Plate Centrifuges vs. Decanter Centrifuges: Which is Better for Your Business?


Plate Centrifuges vs. Decanter Centrifuges: Which is Better for Your Business?


When it comes to separating solids from liquids, centrifuges play a crucial role in various industries. Plate centrifuges and decanter centrifuges are two popular options known for their efficiency and reliability. In this article, we will explore the key differences between these two types of centrifuges and help you determine which one is better suited for your business needs.

1. How do Plate Centrifuges Work?

Plate centrifuges, also known as chamber or basket centrifuges, operate on the principle of sedimentation. They use a stack of plates or baskets to separate solids from liquids based on their density. The centrifuge spins at high speeds, causing the heavier particles to settle at the bottom while the lighter liquid phase is forced to the top.

These centrifuges are best suited for solid-liquid separation and are widely used in chemical, pharmaceutical, and food industries. They are particularly useful for fine particle separations and can handle small particle sizes efficiently.

2. Understanding Decanter Centrifuges

Decanter centrifuges, also referred to as horizontal scroll centrifuges, operate on a different principle compared to plate centrifuges. They are designed for solid-liquid separation using the principle of sedimentation and differential centrifugal force. This type of centrifuge consists of a rotating horizontal bowl and a scroll conveyor within it.

As the mixture is fed into the centrifuge, the high rotational speed creates a strong centrifugal force that separates the solids and liquids. The scroll conveyor continuously transports the separated solids towards the conical end of the bowl, where they are discharged, while the liquid phase is expelled through a separate outlet.

3. Different Applications and Advantages

Plate Centrifuges:

- Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries: Plate centrifuges are commonly used for dewatering and separating solid materials from liquid in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. They are highly efficient and offer precise separation capabilities.

- Food and Beverage Industry: Plate centrifuges are extensively used for separating impurities and solids from liquids in the food and beverage industry. They are crucial in processes like clarifying juices, removing particles from wine, or separating fats from oils.

- Environmental Applications: Plate centrifuges are employed in wastewater treatment plants to remove solid particles and clarify the effluent before discharge. They are efficient even with high volumes of liquid and offer valuable benefits for environmental applications.

Decanter Centrifuges:

- Mining and Oil Industries: Decanter centrifuges are widely used in the mining and oil industries for separating solid particles from liquid suspensions. They are instrumental in the processing of drilling mud, wastewater, and various mining slurry applications.

- Biogas and Renewable Energy: Decanter centrifuges are employed in the biogas industry for separating solid organic matter from the liquid fraction, facilitating efficient biogas production. They are also used in renewable energy applications for the separation of algae or biomass.

- Waste Management: Decanter centrifuges have found applications in waste management processes, such as municipal sewage treatment plants and industrial waste treatment.

4. Performance Considerations

Plate Centrifuges:

- High Separation Efficiency: Plate centrifuges are known for their high separation efficiency due to the large surface area and design of the plates. They can achieve precise separations even for fine particles.

- Faster Processing Time: These centrifuges typically offer shorter processing times due to their high rotational speeds. This makes them suitable for applications requiring quick separation processes.

- Lower Power Consumption: Plate centrifuges often consume less power compared to decanter centrifuges, resulting in cost savings over time.

Decanter Centrifuges:

- Continuous Operations: Decanter centrifuges are designed for continuous operations, making them ideal for industries that require uninterrupted separation processes. The scroll conveyor ensures continuous solids discharge while the liquid phase is constantly expelled.

- Wide Application Range: These centrifuges are versatile and can handle a wide range of solid-liquid separations in various industries. They are particularly effective in removing fine particles and have a higher solids handling capacity.

- Solids Moisture Content: Decanter centrifuges provide flexibility in controlling the moisture content of separated solids, which is beneficial in applications like dewatering sludge.

5. Factors to Consider

When choosing between plate centrifuges and decanter centrifuges for your business, certain factors need to be considered:

- Application Requirements: Assess your specific application needs, such as particle size, separation efficiency, and required throughput capacity. This will help determine which centrifuge type aligns better with your business requirements.

- Space and Installation: Consider the available space for equipment installation. Decanter centrifuges typically require more space compared to plate centrifuges due to their larger footprint.

- Maintenance and Service: Evaluate the maintenance requirements and availability of service support for the chosen centrifuge type. This includes factors like spare parts availability, servicing complexity, and associated costs.


Both plate centrifuges and decanter centrifuges offer effective solid-liquid separation solutions for different applications. Plate centrifuges are suitable for precise separations and find applications in industries like chemical, pharmaceutical, and food. Decanter centrifuges, on the other hand, excel in continuous operations and are widely used in mining, oil, and waste management industries.

To determine which centrifuge type is better for your business, carefully evaluate your specific application requirements, available space, and the maintenance and service aspects. Choosing the right centrifuge will ultimately enhance your operational efficiency and ensure optimal separation processes for your business needs.


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