ACS Numerically Optimized Cyclones

How can cyclones be improved?

Since the early 1900’s, cyclones have been mostly designed and improved by empirical means, due to the difficulty of building a good prediction method that handles with the modeling complexity related with multiphase and highly turbulent flows. Computerized Flow Dynamics (CFD) can be used for partial cyclone optimization but it is still incomplete for full cyclone optimization, due to the very large computational burden associated with highly vorticial, assimetrical and multiphase flows with polidispersity. Sub-optimization of cyclones, and notably low collection efficiency result from the fact that particle agglomeration in cyclones has been disregarded until present days.

How can cyclones be improved?
Near 350 projects implemented in the past 12 years, helped ACS develop a complete line of very different Hurricane cyclone families, with each family responding to a particular need from the client and considering how inter-particle agglomeration / clustering affects collection efficiency. From coarse particle pre-separation proportioned by compact and low pressure drop cyclones, such as the SD and DX, to fine particulate capture with high-end geometries such as the EX and MK, ACS provides solutions for a wide range of industrial cases, being able to reach emissions comparable to ESPs (down to less than 30mg/Nm3).
Particle Agglomeration and Numerical Optimization
ACS research team has been investigating this phenomenon since its foundation. Several related technical and scientific articles were published, among which the “Impact of particle agglomeration in cyclones” (Chemical Engineering Journal 162 (2010) 861–876)”. This knowledge has helped ACS build very accurate models of efficiency prediction, capable of explaining why sub-micrometer particles are often captured with much higher efficiency than expected. Indeed, particles tend to form bigger agglomerates (clusters) much easier to collect than the original particles. Agglomeration increases in the presence of wide particle size distributions, long residence times in the cyclone and high inlet particle concentrations. This knowledge has been incorporated in ACS numerical simulation tool, combining a sophisticated stochastic algorithm with a classical numerical model to predict cyclone performance: the PACyc (Particle Agglomeration in Cyclones) model.
Creating multiple cyclones for multiple needs
Thanks to the PACyc Model, and considering several economic and operation constraints (such as size and pressure loss), it is possible to simulate millions of virtual prototypes with numerical optimization within an affordable period. Considering this approach as the best path to obtain truly optimized cyclones, sound theories of cyclone collection and pressure loss were chosen for each process application. These numerical optimization problems have resulted in several families of cyclones, some of those patented. Indeed, different industrial cases have different needs for which the optimization functions to incorporate in the PACyc model may be as complex as minimizing cost or space, subject to a minimum efficiency result.
The following cyclone families, always subject to further customization, are the result of very different client demands ACS has come across until now.

How do cyclones compare?
The best way to understand the purpose of each type of cyclone and how they differentiate from each other is by designing arrangements by cyclone type for a given industrial example.

Depending on the requirements of the client, ACS may design solutions that go from process cyclones or compact pre-separators for sparks and silica reduction (protection of downstream equipment) to a final stage dust collector. The more efficient the solution is, the larger the number of cyclones needed to increase residence time and promote particle agglomeration with impact of space and cost. ACS will always search for the most cost-efficient solution.
Please compare the performance of several products below for emissions control in a 5MWth wood chips moving grate boiler. Each cyclone solution has the same pressure drop and is treating air and particles coming directly from the boiler.

cyclone system for fuel oil combustion - ACS

Fuel Oil Combustion

For PM emission control in high temperature exhaust streams, such as those from fuel oil boilers, common dedusters like bag filters, have very high maintenance costs. The diesel and fuel oil fly ash c...

Cyclone system during process of steel & ferroalloys production - ACS

Steel and Ferroalloys

Steel and ferroalloys manufacturing processes involve high temperature exhaust streams, often at more than 900ºC. Typically, the gas flows from the furnace (usually electric arch type) and goes into a...

Hurricane used for Clinker cooler and pre-heater dedusting - ACS

Clinker Cooler and Pre-Heater Dedusting

The control of clinker fines emissions after the heat exchanger, placed downstream of the clinker cooler, is usually a problem for cement plant managers. The process is characterized by high materi...

Cyclone system used for Pyrolysis, Incineration and Gasification - ACS

Pyrolisis, Incineration and Gasification

For PM emission control in very high temperature exhaust streams ( >600ºC ), such as gasification, pyrolysis and incineration, traditional bag filters following temperature exchangers, ceramic filters...

Advanced Cyclone Systems in Biomass Milling & Drying - ACS

Biomass Dryers

The drying of biomass is common to many industries, including wood pellet making, panel boards and many others, from coffee to olive-oil or animal feed. Technologically, these industries operate drum ...

Advanced Cyclone Systems in fluid catalytic cracking - ACS

Oil & Gas

In Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) processes, widely used in oil refineries, the separation and recovery of powder catalysts is a major concern.   Particularly, the concentration of catalyst after th...

Cyclone System In High Temperature Separation & Energy Recovery - ACS

High Temperature Separation for Energy Recovery

Given the difficulties in achieving results by increasing revenues, companies are turning more and more to cutting costs. Reducing energy consumption has become the target for many companies.   In s...

Cyclone Systems used for air caption and dedusting - ACS

Air Caption & Dedusting

Several industries face problems from dust released during product transportation or processing. This is the case of the Textile, Wood Processing, Mining, Ink Manufacturing and other industries.   ...

Advanced Cyclone Systems used in Calcination Processes - ACS

Calcination Processes

In calcination processes, solid intermediates and products are regularly handled in the fine powder form (ex: kaolin or metakaulin). There is a need to separate these very fine powders from the exhaus...

Using an advanced cyclone system for direct biomass combustion – ACS

Biomass and Coal Combustion

Biomass and Coal Combustion Burning biomass and or coal releases particulate matter (PM) to the atmosphere, polluting the surroundings and harming the human health. PM emissions is a common prob...

Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Efficient recovery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or final product formulations (FPFs) after a spray dryer can be quite challenging, depending on the particle size. The same problem occur...



Efficient recovery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), chemical substances or food powders after drying applications such as spray and fluid bed drying is frequently a problem. The same probl...

Recovered pulverized food ingredients from particle separator – ACS

Food Ingredients

Efficient recovery of food ingredients after a dryer can be quite challenging, especially for finer particles. The same problem occurs in many milling and micronization applications. Usual spray dr...


Mineral Processing

In the mineral processing industries, such as calcination or catalysts production, solid intermediates and products are regularly handled in the fine powder form. There is a need to recover these p...



The recovery of fertilizers typically after drying tunnels or drum dryers is associated with a high load of particulates and very humid gas streams. The recovery of these products is commonly perfo...


Milling and Drying Processes

Efficient recovery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), chemical substances and food powders after drying applications such as spray and fluid bed drying is frequently a problem. The same prob...