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i) To study the performance of a Rotary Drum Filter operating under Vacuum.

ii) To determine the specific resistance ( ) for a given slurry of CaCO3

In a continuous Rotary Drum Filter, the feed, filtrate and cake move at steady constant rates.
For any particular element of the Filter surface, however, conditions are not steady but transient.
The process of filtration consists of cake formation, washing, drying and discharging. The cake
thickness is not allowed to increase to large values and therefore the filtration process can be
conducted at a constant rate using a constant pressure difference.
A Rotary drum vacuum filter consists of a cylindrical drum partly submerged in the feed
slurry. At any instant, a segment of the drum is in position and thus in contact with the slurry. Due
to vacuum applied inside the drum, the filtrate is drawn in through the filter medium and the cake
is deposited on the outer surface of the drum. As the drum rotates, this segment moves up where it
is subjected to dewatering, to washing and finally the cake is removed by the scrapper or doctor’s
knife. The cake can be loosened by application of slight positive air pressure. A full rotation of the
drum is equivalent to a complete batch cycle.

Let t = time for cake formation

If tc = time for one full rotation of the drum
Then t = f tc
f = fractional submergence
f  …………… 3
Sin  90  θ   …………… 4
OA = drum radius
OB = distance between drum center and slurry surface

Dewatering Dewatering

Cake removed
Dead zone
----------------Cake formation slurry---------------


Slurry Surface
The most common types of continuous vacuum filter is the rotary drum filter. A horizontal
drum with a slotted face turns at less than 2 RPM in an agitated slurry trough. A filter medium, such
as canvas, covers the face of drum, which is partly submerged in the liquid. Under the slotted
cylindrical face of the main drum is a second, smaller drum with a solid surface. Between the two
drums are radial partitions dividing the annular space into separate compartments, each connected
by an internal pipe to one hole in the rotating plate of the rotary valve Vacuum and air are
alternately applied to each compartment as the drum rotates.

The set-up consists of stainless steel ram moving in gunmetal brackets. The drum is divided
in 8 compartments, covered by a SS 304 mesh. A canvas filter is used for filtration. The whole
assembly is fitted with a SS trough in which a agitator is provided. To make the unit a self-
contained a slurry mixing and feed arrangement, receiver tanks, vacuum pump, control panel are

Filter Drum = Material SS, Dia. 350 mm, Length 450 mm.
Mesh = Material SS
Filter = Canvas Cloth
No. of Zones = 8 Nos.
Drive for Drum = FHP Crompton motor coupled to a Reduction Gear
Trough = Material SS, Compatible capacity.

Trough Agitator = Material SS, driven by FHP Crompton motor with

Article I. Reduction Gearbox.

Slurry Tank = SS, Capacity 100 Ltrs.

Slurry Pump = Gear Pump with ½ HP Crompton motor
Slurry Tank Agitator = SS Impeller with SS Shaft coupled to FHP

Crompton make motor and Reduction Gear Box

Filtrate Receiver = Material Stainless Steel , Capacity 20 Ltrs. (2 Nos.)

Vacuum Pump = Liquid Ring type coupled to a 1 HP
Crompton Make Motor
Piping = GI and PVC size ½
Control panel Comprises of Standard make On/Off switch, Mains Indicator etc. A good quality
painted rigid MS Structure is provided to support all the parts.


CaCO3 , Stop watch, vacuum pump, weighing balance and oven.

1. Prepare 80 kg slurry of 10 wt % CaCO3 in water ( 8 Kg CaCO3 and 72 Kg water ).
2. Record the drum diameter, drum length, submergence of drum in slurry trough and run it to
note down the time taken for one revolution. Check the drain valve of feed tank, it should
be closed. Fill the filtrate tanks 1 and 2 with water such that water level in glass tube
attached to the tanks is seen, note down the water level in each glass tube.
3. Pour the slurry into feed tank and start stirrer.
4. Keep the feed outlet valve closed and bypass valve to feed tank open. Switch on the feed
pump to check if feed flows through the bypass line. If it does, then switch off feed pump.
5. Initially see that both the bypass air flow valves are closed and then keep both the vacuum
control valves open and both the filtrate control valves closed of the two filtrate collection
tanks provided. Then only start the vacuum pump.
6. Observe that the needle rises in both the gauges, wait until pressure in the gauge rises to
about 650 mm Hg. Keep the air bypass valve closed.
7. Start the feed pump, open the feed outlet valve slightly, and partially close the bypass valve,
and allow the Slurry to fill the filter trough. Start the agitator and rotary drum motor wait till
slurry collects in trough and overflows through bypass line, when overflow starts partially
close the feed outlet valve.
8. See that both the vacuum control and filtrate control valve of tank 2 is closed and that of
tank 1 are open. Fix the pressure gauge reading (-P) of tank 1 at a value of say 300 mm Hg,
by opening slightly the air flow valve until required pressure is reached. Open the yellow
valve fully to allow the filtrate to collect in the filtrate collection tank 1 and simultaneously
start the stop watch, note initially height of water level in glass tube and record the time for
every 3 cm rise in water level. When tank is almost full close the vacuum control valve of
tank 1 and open the vacuum control valve of tank 2 then adjust pressure in tank 2 to 300 mm
Hg with the help of bypass air flow valve, once done, close the filtrate control valve of tank
1 and open the filtrate control valve of tank 2. Make a note of the height of liquid in glass
tube of tank 1. Now note the time and height of liquid in tank 2, now for every 1 cm rise of
liquid note the time. Take almost 8 -10 readings .
9. To shut down close feed pump, the agitator, rotary drum motor, yellow valve to stop filtrate
entry. Close all 4 vacuum control and filtrate control valves provided on tank1 and tank 2.
Close vacuum pump and release vacuum from filtrate tanks by opening air bypass valve.
10. Measure the thickness of cake deposited with a stick .

11. Take a portion of wet cake, weigh it , dry it in oven and weigh it again , calculate the
percentage of moisture retained in the cake.
12. Allow air to enter the drum and stop the vacuum pump. Remove the cake deposited and
wash the filter assembly.
14. Stop the feed tank stirrer, then open its drain valve to empty it and clean it completely with


Drum diameter, D = 350 mm

Drum Length, L = 450 mm

Drum area, A = DL

Diameter of filtrate collection tank = 0.25 m
Density filtrate (water)  = 1000 kg/m3

OA = D/2
= 175 mm
OB = 65 mm
 Sin (90- ) = OB / OA
= 0.37
Submergence, f = 2 / 360
= 2 x 68.2 / 360
= 0.379
Data to be noted
Feed taken = -------kg CaCO3 + --------kg water
Drum Diameter D = 0.35 m
Drum length L = 0.45m
Area of drum A = DL= --------m2
Diameter of the filtrate collection tank = 0.25 m

Area of the filtrate collection tank Af = --------m2
Time of one revolution of the drum tc = -----------sec
Submergence f = 0.379
Density of solid s = 2636.6 kg/m3
Density of filtrate f = 1000 kg/m3 at T0C
f = 0.000886 kg /m s viscosity of filtrate
(- P) = Pressure drop (vacuum gauge reading), N/m2
 = Specific cake resistance (m-2)
Rm = Filter medium resistance


P = mmHg

Area of the filtrate tank = m2

Time Height
(sec) (cm) V V t /V
(m3) (L)


pc A
Specific cake resistance  …………(1)
 u mc

 pm
Filter medium resistance Rm  …………..(2)

 P   PC  Pm   u (  Rm ) …….(3)
dV / dt
u  ……………………….(4)
mc = Vc………………………………….(5)

dt   cV 
   Rm  ……………………(6)
dV A p  A 

c  cF ………(7)
where cF is the concentration of solids in the slurry in kg per cubic meter fed to the filter.

 Rm dt 1
 ( )0  ……………………………..(8)
A p dV q0

dt 1 1
  K CV  ……………………….(9)
dV q q0

 c
KC  …………(10)
A2 p

Where A is the filter drum area

t KC 1
( )V  ……………………………(11)
V 2 q0
Thus a plot of t/V versus V will be linear, with a slope equal to and intercept of 1/q0
From such a plot the value of Kc and ultimately  may be calculated using equation (10).

1. Plot t/V versus V graph ( only when considerable amount of cake is formed then
consider only those readings to draw graph)
2. Calculate specific resistance 


1. Proper cleaning is must of Drum and its clothes.

2. Feed slurry is filtered before feeding it into the tank.
3. Low flow is best for operating it.
4. Vacuum pump connections should be correct & properly tight.


1. If the slurry overflows from the drum slow down the feed inlet rate.

2. If the vacuum is not proper than check the vacuum and tight the screw which are on the
vacuum connecting plate.
3. For constant pressure operate the ball valves during experiment if it fluctuates.
1. Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, W.L. McCabe & J.C. Smith, Int. ed.
2. Richardson, J F, Harker, J H and Backhurst, J R, Coulson and Richardson's
Chemical Engineering, 5th edition, Vol-2, Asian Books Private Limited, New Delhi,
India, 2002. pg 374-376 and pg 426-427.