Cyclone separator theories to predict performance and flow characteristics

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Civil and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

2 Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong SAR, China


Several theoretical approaches for predicting performance parameters (collection efficiency, pressure drop, and velocities) of cyclone separators have been developed due to their extensive use in particle handling industries. Expensive and time-consuming experiments to analyze the swirling flow inside the cyclone separators could be avoided with reliable theoretical approaches. However, there are only a limited number of cyclone theory evaluations in the literature. This study investigated the accuracy of cyclone theories by comparing experimental and numerical data at a particle loading rate of 1.0 g.m-3 operating at 5 and 10 m.s-1. General agreements between the theories were revealed by Muschelknautz’s theory for collection efficiency and Shepherd and Lapple’s theory for pressure variations at low solid loading conditions; disagreements were found to be due to the theories’ insensitivity to influences from the particle phase and the frictional wall effect inside cyclone separators. 

Graphical Abstract

Cyclone separator theories to predict performance and flow characteristics


  • Practical analyses to evaluate cyclone designs are cost and time exclusive.
  • Limited literature is available to analyse the cyclone performance theoretically.
  • Selected theories were studied based on the data from the literature.
  • Theories by Muschelknautz and Shepherd and Lapple were partially compatible.
  • Particle-particle-wall interactions and frictions should be analysed further to bring the theories real. 


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