absence of condensation with heat tracing systems
  • Clean in Place (CIP) cleaning systems
  • Dimensions: from lab scale to 2000 kg/h N2 or air

Particle Agglomeration in Cyclones

ACS has been investigating particle agglomeration in cyclones for several years. Understanding agglomeration in cyclones has helped ACS build more accurate models of collection efficiency estimation, capable of explaining why sub-micrometer particles are often captured with much higher efficiency than predicted by standard models. Indeed, fine particles tend to form agglomerates (clusters) with much higher collection efficiency than those of the primary particles. Agglomeration increases in the presence of wide particle size distributions, long residence times in the cyclone and high inlet particle concentrations. This knowledge has been incorporated into ACS numerical simulation tool - the PACyc (Particle Agglomeration in Cyclones, Chemical Engineering Journal 162 (2010) 861-876) algorithm. This has been crucial in improving the design of ACS technologies, which have demonstrated to achieve significant reduction in emissions when compared with other high efficiency cyclones.

Optimizing Cyclone's Efficiency
Supported by the PACyc Model, and considering several economical and operation constraints (such as size and pressure loss), with numerical optimization it is possible to generate millions of virtual prototypes within an affordable time period, and to observe the impact of each dimension ratio on the cyclone performance.

Considering this approach as the best path to obtain truly optimized cyclones, sound theories of cyclone collection and pressure loss were chosen for each application, and afterwards improved for predicting collection efficiencies for new geometries. These numerical optimization problems have resulted in many different new lines of cyclones and several patents.

Different Objectives - Different Cyclones
Indeed, different industrial cases have different needs resulting in very different cyclones, for which the optimization functions may be minimizing cost, minimizing space, among others. When high efficiency is required and particles are prone to agglomerate, which includes most of the handled dusts; recent developed Hurricane MK line of cyclones (patent pending) can be a solution to achieve emissions as low as 30mg/Nm3.

The Hurricane MK - The Agglomerator Cyclone
In 2014, a better understanding of agglomeration has allowed ACS to develop a completely new line of cyclone geometries, different from any other in the world: the Hurricane MK. It was obtained by combining stochastic numerical optimization with the PACyc model. This represents a giant leap in terms of efficiency for all ACS products, as these collectors can be used in ReCyclone configurations too, as presented ahead.

Hurricane MK cyclones, once adjusted for a particular process, maximize particle agglomeration. For PSDs that favor clustering, as biomass and coal fly ash, emissions can be as low as 30mg/Nm3 (patent pending).

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