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Centrifugal Compressor vs Centrifugal Pump: What are Differences Between Them?


In the current industrial days, the centrifugal pump and compressor both are essential, due to their powerful functions. However, when comes to their implementation, many people may be confused with them. In this post, the author would clearly give illustrate the differences between centrifugal compressor and pump.

What Is Centrifugal Compressor?

The centrifugal compressor is also known as an impeller compressor or radial compressor. It achieves the pressure rise by conversion of the dynamic energy. And, this energy is produced from the continuous flow of fluid through the rotor/impeller.

What Is Centrifugal Pump?

The centrifugal pump is a mechanical device designed to move a relatively incompressible liquid medium with the help of one or more than one driven rotors. During the working process, the fluid moves along the axis and is cast out by centrifugal force along its circumference through the impeller’s vane tips. If you want to learn more information about the centrifugal pumps, you can read our previous article: Centrifugal Pump: What it is & How Does it Work.


kenflo centrifugal pump

Kenflo Centrifugal Pump

What Are the Differences between A Centrifugal Compressor and Pump?

The most obvious difference between a centrifugal compressor and a pump is the object they transfer. The centrifugal compressors move gas, and centrifugal pumps move liquid. And, the following content, the author would illustrate other differences between centrifugal compressors and pumps.

●The Differences Between Centrifugal Compressor and Pump in Structures

They are totally different in structure, especially in the internal structure. And, there are different kinds of centrifugal compressor pumps, because they are different in the working principle, applications, fluid types, etc. Therefore, it is hard to simply describe all the constructional differences between them.

The author only can give a simple introduction about the basic components. In basic components, the centrifugal compressor is consist of the motor, storage tank, drain, intake filter, valves, and so on. Then, the centrifugal pump usually is consist of a housing (casing), impeller, motor, shaft, and volute.

●The Differences between Centrifugal Compressor and Pump in Applications

The centrifugal pump and compressor are two of the equipment applied in different industries such as technological constructions, factories, larger plants, etc.

You always can find the existence of the centrifugal compressor from AC and HCAC to natural-gas processing and refrigeration. And, the centrifugal compressor also can be used in gas turbines, automobile turbochargers, and superchargers.

As for the centrifugal pump, due to its unique design, it typically is used in any application involving low-viscosity fluids. In industrial, agricultural, and domestic activities, it is used for pumping water, solvents, organics, oils, acids, bases, and any 'thin' liquids in industries.

●The Differences between Centrifugal Compressor and Pump in Fluid Physical Changes

During the working process, the centrifugal pump and compressor inevitably change the fluid energy, then the changes in the fluid physical properties.

In the centrifugal pump, the volume of fluid doesn't change from the inlet to the outlet of the pump. And, the pressure change may not occurs. Then, in the compressor, the change in the volume of gas would occur as the change of pressure.


You can learn the differences between a centrifugal compressor and centrifugal pump from purpose, structure, and application. Then, although they have various differences, both of them still have a common, which is they play an important role in our lives. Without them, our lives may not be as convenient as they currently are.

If you are planning to purchase a centrifugal pump and compressor for your companies or businesses, you can come to consult Kenflo. Kenflo is one of the greatest industrial centrifugal pump suppliers, is widely focusing on offering world-class kenflo centrifugal pumps which can rise the expectations for energy transport worldwide.