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Denseveyor installed below a feed hopper
[P3674] Macawber Group Installation Case Study:
Sodium Bicarbonate Conveying system, Northwich, UK.

In brief:

The dense phase pneumatic conveying system was supplied to convey 14 t/h of sodium bicarbonate over a distance of 26 ft. horizontal and 98 ft. vertical. The system is an 8 cubic feet Denseveyor® with a 5” pipe line and is located under a feed hopper with start and stop controlled in automatic by the feed hopper and silo reception level probes. The system was first installed in November 1996.  In July 2014 after 17 years of continuous daily operation it was upgraded with a touch screen operator interface, new filling Dome Valve and air manifold. The vessel and pipe line remain originals and are in very good condition expected to offer many more years of service.  The pipe line, bends, and vessel are made from stainless steel 304 with all external surfaces coated in a corrosive resistant clear lacquer.

 

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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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System loaded on transport vehicle

System loaded on transport vehicle

The Macawber Macpump T150, a single system, but with two vessels. As one is conveying the other is filling and preparing to convey. The pneumatic conveying distance is 2955ft horizontal and 65ft vertical conveying over 100t/h of crushed limestone. The convey line starts at 12” and finishes at 14”. This was a challenging application due mainly to the limestone material being out of specification relative to the initial sample upon which the system was designed. However, with a few small modifications and careful optimizing the system achieved all the customer’s specifications and is now working 24 hours per day 7 days a week at a power station. Batch size and sequence control is by two sets of load cells with system control selectable either from the central control room via Ethernet communication protocols or at the local panel.

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Pneumatic Conveying

Pneumatic Conveying

First of all decide what kind of pneumatic conveying regime is required – dilute phase or dense phase. Dilute phase relies on a high air flow to maintain the material particles in a suspended condition. With chunky material the velocity to achieve complete suspension is extraordinary high and not very practical. So dense phase conveying, which does not rely on a high velocity for conveying is a better choice.

Dense phase systems operate at high pressure – anywhere from 20 to 50 psig depending on distance and other factors. This requires the use of a pressure vessel to introduce the material into the conveying line.  With lumpy sticky material, the choice of vessel type is critical. These kinds of material tend to bridge easily in silos and hoppers – the same goes for pressure vessels. So to avoid bridging or jamming in the vessel discharge a small compact vessel with steep sides and a large transition between the vessel discharge and pipe line is essential.

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WG Denseveyor conveying malted barley

Denseveyor conveying malted barley

The Denseveyor is a low velocity dense-phase pneumatic conveying system using here a single pressure vessel to cyclically transfer 10T/hour Malted Barley for 280 ft as it is made available by gravity feed to the machine. The Denseveyor is filled by gravity through the special Dome® Valve and when the vessel is choke filled the valve closes through the material and seals closed to a pressure differential of 7 barg. The conveying air is applied to the pressure vessel in a special controlled method that allows the material to pass down the pipeline at a low velocity reducing material degradation.

 

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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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