Limitations

  • Limitations of the centrifuge include high capital and operational costs as they are energy-intensive. In addition, the maintenance costs and number of incidents of breakdown are higher than with static separators due to the moving parts.
  • Another limitation is the narrow range for optimum performance with variable conditions like feed acceleration, positioning of the interface and solid discharge method. In addition, sealing materials, especially the dynamic sealing materials, must be carefully chosen to be chemically and thermally resistant.; therefore, a much more extensive design and optimization program is required than with the static separators; therefore, a much more extensive design and optimization program is required than with the static separators.
  • The actual achieved separative power of gas centrifuge will be always lower than its theoretical separative power reflecting additional inefficiencies in the centrifuges when running as individual machines and in cascades. For example, The IR-1 centrifuge achieves an average separative power in cascades of less than one SWU/year, significantly less than its theoretical maximum separative power of 4.9 SWU/year. Although its value when run individually is greater, it is still far below the theoretical value. It also experiences a relatively high breakage rate, which accounts for much of the additional reduction of its separative power when run in production cascades.