The flooded‐core solid/liquid hydrocyclone, also called a desander, is often used in the upstream oil and gas industry to separate particulate solids from produced water. A desander incorporates a solid/liquid cyclone with an accumulation chamber connected to the apex. Solids collect in the accumulator for intermittent removal while the overflow is discharged continuously. With a flooded‐core and static‐liquid volume in the accumulator, the trajectory of a sand particle from the cyclone inlet to the apex is changed, compared with that in an open underflow hydrocyclone classifier. In this project, the transfer of solids from the cyclone to the accumulator section is studied, with emphasis on the limiting flux. The settling of solids from the cyclone to the accumulator follows a turbulent, hindered‐settling relationship that can be approximated by models used for sedimentation hoppers. Measurement of the apex‐flux rate shows a maximum choke point, beyond which solids will back up into the cyclone section. The limiting inlet solids concentration to reach this choke point is ≈2 g/L for small‐diameter desanders. An apex‐flux balancing system is proposed to overcome this flux‐rate limitation.

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