Standard Article


  1. Enrique Ortega-Rivas

Published Online: 15 JUL 2007

DOI: 10.1002/14356007.c13_c02.pub2

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

How to Cite

Ortega-Rivas, E. 2007. Hydrocyclones. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Food and Chemical Engineering Program, Autonomous University of Chihuahua; University Campus I, Chihuahua, Chih., 31170, Mexico

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2007

Chemistry Terms

Choose one or more boxes to highlight terms.


1.1General Remarks
1.2Principle of Operation
2.Categories and Applications
2.4Other Applications
3.Theoretical Background
3.1Simultaneous Flow of Fluids and Solids
3.1.1Dynamics of Particles Submerged in Fluids
3.1.3Rheology of Suspensions
3.1.4Flow of Suspension
3.2Flow Patterns in Hydrocylones
3.3Mechanics of Particle Separation
3.3.1Equilibrium-Orbit Theory
3.3.2Residence-Time Theory
3.3.3Crowding Theory
3.3.4Turbulent two-phase Flow Theory
3.4Characteristics of Performance of Hydrocylones
3.4.1Separation Efficiency. Cut Size
3.4.2Capacity. Pressure Drop
4.Effect of Variables on Hydrocyclone Performance
4.1Operating Variables
4.2Design Variables
5.Selection and Design of Hydrocyclone Systems
5.1Analytical Solutions
5.2Graphical Solutions
5.3Manufacturers' Choice
5.4Dimensionless Scale-up
5.4.2Definitions and Derivations of Dimensionless Groups
5.4.3Scale-Up at Low Concentrations
5.4.4Scale-Up at High Concentrations
5.4.5Considerations for Non-Newtonian Behavior
5.4.6Empirical Models
5.4.7Practical Applications

Hydrocyclone technology has been suggested as a practical alternative for solid–liquid separations in many applications in diverse industries. The hydrocyclone is easy to install, test and operate, and requires very limited space. It represents an unsophisticated piece of equipment which runs in a continuous manner and it can be operated at lower costs than most of the solid–liquid separation devices. Hydrocyclones have been used in liquid–solid, liquid–liquid, or liquid–gas separations, and can perform varied duties in industries as diverse as mineral processing, chemical engineering, food processing, biotechnology, oil and gas. They have been used not only as separators, but also as clarifiers, classifiers, and in some other applications. This article reviews theoretical aspects of hydrocyclone operation and gives some insight into different applications of hydrocyclone technology.