Inline Separator & Filter Type LCK®


Our patented inline separator, the Side-Stream-Separator type LCK®, a development that is based on thorough theoretical knowledge and fundamental research (1996 – to date), enjoys wide spread application in different applications featuring high efficiency, limited pressure differential and purifies gas to an extent equal to gas cleaned by quality filter cartridges without the disadvantage of such cartridges.

The equipment utilizing only the energy from the incoming process stream has no moving parts, is low in maintenance and simple to operate with considerably less waste. Therefore spare parts are reduced to a minimum. The total cost of ownership and Footprint are considerably less compared with conventional systems. As there is no need to change cartridges and when automatic draining is planned, redundancy almost is intrinsically embedded within the equipment.

Benefits of the LCK®:

  • Very high fractional separation across a wide operating range. Consistent separation performance is achieved from a process pressure of approximately 6 bar up to the highest pressures. The separation efficiency comfortably matches that of a high-quality cartridge for natural gas applications. Moreover, this high separation level remains constant across a very wide operating range, with a flow speed of approximately 1.0 m/s to 24 m/s depending on the application in a free pipeline cross section of nominal bore diameter. While the efficiency does decrease at pressures below 6 bar, it nevertheless remains at a high level right down to atmospheric pressure. This also makes the LCK® attractive for low-pressure applications, such as exhaust gas scrubbing.
  • Relatively low and constant pressure losses depending only on the density of the fluid and the flow rate. The LCK® cannot get clogged up under normal operating conditions as is the case with filters; for this reason, pressure losses and the separation performance remain constant throughout operation. Similarly, how full the sedimentation tank SSB is has no impact on the pressure losses within the system.
  • The LCK® excels due to its compact inline construction, which makes it relatively straightforward for the customer to integrate this separation system into an existing pipeline. It essentially makes no difference whether the LCK® is fitted horizontally or vertically. With the right design, an extremely small footprint is therefore possible. Moreover, the customer is free to decide the routing of the pipeline immediately before and after the LCK®: multiple 90-degree bends at different levels, 180-degree bends, reducers, etc. are no problem.
  • The special design of the LCK® is suitable for a wide range of applications:
    • Mobile applications, which make it possible to capture the temporary excess dust during maintenance in order to relieve the normal filter devices.
    • Pigging operations: the particularly hazardous conditions during pigging operations can be largely or entirely avoided with the LCK®. In such cases, the LCK® will be designed to take account of the pigging strategy in partnership with the customer. Separation quantities of over 2.5 kg of dust per second (!) present no problems.
    • Problematic particulates, including some pyrophoric particulates (e.g. FeS), are not only separated with a high degree of efficiency, they can also be automatically neutralized in the separator. This makes later disposal easier and avoids unnecessary risks to service personnel in terms of health and injuries.
  • Process parameters: the separation performance of the LCK® is virtually independent of process temperatures. Very high temperatures, such as those encountered in exhaust flows or in catalytic converters (FCC), are likewise no problem, nor are very low temperatures, for example in cryogenic applications. In high-pressure applications in particular, the constructional benefits of the LCK® are evident: low sump volumes/diameters mean low wall thicknesses and minimal space requirements. It may be noted that there are no limitations in terms of the materials used, pressure classes, flange norms, etc. Chemically aggressive materials and abrasive impurities can both be counteracted with the right choice of materials and/or technical coatings.
  • Maintenance time and cost: thanks to its concentrator, the LCK® requires no maintenance for long periods because it is self-cleaning. Depending on the application and operating parameters, VoTech recommends performing visual inspections every 3 to 4 years. As part of the separation tank checks (10 years), a full inspection can then be carried out. It is possible to discharge the separated impurities under process pressure, obviating the need for expensive depressurization, rinsing, and safeguards. In comparing the cost of the LCK® system with conventional filter devices, in some cases the investment cost of an LCK® may be higher, but on closer inspection the Total Cost of Ownership of the LCK® often works out to be lower. Another important point is the reduction in production risks: the LCK® can effectively prevent production outages, unplanned downtime, contract penalties, etc. (example: pigging operations).

FSS fluid separator:

The FSS fluid separator can only be deployed as the second separation level behind the LCK® because this is where the specific processing (coalescence) of the fluids (with high viscosity) takes place. Like the LCK®, the FSS is characterized by its compact inline design. It is constructed in such a way that it does not exert significant shearing forces on the gas carrier/fluid droplets. This prevents larger droplets from being split back into smaller fractions. Moreover, this design ensures reduced pressure losses. Not least for this reason, the FSS fluid separator is characterized by a very high degree of separation efficiency. The separated aerosols are routed through a special system of grooves into an annulus in which the fluids can be discharged into the fluid collection container FSP below, independently of the current operational situation.

Because in many cases aerosols have solid particles as their nuclei and because in particular operating situations they consist of conglomerates of multiple phases, in the FSS these solids are also separated along with the fluids. The solid content is no problem for the FSS.

Benefits of the FSS:

  • Very high fraction separation degree: from atmospheric pressure to the highest pressures, an even separation performance is achieved. Its efficiency comfortably matches a high-quality coalescing cartridge for natural gas applications. The constant separation performance extends over the same wide operating range as with the LCK® (approx. 1.0 to 24 m/s)
  • Low, constant pressure losses which depend only on the density of the fluid and the flow rate. Like the LCK®, the FSS cannot choke up under normal operating conditions. The pressure losses and the separation performance therefore also remain constant throughout operation. Similarly, how full the sump (V-14) is has no influence on the pressure losses within the system.
  • High performance capability with low space requirements: an LCK®/FSS which is already in operation with nominal bore diameter DN150 has been designed in such a way that a total mass over 10,000 kg can be separated daily. The LGR (Liquid to Gas Ratio) can be up to 500 [m3/106 Nm3]. The FSS fluid separator is capable of separating as much as 3,600 litres of water per hour.