centrifugal separation basicsReading time:
Centrifugation is a separation process that uses the effect of centrifugal force causing accelerated settling of particles in a solid-liquid mixture.
Two separate phases occur in the centrifugation chamber:
- a centrifugation base (called sediment). This base does not have a homogenous structure because the particles are graded according to their density;
- a supernatant liquid (called centrate or centrifugate). This liquid is not always properly clarified (particularly when it contains colloids). It can also comprise two phases when it includes a phase that is lighter than water (oils for instance).