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The removal of small amounts of fine, particulate solids from liquids. The purpose is almost invariably to improve the quality of the liquid, and the removed solids often are discarded. The particles removed by a clarifier may be as large as 100 micrometers or as small as 2 micrometers. Clarification is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, beverages, and fiber and film polymers; in the reconditioning of electroplating solutions; in the recovery of dry-cleaning solvent; and for the purification of drinking water and waste water. The filters in the feed line and lubricating oil system of an internal combustion engine are clarifiers.
The methods of clarification include gravity sedimentation, centrifugal sedimentation, filtration, and magnetic separation. Clarification differs from other applications of these mechanical separation techniques by the low solid content of the suspension to be clarified (usually less than 0.2%) and the substantial completion of the particle removal. See Filtration, Magnetic separation methods, Mechanical separation techniques, Sedimentation (industry)