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Latin American applied research

Print version ISSN 0327-0793


MEDRONHO, R. A.; SCHUETZE, J.  and  DECKWER, W.-D.. Numerical simulation of hydrocyclones for cell separation. Lat. Am. appl. res. [online]. 2005, vol.35, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 0327-0793.

Numerical simulation of hydrocyclones aiming at investigating the separation of microorganisms and mammalian cells was performed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The turbulence model used in the 2daxisymmetric calculations was the Reynolds Stress Model (RSM), in order to take into account the high swirl effects that occur in this type of equipment, which induce anisotropic turbulence. The Volume of Fluid Model (VOF) was used to account for the gas/liquid interface. In all calculations, a cylindrical air core, running the whole length of the cyclone, appeared naturally as a consequence of a low pressure region that developed along the central axis. The separation of Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mammalian cells (BHK-21) using Bradley hydrocyclones was studied. According to the present work, Bradley hydrocyclones with diameters down to 10 mm cannot efficiently separate microorganisms, but the separation of mammalian cells with predicted efficiencies as high as 90% can be achieved.

Keywords : CFD; Hydrocyclones; Separation; Microorganisms; Mammalian Cells.

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