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Cyclonic separation

  Cyclonic separation is a method of removing particulates from an air (or gas) stream, without the use of filters, through vortex separation. Rotational effects and gravity are used to separate mixtures of solids and fluids.

A high speed rotating air-flow is established within a cylindrical or conical container called a cyclone. Air flows in a spiral pattern, beginning at the top (wide end) of the cyclone and ending at the bottom (narrow) end before exiting the cyclone in a straight stream through the center of the cyclone and out the top. Larger (denser) particles in the rotating air stream have too much inertia to follow the tight curve of the air stream and strike the outside wall, falling then to the bottom of the cyclone where they can be removed. In a conical system, as the rotating air-flow moves towards the narrow end of the cyclone the rotational radius of the air stream is reduced, separating smaller and smaller particles from the air stream. The cyclone geometry, together with air flow rate, defines the cut point of the cyclone. This is the size of particle that will be removed from the air stream with a 50% efficiency. Particles larger than the cut point will be removed with a greater efficiency, and smaller particles with a lower efficiency.

Large scale cyclones are used in saw mills to remove sawdust from extracted air. Cyclones are also used in oil refineries to separate oils and gases, and in the cement industry as components of kiln preheaters.

James Dyson's popular bagless dual and root cyclone vacuum cleaners employ a cyclonic technique.

Smaller cyclones are used to separate airborne particles for analysis. Some are small enough to be worn clipped to clothing and are used to separate respirable particles for later analysis.

Analogous devices for separating particles or solids from liquids are called hydrocyclones or hydroclones.

They may also be used to separate solid wastes in wastewater treatment.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cyclonic_separation". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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