Tom Blackwood Forum Moderator 18 Posts
Re: Decreasing Filtration Time12 January 2009 at 1:29pm
The problem with calcium sulfate is the presence of water. I'm assuming they have some. But even without water, the solids are very fine and do not filter well. The second problem is the time for reaction. If the reaction is rapid, the calcium sulfate would come out as sub-micron particles with 1/2 water of hydration. The chemical wants to be the 2 water of hydration form. Also, some sulfones will co-precipitate with the sulfate as inclusions that bring along water to complete the hydration. The filter press may not be the best dewatering device since the pressure promotes the formation of the finer particles. I've seen better results with a centrifuge.
This will increase throughput of the dodecylbenzene product. The slurry can be filtered to capture more of the product (more economics rather than process requirement) in the filter press, which is probably limited by liquid throughput rate. Other options may be the seeding of the feed to the filter with calcium sulfate-2 H2O (this requires more equipment and process control than a centrifuge). The impurity (sulfuric acid) may be better removed with magnesium hydroxide and then re-slurry, washing with calcium hydroxide. There are several other chemical inversions that could be applied depending on the ultimate requirements or usage of the calcium dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid. Usually liquid-liquid extraction is better for this class of organic acids.
Our plant is currently investigating methods to decrease filtration time for one of our products. The process involves a neutralization reaction in which Calcium Salt of Dodecylbebzene Sulfonic Acid is formed. Sulfuric acid also exists in the raw materials, which leads to a secondary reaction that yields calcium sulfate. It is the calcium sulfate that is removed during filtration. Currently, a filter press is employed for the removal of the CaSO4. We are hoping to employ some type of agglomeration technique to improve the filtration rate.
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