Vacuum pumps are essential in maintaining the desired levels of pressure in a system. Vacuum pumps can be used in many systems and applications from domestic to industrial environments such as the food and beverage, pulp and paper, chemical and petrochemical, pharmaceutical, mining and other markets. These industries rely on vacuum pumps to operate effectively and profitably.
The mechanics around how a vacuum pump works are relatively simple. Since liquids cannot be pulled, suction can not be used to create a vacuum. Due to this fact, it is necessary to create an artificial vacuum to achieve the required levels of pressure in a system.
Using positive displacement, a mechanism is used to repeatedly expand a cavity, which allows gases to flow in from one chamber to another. The cavity is then sealed off, and gases are exhausted into the atmosphere. Another mechanic that is used is momentum, which uses high speed rotation blades or high speed jets of fluid to knock molecules out of the internal chamber.
There are many different systems available, but these are the most popular in operation today:
- Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
- Diaphragm Pump
- Rotary Vane Pump
- External Vane Pump
- Roots Blower
- Multistage Roots Pump
As mentioned, vacuum pumps are used in many different industries that are entirely dependent on the use of vacuum systems for their manufacturing processes. Here are some of the industries that uses vacuum pumps and the applications that they are used for:
The Electricity Industry
Using mostly liquid ring vacuum pumps, optimal levels of electricity production is achieved when they are able to lower the back-pressure from a steam turbine. This is achieved using a steam surface condenser. This is where the vacuum pump comes into play. It is used to remove air and any non-condensable gases from the system in order for the condenser venting equipment to work efficiently and convert more energy into electricity.
The Refining Industry
This industry uses mostly liquid ring vacuum pumps to improve the distillation of crude oil towers. With the use of vacuum systems in their systems, the amount of energy required to break down the crude oil will be reduced and as such, the efficiency of their systems are improved.
The Food Industry
In order to avoid the expiry of food in the industry, vacuum systems are used for evaporative cooling and general evaporation.
Remediation is the process of drilling a well and using a vacuum system to pull groundwater to the surface. The water will then be cleaned and pumped back into the ground. The vacuum will clean the soil by pulling huge amounts of air through it, which will then evaporate any contaminants.