What is solid liquid separation?

Solid-liquid separation is the separation of solid and liquid substances from a liquid slurry. The solid-liquid filtration process involves a filtration medium, usually a filter press, through which suspended solids are removed from the liquid. In many industry applications, these filtration devices are used for both batch and continuous separation, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process.

How does liquid solid separation work?

The two basic principles of solid-liquid separation involve separating liquids from solids or filtering solids from liquids using one of the following two principles.

  • Solids tend to flow in one direction while liquids tend to flow in the other (separation)
  • The application will use smaller pores than the solids to be captured (filtration)

As the slurry passes through the machine, the screen prevents the solids from draining with the liquid, resulting in two clearly separated materials. The mechanical force then allows the remaining liquid to be properly discharged from the suspended solids.

Solid-liquid separation equipment

All phases of pretreatment, solids concentration, solids separation and post-treatment must be considered in the design of separation equipment. Pretreatment is primarily used for difficult-to-filter slurries to make them easier to filter. The properties of the suspended solids are changed chemically or physically, or by adding solids (filter aids) as fillers to the suspension to increase the permeability of the filter cake formed in the subsequent filtration process.

Liquid-solid separation equipment removes solids from liquid slurries and recovers valuable materials from the waste stream for reuse. There are many classifications of this type of equipment, as follows.

Gravity settlers: e.g. clarifiers, flake separators, settling tanks, thickeners.

Sedimentation centrifuges: e.g. tubular rotors, skimmer tubes, discs, vortex dischargers.

Flotation devices: dissolved air flotation machines.

Classifiers: e.g. sand and water classifiers, mechanical grids, screens, static screens.

Line filters: e.g. cartridges, filters.

Pressure filters: e.g. continuous pressure, diatomaceous earth, fiber beds, filter presses, vertical elements, sand.

Filters with compression: e.g. belt filter presses, membrane plates and frames, screw filter presses.

Vacuum filters: e.g. discs, blades, belts, disks, benches, pre-coated drums.