Ever since it was commissioned in 1974, the Echallens wastewater treatment plant in the Swiss canton of Vaud has been generating power from the recovery of biogas. In May 2020, two old oil-lubricated piston compressors used to mix the sludge in the digester were replaced by one MINK claw compressor from Busch Vacuum Solutions. This enabled the amount of power required for this process to be reduced by up to 40 percent. For the director of the treatment plant, this means he needs less energy to produce energy.
One of the most exciting technologies impacting the ability of end-users to optimize blowers at their wastewater treatment plants and manufacturing operations is controls. Blower & Vacuum Best Practices interviewed Tim Hilgart, of Howden America, to get his perspective on blower controls technology and its application.
You have your equipment, everything is set up and ready to run, but what about your lubricants? Too often, lubricants receive little attention with respect to their use in rotating equipment. Even the most reliable cars in the world will encounter problems on a short commute if the wrong transmission fluid is used during a flush. The same is true with your Positive Displacement (PD) blower or vacuum booster that operates around the clock. In our experience, approximately 80% of all bearing and gear failures are the result of improper lubrication.
Pneumatic conveying applications are critical to many facilities – when you can’t move material you can’t make or sell your product. Because of a historical lack of availability of specialized rental blowers and air compressors for pneumatic conveying, plants often either accepted the production outage or rented a more readily available two-stage, oil-free rotary screw air compressor designed for 90 to 150 psig plant air service that is very inefficient at the reduced pressures needed for pneumatic conveying.
Blower systems designed to deliver continuous airflow at pressures of 50 psig or below are critical to the operation of many processes including wastewater treatment, pneumatic conveying, fluid catalytic cracking, and fermentation to name a few. Many circumstances could arise that require an operator to require a rental blower for a period.
Blower & Vacuum Best Practices interviewed Deepak Vetal, National Sales Manager, Blowers and Low-Pressure Compressors, Atlas Copco Compressors, LLC.
To put it in perspective, the food and beverage industry accounted for 12 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2017. The main subsegments that use low-pressure air for numerous applications in this industry include meat processing, poultry, dairy product manufacturing, preserved fruits and vegetables, as well as brewing and beverage processes.
The 2018 Powder & Bulk Solids Conference & Exhibition was held April 24-26 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Sponsored by the Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA®) and produced by UBM Canon, this event is the leading conference for the powder industry. Vacuum, blower and compressed air technologies play an important role in dilute or dense phase pneumatic conveying systems. These technologies are well represented at this event and we hope you enjoy our Show Report.
Held September 16-19, 2018 in Chicago, the first-ever event drew 750 attendees who came together to learn and share ideas about the countless ways to achieve efficiencies with compressed air, blower, vacuum and cooling systems – and in the process – save energy and improve profitability.
In open end pipe line suspension flow, or dilute phase pneumatic conveying, proper particle velocity is critical to continuing productivity and product quality. Until recently, measurement of actual particle velocity within the pipe has not been practical outside the laboratory. The plant operating personnel depend on a much less accurate metric - estimating the conveying air velocity in the pipe and relating that to particle velocity.
Pneumatic conveying systems are widely used in manufacturing plants and process industries. They provide a practical method of bulk-solid material transport. A surprisingly wide variety of powders and granular material can be effectively moved from one location to another within the plant. “Compared with other bulk-solid transport systems, a properly designed pneumatic conveying system affords many advantages".
Compressed air audits are valuable exercises on significant energy users in a plant. Often done on main compressed air systems, these studies are also valuable on secondary systems, like dedicated low pressure circuits that feed production machinery. An audit of such a system turned up some surprising results on a process that was initially thought to be very efficient.