What is Elutriation… And how can it help YOU?
Before we get into HOW the process of Elutriation can help you, it’s important we get a basic understanding of WHAT exactly “elutriation” is. Put simply…
Elutriation is a process used for separating particles (of a wide variety and nature) depending on their shape, size and density through the use of a controlled stream of liquid or gas.
In a nutshell, it is the process of using various levels or air density to sift, sort and separate materials based on their size, shape and density.
What is Elutriation and How Does it Work?
To provide a clearer picture of how an Elutriation System works, below you can see a video of the patented “Air Wash” system we’ve developed here at Air Conveyance Systems. Although we’ve developed an enhanced process, the concept and how the separation occurs remains the same.
You can see how the waste item is entered into the hopper on the left. It is ground and trimmed to the specific and desired sizing requirement, where the various core components which make the item are separated into different containers using various levels of air density.
In the image below you can see an example of the how a waste item would enter and how the process of Elutriation (or in this example our Air Wash Technology) trims and separates the various material components.
How An Elutriation System Can Improve Your Facilities Processing Capabilities
At this point, you should have a basic understanding of the process of elutriation.
In fact, elutriation is used in countless industries and has innumerable applications ranging from the mineral processing to the pharmaceutical industry and hundreds of others in between.
However, industries who see some of the greatest benefit from Elutriation technology, are industries in which the technology is rarely applied, and surprisingly, and where few know the technology even exists.
What Are Some Of The Industries Who Could Benefit The Most From Elutriation Technology?
Some of the industries who see the greatest benefit are industries who process bulk materials, especially those industries or business who process materials on large scale.
This includes industries like…
- Textile and Textile Recovery
- Wood Processing
- Hemp and Cannabis
- And more…
Yet, even though I’ve identified industries who could benefit from the technology, you might be wondering about context, and how elutriation could be applied inside a facility within one of the industries listed above.
So let’s quickly go through a couple of examples of how elutriation or air density separation technology could be implemented inside a few of the various sectors.
Elutriation can be used for enhanced recycling processes. In this example, the air density separation technology is used on water bottles to first trim the item into smaller particles. Then, using various levels of air density, the lid plastic, the bottle plastic, and the labeling are separated into three different containers.
Air density separation technology can be used to optimize countless agricultural processes. In this example, you can see how our Air Wash System removed hulls from oats and cleaned them. In fact, for this specific application, our patented Air Wash air separation technology recovers oat pieces form hulls resulting in another 3 to 5 % recovery.
What Advantages Does The Elutriation Method Offer These Industries
The advantages of Elutriation in these types of industries are enormous. Here are some of the ways this technology can benefit a business.
- Reduces processing costs
- Increases usable (and sellable) production scrap and end of life materials
- Reduces labour and man-hours
- Maximizes a facilities throughput and material processing speeds
- Streamlines your bulk material handling processes
- Minimizes production time
- Maximizes business profits
So let’s look at a few of the advantages and benefits of an Elutriation or air density separation system in greater details.
Reduces Processing Costs Example
Reduce the Cost of Waste Removal and Facility Waste Costs
One of the most remarkable benefits of the Elutriation Separation system is that it reduces the cost and time used for waste removal!
For example, a typical Elutriation system can increase your recycling rate by 20%, which means you’re getting much more stuff from every load of feedstock.
Incredibly, many facilities are surprised to learn how the technology quickly paid for itself by a reduction in waste removal costs alone.
Also, ask yourself what you’re currently paying for waste removal inside of your facility? What cost savings would be you experience with a 20% (or even 10%) decrease in waste removal expenses?
Although, I should add, even though every facility is different, many businesses see a drop greater than 20%.
Increases usable (and sellable)
production scrap and end of life materials Example
Produce High-Quality Reusable Material
Since Elutriation is a delicate process, it minimizes the risk of damaging the particles being separated.
The trimming and separation process also produces high-quality reusable materials.
Some businesses are able to create an additional profit source and revenue stream inside of their business by selling this new end of life material that meets a far higher quality standard, and therefore, has a higher market value as well.
Reduces Labour and Man-hours Example
Reduced Labor Costs
Where a company may have been using an inferior material separation process, or worse a manual material separation process before, this type of air density technology completely removes the labour costs previously allocated these tasks.
Also, elutriation systems are surprisingly easy to operate and maintain. Also, they require little supervision, which means the labour costs associated with running an elutriation system and very minimal.
Furthermore, you will almost definitely see a decrease in the costs to clean and maintain your facility, as the elutriation or air density separation process is incredibly precise and therefore immaculate by nature.
Maximizes a facilities throughput
and material processing speeds Example
Boosts your Company’s Production Capabilities
The process of elutriation is by nature quite fast. This results from the velocity and flow rate of the air being used in vertically directed stream for the separation process.
It’s for this reason many businesses see an immediate and dramatic boost in their production capabilities, of course lending to increased production, revenue and profits.
Moreover, this type of technology also also make it possible for you to maximize production time, and even extend your facilities production schedule without the incremental like manual labour that come with increased production.
Although this cannot be said about all elutriation systems, our patented Air Wash system here at Air Conveyance Systems is recognized throughout the industry as having the absolute minimal number of moving parts or components allowing virtually no system downtime and minimal system maintenance.
With a growing societal concern about protecting the environment and a growing expectation for businesses to do their part, implementing elutriation technology can cause any business to make enormous strides towards going green.
The Elutriation system enables you to make use of most of the waste. It separates the smaller or lighter particles quite efficiently, so you may use them for future projects.
The best part is that it doesn’t affect the quality standards at all. And it helps with making the most of scrap materials time and again.
Moreover, when it comes to going green, no matter how many steps you’ve taken in this regard, there is always another step you can take, and this is a simple and highly profitable action you can take towards our planet’s sustainability.
Let’s quickly cover some of the most common questions that come up with considering the implementation of an Elutriation System:
What Are Some Common Industrial Uses of an Elutriator?
- The Elutriation System helps with separating labels from plastic bottles allowing you to reuse them for future packaging.
- It also helps with separating wood chips and sawdust that can be used as composting material, fuel, and Erosion Control later on.
- It separates and cleans the seeds with an excellent level of precision and accuracy.
Are There any Disadvantages of Elutriation?
There are literally ZERO disadvantage of Elutriation.
There is of course an upfront cost associated with the purchase an implementation of this type of technology which separates materials in different sizes using centrifugal force.
However, as mentioned earlier on, the cost of the technology and its integrations if often rapidly offset by the decreases in costs and increases in profits associated with it.
How Does an Elutriator Separate Smaller or Lighter Particles?
An Elutriator separates the smaller or lighter particles into two or more groups depending on your preferences. Many elutriation systems can be modified for their specific application.
Depending on the application, the Elutriator (or Elutriation device) is customized to meet the specific requirements or the material being processed.
Moreover, the manufacturer of the specific elutriation technology being used will typically customize it for the specific client, purpose or application.
Does Elutriation help with Separating Lighter Particles?
We’ve described that Elutriation helps with separating different types of materials no matter the size or density of the equipment.
However, you need to carefully adjust velocity while separating small and light particles because the lighter particles rise while they’re being separated.
Therefore, you must learn to maintain sufficient levels of terminal velocities to ensure the ideal particle separation production results.
Although keep in mind, any company offering high-quality air conveying equipment will almost certainly assist you with setup and adjusting fluid velocity for the specific needs in your facility.
Keep in mind, here at Air Conveyance Systems, we offer a complimentary material processing validation study. This is where you can send us a sample of your material and we’ll process it with our Air Conveyance Systems technology to accurately demonstrate the results it can produce for you.
In conclusion, there are few technologies that offer the level and breadth of benefits that an elutriation system can.
The Elutriation is an excellent option for industrial bi-product material separation. With this system, you can separate large or small particles depending on their size and shape.
It can be used in many different industries for various purposes whether it’s for a paper mill to separate the pulp from its fibres or for agricultural purposes to separate and clean oats and groats, elutriation can radically transform and optimize ever aspect of the bulk material handling process.
Furthermore, the competitive advantage this technology can offer is stunning, considering many businesses and players inside the various industries we discussed above are simply unaware this technology exists.
If you’d like to learn more about our Patented Air Wash and how effectively it can sift, sort, screen and separate larger particles from smaller ones using a unique upward directed stream of rising fluid using a various level or air density and terminal velocity, then we invite your to get in touch with us here at Air Conveyance Systems.
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