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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The shape of the floats keeps them from interfering with intake and the curved surface of the suction gate impedes air from entering. The suction gate is vertically adjustable, to a depth of 0.28 in. to 0.39 in., depending upon model, to accommodate surface layers of different thickness.

Made of stainless steel and polypropylene, the Gyroskimmer resists corrosion and handles temperatures up to 104 Degrees F. The 602GY(P) model has a discharge diameter of 1 in., while 800GY(P) and 1000GY(P) have 1.5-in. diameters and the 1200GY(P) has a 2-in. diameter.

World Chemical USA, Torrance, Calif.

Gyroskimmer relies on novel twin float system. 

Internet-Based Approach Cuts Cost of Silicon-Based Products

Xiameter just offers common silicon-based materials and only in bulk quantities, which can be truckload, tankcar-load or pallet, depending upon product. Terms for credit and delivery are standardized. Shipping dates are guaranteed and are based on set product lead times of 7 days to 20 days, according to region.

The approach goes further than just standardization, however. Xiameter relies on a Web-based order-entry system coupled with supply chain management software to process orders, update and manage inventory levels, provide shipping confirmation and handle customer invoicing without human intervention. Customers can get pricing information and place and check the status of orders in real time on the Web site. Orders also can be telephoned in at a nominal surcharge.


Xiameter offers materials only in bulk quantities such as tankcar loads.

"Xiameter is a great example of using the manufacturer-customer interface at a new level of cost effectiveness," notes one judge. Switching to Xiameter certainly has paid off for one maker of sealants, says its operations manager. He reckoned that the firm has saved at least 20 percent on all products supplied by Xiameter, and its record for on-time delivery has been impressive. No wonder, he added, that his firm has honored Xiameter as "Supplier of the Year."

Xiameter currently offers more than 300 silicon-based fluids, sealants, silanes and resins. Xiameter/Dow Corning, Midland, Mich.


Some customers buy standard silicon-based materials in large quantities. They know exactly what products they want and how to use them. They don't want to pay for services and other extras they don't require. Xiameter is specifically aimed at these customers. It provides high-quality products at the lowest base prices available by taking advantage of existing Dow Corning technology and the efficiencies of the Internet. Conventional skimmers for removing sludge, scum and oil from wastewater tanks tend to collect a large amount of water as well, often necessitating further separation steps. The Gyroskimmer employs an ingenious design, as one judge characterized it, that relies on two sets of floats to minimize the pick up of water and ensure reliable and constant skimming. Four models provide capacities ranging from 4 gpm to 26.4 gpm and maximum heads from 13 ft. to 23 ft.Baghouses control particulate emissions in a diverse array of processes ranging from cement making to flour milling. And the importance of these filters is bound to increase as the U.S. EPA clamps down further on dust with its upcoming 2.5 m particle-emission regulation. So, operators of baghouses will welcome Durapex PM2.5. The nonwoven filtration media meet that upcoming rule and offer unmatched durability and, with it, cost savings vs. needlefelt and PTFE-laminated nonwovens.Materials that are extremely hard such as some pigments and crystals can be difficult to mill and may need multiple passes through traditional equipment like colloid mills. This can cause bottlenecks in production and lead to high maintenance costs. Hard seeds such as mustard may require soaking and heating before milling, adding to manufacturing time and cost. The MKO 2000 Cone Mill alleviates such problems. It also may eliminate the need for pre-milling of materials, and, thus, cut materials costs. Plus, the unit can produce smaller particle sizes than a colloid mill.Biphenyl-containing heat-transfer fluids remain widely popular because of their high heat-transfer efficiency and thermal stability at elevated operating temperatures. However, the fluids are subject to environmental regulations that mandate reporting and penalize companies for emissions and spills. The Xceltherm LV series of fluids doesn't pose such environmental issues and is compatible and performs comparably with biphenyl-containing ones. The fluids also boast lower removal and disposal costs.The value of constrained multivariable model predictive control (MPC), which forecasts the future behavior of a process by developing an accurate model, is well established. It can address process interactions and difficult dynamics effectively, and enable optimum economic operation of an entire plant, not just a few loops. The problem for many would-be users is that implementation has been difficult and expensive. So, only large and complex plants could justify MPC. DeltaV Predict changes the ground rules. It, as one judge comments, "makes benefits of MPC feasible to implement on many process units, rather than just complex, very economically sensitive ones." "It allows even less-experienced engineers to solve difficult problems," says another judge.Hazardous powders such as explosive and carcinogenic or skin-sensitive materials often are handled in drum quantities to minimize risk. Drums also are used to hold oxygen-sensitive products and many other powders. Unfortunately, emptying these drums can pose risks of worker exposure and material contamination. The DCS (drum containment system) enhances the safety of such transfers, while reducing their cost compared to alternative methods. It allows the transfer of materials in an inert environment and can be used in a production area without endangering nearby personnel or disrupting other manufacturing processes.
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