What is the difference between decanter and disc centrifuge?


Decanter Centrifuge

The decanter centrifuge has become a critical piece of equipment in various industries, including oil and gas, wastewater treatment, and chemical processing. It is a versatile machine that is used for solid-liquid separation and liquid-liquid separation. In this section, we will delve into the details of the decanter centrifuge and explore its working principles, applications, advantages, and limitations.

Working Principles

Decanter centrifuges, also known as scroll centrifuges or horizontal centrifuges, operate based on the principle of sedimentation. They rely on the centrifugal force generated by high-speed rotation to separate solid particles from liquid or separate liquids with different densities. The working principle of a decanter centrifuge involves three main components: the bowl, the conveyor, and the drive system.

The bowl, also called the drum or the rotor, is the key component of the decanter centrifuge. It is cylindrical and rotates at high speeds. The bowl is equipped with a set of conical plates or scrolls to enhance the separation efficiency. The feed slurry is introduced into the bowl through a feed pipe, where it undergoes a series of dynamic processes.

Inside the bowl, centrifugal force causes the solid particles to move towards the drum's wall, forming a solid cake layer. At the same time, the liquid phase moves towards the center of the drum, forming a clarified liquid pool. The conveyor, located inside the bowl, rotates at a slightly slower speed than the bowl, thereby transporting the solid cake towards the discharge ports.

The drive system of a decanter centrifuge includes a main motor and a gearbox. The main motor drives the bowl and the conveyor to rotate at their respective speeds. The gearbox provides the necessary torque and controls the speed differential between the bowl and the conveyor.


Decanter centrifuges are widely used in various fields due to their excellent solid-liquid separation capabilities. Some of the prominent applications of decanter centrifuges are:

1. Wastewater Treatment:

Decanter centrifuges play a crucial role in wastewater treatment plants for sludge dewatering. They effectively separate the solid particles from the sludge, reducing its volume and making it easier to handle and dispose of. The clarified effluent can be reused or safely discharged.

2. Oil and Gas Industry:

Decanter centrifuges are extensively used in the oil and gas industry for various purposes. They can separate oil from drilling mud, recover valuable oil from slop oil pits or oil sludge, and treat industrial wastewaters generated during oilfield operations.

3. Chemical Processing:

In chemical processing plants, decanter centrifuges are utilized for separating and clarifying suspensions, crystallization slurries, and other liquid-solid mixtures. They contribute to product quality improvement, reduction of waste volume, and compliance with environmental regulations.

4. Food and Beverage Industry:

Decanter centrifuges are employed in the food and beverage industry for numerous applications. They are used for fruit and vegetable juice clarification, beer and wine clarification, yeast separation, and extraction of oils from edible seeds.

5. Pharmaceutical Industry:

In the pharmaceutical industry, decanter centrifuges are utilized for solid-liquid separation during the production of antibiotics, vitamins, vaccines, and other medicinal compounds. They ensure high product purity and help in reducing production costs.

Advantages of Decanter Centrifuges

Decanter centrifuges offer several advantages over other types of centrifuges and separation techniques:

1. High Separation Efficiency:

Decanter centrifuges can achieve high separation efficiencies due to their ability to generate high centrifugal forces. This makes them ideal for separating fine and ultrafine solid particles from liquids.

2. Continuous Operation:

Decanter centrifuges can operate continuously, allowing for uninterrupted separation. This feature is particularly beneficial in industries where continuous and reliable separation is required.

3. Flexible Process Control:

Decanter centrifuges offer various process control options. Parameters such as bowl speed, conveyor speed, and feed rate can be adjusted to optimize separation efficiency and adjust to different feed properties.

4. Wide Range of Applications:

Decanter centrifuges can be used for diverse applications, ranging from thickening and dewatering to clarification and extraction. This versatility makes them highly valuable in multiple industries.

5. Reduced Environmental Impact:

Decanter centrifuges help in reducing the environmental impact of industrial processes by minimizing waste volume and facilitating the treatment of wastewater and sludge.

Limitations of Decanter Centrifuges

While decanter centrifuges offer numerous advantages, they also have some limitations that should be considered during their application:

1. High Energy Consumption:

Decanter centrifuges require significant energy inputs to achieve high rotation speeds. This can result in higher operating costs.

2. Complex Operation and Maintenance:

Decanter centrifuges are complex machines that require skilled personnel for operation and maintenance. Regular inspection, adjustment, and cleaning are necessary to ensure optimal performance.

3. Particle Size Limitations:

Decanter centrifuges are most effective in separating particles with sizes larger than 3-5 microns. For smaller particles, additional processing steps may be required.

4. Chemical Sensitivity:

Some materials and chemicals can cause corrosion or fouling in decanter centrifuges. Proper selection of materials and regular cleaning are essential to maintain their performance and longevity.

5. High Vibration and Noise Levels:

The high rotation speeds of decanter centrifuges can generate vibrations and noise, which may require mitigation measures to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment.

In summary, decanter centrifuges are versatile machines that find wide applications in various industries. They offer high separation efficiencies, continuous operation, and flexible process control. However, their application should consider factors such as energy consumption, maintenance requirements, particle size limitations, chemical sensitivity, and potential vibration and noise issues. Decanter centrifuges have undoubtedly revolutionized the field of solid-liquid separation and will continue to play a critical role in advancing industrial processes.


Just tell us your requirements, we can do more than you can imagine.
Send your inquiry

Send your inquiry

Choose a different language
Current language:English