How does the centrifugation work?

Separator working principle

The collected solids run off via a separate drain (solids discharge). There are plate separators with self-cleaning drums (continuous separators) and manual separators. In separators with a self-cleaning drum, the drum has an opening mechanism through which the separated solids are discharged at regular intervals (6). In this case, the drum consists of the drum base, in which the hydraulic emptying mechanism is located, and the drum cover.

With the help of the hydraulic emptying mechanism, the separator opens at the outermost area of ​​the centrifuge housing, where the solids collect. After the solid phase has drained off, the separator closes again. This happens in a few tenths of a second.


The separator is typically driven by a ribbed V-belt or a flat belt drive. This depends on the size of the separator. The drive motor is controlled by means of a frequency converter.

Application areas of separator technology

Separators are predestined for separation tasks where a high degree of separation is required or where the separation of the finest particles is important. They are also used to separate solid-liquid mixtures with a small difference in density. The possible applications for disc separators are diverse and can be found in a wide variety of industries, including:

  • in the food and beverage sector
  • in the fat and oil processing industry
  • in chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology
  • in the petroleum industry and power generation
  • in environmental protection

Separators are mainly used for three different separation processes:

  • As a clarifier / clarifier for clarifying liquids. Clarifying is the separation of finely divided solid particles from a liquid. The separator is used for mixtures with a low solids content. If the mixture to be clarified contains a large amount of solids, the decanter is the right choice. Clarifying turbidity from fruit juice is a typical application example for a separator.
  • As a purifier / separator for separating liquids. Separation is the separation of a liquid with a lower density from a liquid with a higher density. An example of the use of a separator is the separation of water droplets from mineral oil. Solids can be separated at the same time.
  • For concentrating liquids. Concentration is the separation (concentration) of a light liquid from a heavy liquid. An example is the extraction of essential oil from water with the help of the separator. The simultaneous separation of solids is possible.




Food and Bioprocess Engineering, H.G. Kessler