NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                            MAY 2013

Clarifiers will Contribute 43 Percent to the Sedimentation/Centrifugation World Revenues Next Year

In 2014, suppliers of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment will generate revenues of just under $7.6 billion. Forty-three percent of that revenue will consist of clarifiers and thickeners.

$ Millions









 Dissolved Air Flotation




 Other Centrifuges




Clarifiers and thickeners have different purposes but similar design. In both designs, the solids settle and are captured from the bottom of the vessel, whereas the purified liquid overflows the top of the vessel. Rakes or chains with flights are typically used to remove the solids from the bottom of the vessel. Another alternative is pumping. In the case of the clarifier, the goal is to improve the purity of the discharge water. The purpose of the thickener is to concentrate the solids. Thickeners are typically used within the process and the overflow liquid is subsequently treated in another device.

Clarifiers and thickeners are used extensively in municipal wastewater treatment and in mining. Their energy consumption is low. The disadvantage is the size. Hydrocyclones can accomplish similar results, but with higher energy consumption. However, hydrocyclones occupy much less space. Dissolved air flotation is more cost effective when the nature of the particles makes them more easily removed by creating bubbles and floating them out the overflow.

Many companies make small clarifiers and thickeners. Only a few companies make that large clarifiers and thickeners whose diameter can exceed one hundred feet. There are very few companies making disk centrifuges and relatively few companies making decanter centrifuges. The reason is the capital investment to manufacture centrifuges is considerably greater than to manufacture clarifiers. In fact, the vessel walls for clarifiers can be constructed of concrete onsite, so often the supplier is only furnishing the internals.

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