Shell VersiSwirl™ axial cyclone

Innovative aero-dynamic solutions for all separation needs

In today’s critical applications, the best performance is required from gas/liquid separation equipment. To meet this demand, Sulzer has launched the Shell VersiSwirl™ axial cyclone which incorporates the latest innovations from more than ten years of R&D cooperation between Sulzer and Shell.

Graphic with 3 different columns with Shell VersiSwirl™ axial cyclones inside
Main benefits
  • Comparable performance to vane packs but with higher liquid handling capacity
  • Operation possible at higher pressure than vane packs
  • Due to compact size suitable for offshore industry or in general for high-pressures conditions
  • For debottlenecking of existing separators
  • For high turndowns (up to factor 10)
  • Advantageous for slightly fouling service and may be used where double-pocket vanes or wire mesh mist eliminators may become plugged
Main applications
  • Gas processing applications
  • Inlet separators
  • Turbo-expander suction drums
  • Dew-point separators
  • Compressors suction drums
  • Glycol contractors
Shell VersiSwirl configuration
It is the combination of equipment with the VersiSwirl™ axial cyclone that provides optimized performance over the full operating range.


The VersiSwirl™ axial cyclone represents an evolution of the long established Shell SMS™, SMSM™ and SMMSM™ separators (with more than 1000 installations in successful operation). In comparison with the previous generation of technologies, VersiSwirl axial cyclone gives a step-change in performance in terms of efficiency and capacity allowing for either smaller vessel (greenfield projects) or greater capacity (brownfield revamps). The numerous technological improvements incorporated in the VersiSwirl axial cyclone include a new aerodynamic swirler, optimized secondary gas handling and liquid film drainage.

In the VersiSwirl axial cyclone, liquid is separated from the gas stream by impact of liquid droplets on axial cyclone tube wall which are then drained via slits into a collection chamber. The droplets are forced to the wall by centrifugal forces induced by the gas vortex generated by the swirler.

For the most demanding duties, the VersiSwirl axial cyclone can be combined with other technologies which provide an Edge over its already impressive performance. Shell SchoepentoeterTM inlet device is used as a standard, but in challenging applications, a Shell Schoepentoeter Plus inlet device will greatly reduce entrainment from the inlet zone.

Selection of the appropriate primary separator is key to the system's overall performance, whether the intention is to optimize the droplet size reaching the VersiSwirl axial cyclone or reduce liquid from the internals and prevent re-entrainment.

VersiSwirl, SMS, SMSM, SMMSM and Schoepentoeter are a trademark owned and used by the companies of the Shell group.

New combinations

New combinations

  • VersiSwirl™ axial cyclone/Schoepentoeter™ Plus: optimized inlet device performance
  • VersiSwirl axial cyclone/V-MISTER: improved performance over the widest range of operation
  • VersiSwirl axial cyclone/Drainable KnitMesh, SLR + Schoepentoeter Plus: extra drainage capacity reduces the overall load in the vessel internals where critical guaranteed performance is a must

VersiSwirl axial cyclone gives high performance for demanding applications and when combined with optimized technologies from Sulzer’s portfolio a tailored solution can be provided to meet the needs of the customer.

VersiSwirl, SMS, SMSM, SMMSM and Schoepentoeter are a trademark owned and used by the companies of the Shell group.

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