Seven Innovations Earn Chemical Processing Honors

Many plants stand to benefit from these recently commercialized developments

By Mark Rosenzweig, Editor-in-Chief

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DeltaV Predict is designed to provide good control performance even when the process gain and dynamics change with throughput and operating conditions. So, periodic recommissioning of the controller might not be necessary.

Emerson Process Management, Austin, Texas


More-Benign Heat-Transfer Fluids Replace Biphenyls

One judge describes them as "environmentally friendly and effective at the same time."

Xceltherm LV fluids, which consist of mixtures of diphenyl oxide and
1,1-diphenylethane, do not face any regulatory reporting requirements, yet offer physical and thermal properties almost identical to diphenyl-oxide/biphenyl mixtures. The LV fluids can serve as drop-in replacements, including for makeup in existing diphenyl-oxide/biphenyl systems. Plants that have switched over entirely have needed minimal, if any, system adjustments or modifications.

Rick Jones, operations supervisor at the Pinova Div. of Hercules in Brunswick, Ga., was drawn to Xceltherm LV because of its environmental friendliness. He switched three boilers from biphenyl-containing fluid in May. Radco took the old fluid and cleaning solution and provided a credit for usable materials recovered.

The boilers are operating extremely well. "It's an excellent fluid. We haven't seen any performance problems," notes Jones. The boilers even run at a little lower pressure, he added. Jones now is planning to convert other boilers on the site. Avoiding costs incurred by biphenyl-containing fluids is a factor, but the more-benign nature of Xceltherm LV is his prime motivation. "It's great to know that you're not causing environmental damage," he emphasizes.

The fluids also offer benefits over non-biphenyl liquid-phase alternatives being used in the temperature range of 600 Degrees F to 660 Degrees F. Xceltherm LV can provide a 15 percent to 25 percent boost in heat-transfer efficiency, which can translate into energy savings in existing systems or smaller components in new units. The fluids also boast better thermal stability, leading to longer life.

The three fluids in the series, LV1, LV2 and LV3, are designed to offer improved crystallization points -- 45 Degrees F, 11 Degrees F and -35 Degrees F, respectively -- and low-end operating ranges compared to diphenyl-oxide/biphenyl mixtures. The lower crystallization points may eliminate the need for heat-tracing. The fluids can be used in the liquid phase from -35 Degrees F to 700 Degrees F and the vapor phase from 496 Degrees F to 700 Degrees F.

Radco Industries, La Fox, Ill.

Xceltherm LV1 provides a higher heat-transfer coefficient than biphenyl blends at temperatures above 650 Degrees F.


Hybrid Design Provides Better Wet Milling


MKO 2000 Cone Mill combines a stone mill's grinding action with a colloid mill's fluid-dispersing capabilities.

The Cone Mill achieves this performance because of the unique hybrid design of its milling tool. This combines the grinding action of a stone mill with the fluid-dispersing capabilities of a colloid mill. The tool produces an intense shear zone that can process materials with high or low viscosities.

"A nice, two-in-one machine," one judge concludes.

The mill features a conical-shaped rotor and stator arrangement that provides extremely fine milling action. The rotor has an initial stage of spiral-shaped teeth and then two stages of progressively finer rough coatings to abrade material. The stator also has abrasive coatings in increasing fineness. The coatings consist of very hard materials such as carbides and ceramics. The gap between the rotor and stator determines the amount of milling action and is adjustable so that the desired amount of milling can be achieved. The nominal tip speed is 4,500 fpm.

The MKO 2000 comes in six standard models, with maximum flow rates ranging from 10 lb/hr to 6,000 lb/hr. Actual flow rate depends upon the gap setting and material being processed. It can be reduced to as low as 10 percent of the maximum rating for difficult-to-process materials and near-zero gap settings.

IKA Works, Wilmington, N.C. 

Nonwoven Media Boost Baghouse Performance

The media are made via a proprietary web-forming and hydroentangling process combined with sophisticated finishing. This provides superior uniformity, tightly controlled pore-size distribution and, thus, high filtration efficiency and low pressure drop. Durapex PM2.5 boasts greater fabric strength than needlefelt at a lower weight basis. The media also avoid the inherent disadvantages of needlefelt -- needle penetrations that can cause mechanical damage and leave large pores.

Durapex PM2.5 media come in a variety of materials including polyester, Ryton polyphenylene sulfide for corrosive services to 375 Degrees F, and Nomex aramid for temperatures up to 400 Degrees F, in both non-screen-supported and screen-supported versions.

Polymer Group Inc., Mooresville, N.C.


Durapex PM2.5 boasts smaller, more uniform pores than standard needlefelt. 

Skimmer Minimizes Water Pickup

The Gyroskimmer is compact, lightweight and easy to set up, even in underground tanks. The smallest model, the 602GY(P), weighs less than 29 lb., while the largest, the 1200GY(P), is only 60 lb. The skimmer features a built-in submersible pump and does not require any other equipment for operation. An optional motor-driven scraper vane can be added to prevent blockage by sludge or scum if that is a concern.

Each unit consists of sets of outer and inner floats, a suction gate ring, and a hopper for collection of the waste. The two sets of floats work independently. Three large outer floats support the unit, including the hopper and hoses, while three inner floats maintain the suction gate at water level regardless of waves, preventing suction drag.

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