Automation of particle classification in a tubular centrifuge based on a dynamic short-cut process model

T. Sinn*, M. Gleiß, H. Nirschl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

The process industry is currently facing multiple challenges. The incessantly growing request for sustainability increases the demand in both resource-efficient processes and optimal exploitation of the potential production plants offer. Conventional practices in plant operation usually do not satisfy this demand, following procedures based on previous experience. These are not flexible and detailed enough to sufficiently cover changing process behavior and thus, do not yet lead to operation at the efficiency optimum. At the same time, the focus also lies on product quality. Specific properties are supposed to be achieved within narrow tolerances. This reinforces the need for accurate operational settings.

Regarding the domain of centrifugation, these challenges are equally relevant. Power and material consumption are to be reduced while meeting the demanded product properties by appropriate operation.

In the case of tubular centrifuges, an additional challenge arises with the inevitably semi-continuous mode of operation. During the separation process, material separated from the injected slurry accumulates at the inner surface and builds up a sediment. With increasing sediment height, separation efficiency generally decreases whilst operational settings remain unaltered. The properties of the product – the particle size distribution at the outlet, in this case – permanently change, accordingly. It is thus necessary to develop a sensible control strategy, which is able to cope with the complex and time-dependent behavior of the apparatus.

This work shows a new approach to controlling a tubular centrifuge based on a short-cut process model in order to achieve a desired particle classification throughout the entire time span of an operating cycle...

Session: L4 - Wet Particle Fractionation
Day: 22 October 2019
Time: 16:45 - 18:00 h

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