Black Powder Filtration, Spin Separation Solution Success Story by Dr Samer El Mohtadi


“Black powder filtration, success story of Dr Samer El Mohtadi’s spin separation solution”

Fuel gas is supplied through a 36 inch pipeline to the existing dual stage gas filtration station consisting of a cyclo-cartridge system with a service and standby configuration.

Black powder challenge

The cartridges were very frequently choked on black powder (within five days of operation) which required two days to replace them. Clogged filters if not cleaned quickly could result in reduced supply pressure which could cause the plant to shut down completely.

For the replacement of filter cartridges (each vessel) it takes about 2 days (i.e. about 320 man-hours). In addition, a crane, compressor, scaffolding, tanker, and hydraulic wrench are required at an average cost of $ 50,000.

Disadvantage of the Cyclo-cartridge system

The first stage (Cyclone section) is designed to remove greater than 95% down to 8 microns at design flow. While the second stage (section of the cartridge) will remove smaller particles with over 99% removal efficiency down to one micron.

However, most black powder particles are fine and less than 8 microns, or even submicron.

Therefore, the first stage cyclone separator is an almost unnecessary investment, as it is bypassed by most of the black powder which will quickly clog the second stage cartridge filters.


To overcome the overwhelming situation and the operating costs of frequent cartridge replacement, it was decided to install the spin separator after due diligence and visit some sites where the spin separator system is working successfully. For years.

Advantages of the spin separator

• Separation of solids and / or liquids in a single step; no need for double floors or standby.

• Maintenance free and no replacement parts are required.

• In-line cleaning (manual or automatic) without interrupting the process.

• Robust to change gas source, contaminant type and load unlike conventional filters.

• Safe because there is no interaction of operating personnel with the filter.

• No suffocation or clogging.

• Negligible and constant pressure drop under clean and dirty conditions.

• Consistent separation efficiency regardless of gas flow and pressure fluctuations.

• Ecological.

• High tuning ratio.

Client satisfaction

• Since the installation of the spin separator upstream, the customer no longer replaces the cartridges.

• The differential pressure is constant.

• The separation efficiency has exceeded the cyclo-cartridge system.

• No need for a dedicated team for urgent cartridge replacement.

• Millions of USD saved so far in operating and shutdown costs.

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