Centrifuge Trials, Trials & Analysis

Results of the Innovate UK Manufacturing and Materials Grant Competition

After successfully completing an 18 month feasibility study we have just been informed of the results for the Innovate UK Manufacturing and Materials Grant Competition.

We are delighted to announce that we have been successful and awarded £2m of grant funding. This grant supported project with our client, Immaterial Ltd, is in partnership with the Cambridge University Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

The award is aimed at designing and building our first process manufacturing pilot plant over the next 3 years. This is a fantastic achievement as we were informed just one in nineteen projects were funded this time around Clearly NCD Separation Solutions Ltd is delighted to have played a key role in this success and now looking forward to our continued involvement over the next the next 3 years.

Centrifuge Optimisation a £1 coin receives ‘Royal approval’ …….!?

There are many aspects surrounding the smooth operation of a vertical batch basket filtration centrifuge that need to be addressed before it can be regarded as being fully optimised.

Many believe that a centrifuge that is producing an acceptable liquid/solid separation, runs continuously, without frequent operator intervention, must surely be fully optimised. Unfortunately this is often proven not to be the case.

The feeding phase, at the very beginning of the processing cycle, is without doubt the most crucial aspect of the whole centrifuge processing cycle that must be fully addressed. Get this right and you are well on your way to eventually claiming you have a fully optimised centrifuge operation.

Operating vibration levels, especially at spin speed, are key here. Most centrifuge OEMs have the first high vibration level warning alarm set at around 20 mm/sec. Anything less than this and the centrifuge will continue operating without troubling the plant operation or operators.

The lower the vibration levels the better it will be for the mechanical wear and tear of the centrifuge and the more likely you will be able to gain a fully optimised centrifuge operation.

A fully optimised centrifuge operates at maximum spin speed with a vibration level of <10 mm/sec i.e. less than half that of the centrifuge OEM’s first alarm set point. The vast majority of vertical batch basket filtration centrifuges operating out in the field are not equipped with detailed vibration monitoring systems.

Without such detailed monitoring systems it makes Centrifuge Optimisation almost impossible for plant operatives. However, there is a way and this is where the importance of the British £1 coin comes into play. Unless you can replicate what is shown in the video accompanying this article you will not be in a position to claim you have a fully optimised centrifuge operation.

If you can get the £1 coin to stay upright and turn slowly anticlockwise, as shown, you are almost certain to achieve the following and as can be seen will also receive Her Majesty’s Royal approval in the process!.

• Optimum net capacity solids volume
• Perfectly parallel cake formation
• Perfectly concentric cake formation
• Optimum time cycle
• Maximum throughput
• Optimum cake washing efficiency
• Optimum filtrate quality
• Optimum final solids quality
• Optimum product yields
• Reduced maintenance and operating costs
• Greater up-time of the centrifuge

All this for just £1!!

If you have doubts regarding the extent of optimisation of your vertical batch basket filtration centrifuge(s) and cannot replicate the £1 challenge, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch where we can discuss your requirements in more detail.

Email –

Centrifuge Optimisation

Cane Sugar Processing Plant, Thailand

A major sugar producing organisation in Thailand recently commissioned a brand new sugar cane processing facility with a capacity of 15,000 tons of sugar cane/day plus its own power plant to generate 41 MW of electricity. The processing plant purchased a total of 12 vertical overdriven batch centrifuges and 5 vertical continuous type centrifuges.  

Initially they attempted to commission all the centrifuges in-house. Regrettably this led to the destruction of two units. NCD Separation Solutions Ltd was contacted by the centrifuge OEM and asked to visit site, firstly to evaluate the seriousness of the problem, then instigate an action plan to resolve all operating issues moving forward. 

Over a three week period all the centrifuges were successfully commissioned without any further operating problems. 

NCD Separation Solutions also delivered a comprehensive Operator Training package for all the centrifuge operators. This has led to plant capacity being met and a far more informed workforce.


Trials & Analysis

Award Winning Involvement

NCD Separation Solutions Ltd has been informed that a project we consulted on, the AquAsZero Project, has recently won 1st prize in the “Greek National Prize for Innovation”.

The aim of AquAsZero project was to develop a new, low cost, absorbent product, specifically targeting the recovery/removal of Arsenic from water treatment plants. This material could then be commercialised and used as the adsorbent media in new and existing water treatment plants alike.

Working closely with PERA Technology, UK, we conducted a series of pilot plant size trials and valuations to establish the most appropriate liquid/solid separation equipment for the product manufacturing process.

The new production line and standardization systems have already been installed for AquAsZero. The current production line has a capacity of 1200 kgs per working day.

To find out more –  or visit the AquAsZero website –

Centrifuge Site Survey

Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) Centrifuge Installation

NCD Separation Solution Ltd has secured a substantial contract with a major European coal fired power station. Following initial site meetings and detailed discussions it was agreed that we would first undertake a detailed Site Survey of the centrifuge operation at their FGD (Flue Gas Desulphurisation) facility.

The survey involved a detailed analysis of all their vertical batch basket centrifuges. Primary aims of the survey were to identify areas for potential Centrifuge Optimisation and increased reliability levels of all the units.

Once potential improvements had been identified work would begin to implement the recommendations including a series of in-house Operator Training courses.

It is planned that work will begin shortly and completed over the next few months.

We are delighted to have secured the contract to work on one of the largest FGD centrifuge installations in Europe.

Centrifuge Optimisation

Arabian Sugar Refinery, Bahrain

A total of 7 off batch basket sugar centrifuges and 5 off continuous sugar centrifuges, supplied by Thomas Broadbent & Sons of the UK, where installed at the brand new sugar refinery owned by Arabian Sugar of Bahrain.

As part of contractual conditions the centrifuges needed to demonstrate their ability to meet the Performance Acceptance Criteria before being fully accepted by Arabian Sugar.

NCD Separation Solutions Ltd was commissioned with the task of undertaking the Performance Acceptance Evaluations on behalf of the centrifuge supplier.

In addition to several key process performance criteria having to be met the Performance Acceptance Certificate would only be issued if the centrifuges were capable of maintaining the separation efficiency continuously for 120 hrs (5 days).

A total of three separate attempts were allowed in order to prove the performance of all the centrifuges. Failure to prove the performance acceptance criteria within the three attempts would result in the trials being deemed a failure and the Performance Acceptance Certificate would not be issued. The implication of such a failure would have serious contractual consequences between vendor and supplier.

Thankfully, it was possible to prove the efficiency of the centrifuges during the very first attempt. This therefore resulted in the centrifuge Performance Acceptance Certificate being issued.

NCD Separation Solutions Ltd was delighted with this result and pleased to have helped both the vendor and supplier to provide a highly successful, efficient and state of the art refined sugar facility.

Centrifuge Installation & Commissioning

Optimisation at Covidien UK

Following a recent overhaul of their two vertical, batch basket, filtration centrifuges, NCD Separation Solutions were invited to carryout a performance survey with a view of delivering an operator training package once the centrifuges were considered fully optimised.

The optimisation exercise for both centrifuges took approx. 5 days to complete. This not only increased production by over 10% but also improved product quality, yield, efficiency and the health and safety to the whole process.

Subsequent operator training sessions will ensure the now optimised process is maintained and operators have more confidence in making various changes to the process from time to time as they are more understanding of their actions.

Site Manager Mr Dave Hickton thanked NCD Separation Solutions for their professionalism in delivering all the various facets of the centrifuge upgrade package. He feels sure the improvement will be of significant benefit to Covidien.

Centrifuge Installation & Commissioning

Installation & Commissioning

A leading industrial chemical manufacturing organisation located in the Midlands, UK, recently purchased a large refurbished vertical batch basket filtration centrifuge with an additional Inert Gas Blanketing facility.

The company already has several batch basket centrifuges installed on site and it is hoped this latest acquisition would enhance production in its attempt to meet increased demand for one of their leading products.

NCD Separation Solutions Ltd was asked to provide assistance in the commissioning of their ‘new’ centrifuge. Following successful FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) and SAT (Site Acceptance Test) evaluations the centrifuge was ready for commissioning.

After completing dry commissioning and wet commissioning with water, the centrifuge was readied for actual product suspension. Product commissioning took several days to complete, at the end of which a fully optimised centrifuge separation system was achieved.

This latest centrifuge facility will now allow the end user to more than double their current production levels.

Centrifuge Trials

Batch v Continuous Centrifuges?

Following a request from a leading centrifuge OEM we have recently spent three weeks in USA undertaking trials at a leading polymer manufacturing facility.

The aim of the trials was to establish if the current batch process could be performed in a more continuous mode of centrifuge operation. Currently the separation element of the process is carried out using vertical batch basket filtration centrifuges. Whilst the batch type centrifuges perform well it is believed, if possible, that continuous centrifuges would be a more efficient approach.

It was considered that a Continuous Screen Bowl Decanter would be the preferred alternative centrifuge type. As a result a pilot size screen bowl decanter was installed for the purpose of the trials.

Having reviewed all the test data it has been decided by the client that continuous centrifugation would indeed be an improved alternative to the batch basket centrifuges. Discussions are now underway with the OEM and other vendors where it looks like a total of 4 units will be ordered for their two manufacturing facilities in the USA and Far East.

Final confirmation is expected in the next 6 months.


Centrifuge Optimisation

Centrifuge Optimisation & Operator Training

After competing against two leading centrifuge manufacturers NCD Separation Solutions were recently awarded the contract to provide Centrifuge Optimisation and an Operator Training package for one of the UK’s leading chemical companies based in the North East of England.

Initially we will carry out a Site Survey of the centrifuges in operation and its installation of 3 off horizontal batch basket filtration centrifuge. This will identify the key problem areas that are currently preventing the centrifuge stages of the operation from being anywhere near optimised.

On completion of the Site Survey we will issue a detailed Report of our findings that will identify the key areas of concern and propose a positive way forward.

Once all the centrifuges are fully Optimised NCD Separation Solutions will provided a series of in-house Operator Training sessions for all the centrifuge operators based on the findings specific to their operation.