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Mercury removal Scientists at Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia; www.flinders.edu.au) have…
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Centrifugal Pumps:When to Repair, Replace or Modify?

By Robert Perez and Heinz P. Bloch |

When a pump operates inefficiently, or fails all together, the challenge is to make the most economical decision on how to remedy the situation. Some guidance is provided here Centrifugal pumps are widely used throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). Their reliable and efficient performance plays a significant role in plant operations. This article considers the different options on what to do when a pump begins to operate unreliably or fails.   Pump hydraulics Operation far away from a pump’s best efficiency point (BEP) is a common cause of pump unreliability. There are a number of reasons why a centrifugal pump may be found operating in an off-design condition: The pump may either have originally been mis-applied or the process requirements may have changed since its initial specification and installation. Two minimum flows must be satisfied on the pump curve for reliable service: 1) The minimum continuous stable flow (MCSF), which prevents internal recirculation; and 2) the minimum thermal flow, the point where rapid internal heating begins. The pump manufacturer will usually state the MCSF for its pumps in its documentation. For best overall performance, it is always best to keep the operating point above the…
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