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An algae centrifuge is a 'flow-through centrifuge used for harvesting algae cells from water. It uses the centrifugal force generated by the fast rotation of the algae water to spin out the algae cells and separate them.
There are small-scale, 'commercial grade' centrifuges for algae available for sale. These centrifuges process 1 ~ 5 GPM and exert centrifugal forces in the 1000 - 2000 g's range.
The low flow rate is due to the low g-force generated by these centrifuges, which require a higher retention time. Which, in turn, means low flow rates.
These centrifuges are suitable for small-scale algae cell separation in labs. For industrial-scale algae harvesting, you need an industrial disc stack centrifuge, as described below.
An industrial algae centrifuge is an effective way of harvesting algae cells from water. The high g-force (up to 12,000 g's) spins the algae cells toward the centrifuge bowl wall. The centrifuge discharges the clear, separated water continuously.
The 'self-cleaning' type bowl auto ejects the concentrated algae cells. This discharge comes out as a slurry or a thick paste ready for algae oil extraction or drying.
A flow-through centrifuge allows large-scale, continuous separation of algae. This constant separation eliminates any filters or other separation machines, such as filter presses or screw presses.
Our self-cleaning centrifuge models have different capacities. They can process from 5 gallons per minute to over 100 gallons per minute of algae water.
The high g-force does not damage the algae cell structure.
Industrial algae centrifuges primarily have all stainless steel fluid contact. This corrosion-resistant material allows the harvesting of saltwater algae on a commercial scale. For algae cultivated in seawater, an all stainless steel centrifuge (food grade) is recommended.
Algae Centrifuges offer multiple advantages over conventional filters or open bowl centrifuges. Following is a list of some of these benefits.
The following are the specifications for a typical Alfa Laval disc-stack centrifuge when used for algae cell harvesting.
|Processing Capacity||25 GPM on Algae Dewatering (32 GPM Max.)|
|Centrifuge Type||Self-Cleaning, Disc-Stack Centrifuge (Auto Ejects Concentrated Cells)|
|Bowl Speed||6,300 RPM|
|Centrifugal Force (RCF)||7,000 Gs|
|Cell Volume||1.0 Gallons|
|Motor Power||7.5 HP (5 kW)|
|Dimensions & Weight||4' x 6' x 5' (H) 2,500 Lbs|
A disc stack centrifuge has a high g-force, but it does not damage the algae cell structure or break the cells.
The different types of algae centrifuges do NOT have the same separation efficiency. The open bowl type centrifuge has a much lower separation efficiency than a disc stack centrifuge due to the lack of discs which multiply the settling area a thousand times.
Algae centrifuges that harvest algae from seawater should typically have all wetted parts made of durable stainless steel. A regular disc stack centrifuge with some non-stainless steel wetted parts will work for freshwater algae.
A self-cleaning disc stack centrifuge concentrates the algae into a thick paste-like consistency. The thickness of the concentrated algae discharge is adjustable with a disc stack centrifuge.
Disc stack centrifuges separate the algae cell biomass from the algal oil once the algae cells are split to extract the oil.