Why is Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Dust so difficult to convey?

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The EAF dust generated in a combustion process by electric arc furnaces employed in steelmaking is a hazardous material containing many heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, zinc, etc. These materials are not only hazardous requiring safe and reliable methods of conveying and disposal but they are also highly abrasive and poorly flowing.  Furthermore EAF dust can have high moisture content. As a result EAF dust is a challenge to convey and special considerations must be applied to the way the material is fed as well as conveyed.  The best way to convey EAF dust is using dense-phase pneumatic conveying which has the ability to convey EAF dust reliably with an added benefit of minimizing pipe wear.

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Macawber has been awarded a substantial contract for conveying EAF Dust for a steel mill located in Arkansas. The order includes 28 Ashveyor systems and is expected to be in operation early 2016.

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AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with over 45,000 members from over 100 countries.

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Dense phase pneumatic conveying is best described as using the lowest attainable material velocities to ensure the majority of material remains below the saltation level. It is a simple, efficient, cost-effective and safe mode of transport particularly beneficial for handling difficult to convey materials.

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Vessel After Painting

Vessel After Painting

Two Macawber Fly Ash Systems were supplied to convey 30t/h each over a distance of up to 1,265ft horizontal and 121ft vertical. The ash systems use 40 cu.ft. vessels with a 6” pipe line. Both conveying systems are located under a feed hopper with start and stop controlled in automatic by the feed hopper and silo reception level probes. The Fly Ash systems are working very reliably with no line blockages and exceed the customer’s expectation regarding transfer rate and performance. These particular Macawber systems incorporated multiple manifold settings allowing the transfer of a range of Fly Ash products over various distances. The final convey air requirement on the longest route was 760scfm compared to the proposed 988scfm resulting in a saving both in cost and air used from the compressed air system. One particular problem was a very low control air pressure resulting in a compromised sealing of the Dome filling valve inflatable seal. This was overcome by installing a pressure doubler and small air reservoir to provide more than sufficient instrument air pressure and excellent sealing.

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Power station boiler building - system 3

Power station boiler building – system 3

Three Macawber dense-phase pneumatic conveying systems were supplied to convey bed ash between 5t/h for the two smaller conveying systems and 56t/h for the larger system 3. Material transfer distances are between 158ft and 230ft. The ash systems use 2 x 4 cu.ft. vessels with 4” pipe lines and system 3 uses an 30 cu.ft. vessel on a 10” pipe line. All dense-phase systems are located under feed hoppers with start and stop controlled in automatic by the feed hopper and silo reception level probes to maintain empty feed hoppers and full reception silos. System 1 is used on the Economizer line with a water cooled top plate and dome filling component to withstand the high temperatures. System 2 and 3 are standard in that no additional equipment is required to handle high temperature up to 390°F material temperature. Other Ashveyor equipment supplied were switch type diverter valves, isolation high temperature knife gate valves, wear resistant bends and end diverters placed on top of the reception silos. System 3 conveyed the ash material directly in to the fluid bed of the boiler.

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