Heavy material separator DebrisCatcher by Vogelsang

Active separation of heavy material for maximum protection

  • Prevents damage due to foreign matter such as stones and metal parts
  • Prevents blockages of pumps, gate valves and valves
  • High throughput with low power requirements
  • Sturdy and robust thanks to counter bearing


The heavy material separator principle
How does the DebrisCatcher work?

The heavy material separator separates out foreign matter such as stones and metal parts using two methods, and combines a gravity separator with an active foreign matter separator. To start off with, the medium (e.g. organic suspension, liquid manure) flows into the side of the heavy material separator. In the main chamber, the cross section is significantly enlarged, which considerably reduces the flow speed. The design of the housing has been optimized using a flow simulation. Together, these two aspects result in a slow, laminar flow. In this way, the conditions in the heavy material separator are made ideal for the gravity-based separation of stones and metal parts.
Foreign matter which can’t be separated out like this by the foreign matter separator, e.g. because they are too small and light, or because the medium is too viscous, will move with the medium to the screen. Here it will be actively held back, until it is picked up by the slowly rotating, paddle-like, clearing units and will then be actively guided downwards into the container for foreign matter. As the clearing units rotate without touching the screen, there is minimal wear and this principle of operation is characterized by a long service life.

The reliable, active foreign matter separator
Active heavy material separator DebrisCatcher for biogas applications

Foreign matter such as stones and metal parts repeatedly ends up in biogas plants, whether along with the solid biomass or in the fresh liquid manure. However, due to the required dimensions and the prevailing viscosity, there is often not enough room to reliably separate out the foreign matter using a passive foreign matter separator.

The DebrisCatcher is designed for cases precisely like this. It combines a gravity foreign matter separator with active foreign matter separation, offers maximum protection against foreign matter such as stones and metal parts, requires minimal space, and reliably and economically protects pumps and system components from damage and blockages that would otherwise occur.

Slow, laminar flow is created in the flow-optimized housing of the heavy material separator. These are optimal conditions for gravity-based separation of stones and metal parts. Heavy material that is too small and light to be separated in this manner ends up in the cutting screen along with the medium. It is retained there, picked up by the slow-rotating clearing units, and actively guided into the foreign matter separator.

Thanks to the non-contact design and low speed of the clearing units, the system has minimal power requirements. At throughput of up to 400 m3/h, the DebrisCatcher needs only 2 kW of drive power to protect downstream systems.

The housing is made of welded sheet steel and is hot-dip galvanized for high corrosion resistance, enabling maximum internal pressures of 4 bar. Applications under pressure, e.g. on high digesters or if supporting booster pumps are used, can be realized without issue. At the same time, the combination of the non-contact functional principle and slow drive speed ensures minimized wear and a long lifetime.

Features of the DebrisCatcher

In contrast to static heavy material separators, stones and metal parts are actively separated out by the DebrisCatcher. Foreign matter that arrives at the screen along with the liquid flow is retained there and is then actively (mechanically) guided into the foreign matter separator by the clearing units.
For optimal separation of heavy material, a generously dimensioned, calmed area was created and optimized using flow simulations. The result: foreign matter contained in the liquid flow, such as metal parts or stones, is optimally separated out by gravity, and sinks down to the foreign matter separator.
A counter bearing supports the drive shaft and ensures high stability.
The drive shaft is sealed using a proven-effective combination of a mechanical seal and radial shaft seal ring. The sealing system additionally includes a buffer fluid tank that enables leak control.
The geometry of the clearing units is perfectly coordinated to work with the screen. The pairing of the screen and clearing units always results in a large, blunt angle. This prevents blockages resulting from trapped foreign matter.

Options of the DebrisCatcher

For optimal adjustment of the DebrisCatcher to the requirements of the respective application, and to retain sufficiently small metal parts – and to keep pressure loss at a minimum – cutting screen variants with gap dimensions of 12 mm, 25 mm and 40 mm are available for selection.
Depending on the medium and circumstances of the system on-site, the DebrisCatcher can be equipped with DN150 or DN200 connectors.
The Debris Removal System (DRS) removes the separated heavy material during ongoing operation with no need to switch off or open the solid matter feeder or foreign matter separator. The system removes the heavy material with only minimal loss of medium (only around 15 l). In comparison to conventional solutions, the DRS reduces the work required by up to 80%.

Additional information:
The Performance Control Unit monitors all key parameters during operation. This data enables the PCU to detect potential disruptions early on, initiates suitable corrective action and thereby prevents downtime. Connection to a master control is possible upon request.

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