Adjustable Particle Separator System and Method
Separation processes for liquids and solids are vital in many industrial settings and typically use mechanical stirring, centrifuge, membrane or ion exchange technologies which are energy intensive and time consuming. The UH adjustable particle separator enhances fluid-fluid (emulsion) or fluid-solid (suspension) separation thru using inclined plates combined with electrocoagulation mechanism. Using this method, a range of sub-micron to larger-scales colloids (particles or droplets) can simultaneously agglomerate and separate from liquid by passing mixture through inclined and electrically-charged plates configured inside the separator. This technology has shown promising potential for applications in corn ethanol production, microorganisms (algae, yeast and bacteria) culture, petroleum prospecting, and wastewater treatment. This system is projected to be modulated with a machine learning software to automatically control plate’s angle, spacing and voltage to achieve optimal efficiency of separations.

The proposed technology can improve separation of multiple solid and liquid phases of multiphase matter all in one stage:

  • Separating sand particles and water from oil in oil production process
  • Separating different valuable organic material such as proteins from bio-mass in corn ethanol and food processing plant
  • Separating algae from water for production of algae powder
Problems Addressed
  • Super-efficient separation of particles with various size, shape, and materials from liquids
  • Separating immiscible liquids from one another such as lipids from water
Competitive Advantages
  • Have shown increased separation efficiency by varying the electric field, plate angle and plate separation distances
  • Separating various solid and liquid phases of different synthetic and biological material
  • Provisional Patent Application Field. No.62/664,786
Case ID
Dr. Kamran Alba
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering