How to Select the Right Thermal Processing Equipment

Top five things to consider when selecting a thermal technology for your industrial process:

    1. Feed material
      What volatile are you trying to remove, and at what moisture level? Is it sticky?The properties of your feed material will be one of the most important things to consider when selecting the proper equipment.
    2. Residence time
      Is the moisture in your feed material on the surface, or is it absorbed into it?
    3. Temperature Limitations
      Does your material have low thermal properties such as a low melting point, or is there concern about burning/degradation? This particular distinction will be important when selecting the type of equipment that will work for your industrial process.
    4. Plant Space
      Is this a new plant, or do you need to fit technology into an existing process or facility?
    5. Particle Size
      Do you want incorporate size reduction, or is it important to maintain the same particle size throughout your process?

Most materials can be successfully treated using one or more of the thermal technologies commercially available today such as direct drying, indirect drying and radiant drying. Your process, plant and capital requirements will steer you toward the technology that best fits your application. If you have already narrowed your technology choices down to a few viable options, your next step should be to find a manufacturer that can provide sample evaluations, this step allows you to gauge process feasibility and narrow down your technology options based most closely on your full-scale process. Some equipment manufacturers will offer pilot-scale testing for little or no up-front cost.

You will want to look for an equipment manufacturer that has pilot-scale equipment capable of simulated product runs that can then be used to design and guarantee commercial production. Don’t be surprised if a single-line manufacturer with only one or two technologies tries to make their equipment offering fit your process, rather than optimizing your process using the most efficient, cost-effective technology. If you find that more than one technology could fit your needs, it pays to explore each of them to find the best solution up front. It is best to find a single equipment manufacturer with deep experience and a broad product line that covers several thermal processing technology options. Otherwise, you will need to repeat your evaluation process with multiple companies. This will help you select the right solution for your needs, rather than basing your decision on the equipment manufacturer’s selection of equipment.

For more information on thermal technology and how to select the right industrial process equipment for your application download our white paper written by the Director of Thermal Technology- “Better Thermal Processing Results Begin with Selecting the Right Technology.”

Or post a comment to begin a conversation with the process engineering experts at Bepex. We try to reply to every comment within one business day.

Archie Payer: We wish to dry anthracite coal with 15% surface moisture and maintain ssizes; 9/16″,5/16″, 3/16″.3/32″. Rate: 20 t/hr

Bepex: Bepex has a lot of experience working with coal across our process technologies, but our drying technology is best used for materials with smaller particle size requirements. While some of our drying technology can handle large materials without damaging them, the range you specify is outside of our capabilities. For large materials like yours it is best to use a dryer that does not employ an agitator. The most common method for drying materials of this size is a belt dryer. Designed correctly, a belt dryer can dry the surface moisture and convey your material to your downstream process in a safe manner. Answer provided by Rob Grady, Director of Business Development for Bepex.

Kirk Schlup: I have a process that generates a stream that is a combination of filter aid, calcium chloride, and hydrocarbons that with boiling points that range from 90-250C. How do I determine how effective one of your drying solutions might be? How much material would be needed for any testing done?

Bepex: Ultimately, pilot scale testing would be required to determine the effectiveness of a drying solution. This may require 1,000 to 3,000 pounds of material depending on the application. Initially, we would request a 0.5-1 pound sample to evaluate the feasibility of your application and make recommendations about which drying system we offer might be best for your material. I see that you also filled out our web contact form, your contact info has been received and someone from our thermal application group will get back to you ASAP. Thank YOU for your interest in our technology. Kaitlin

Jayant Divey: We want to dry special grade of UHMW PE. The volatile to be removed is hexane. Initial content about 30% w/w. The material is very light having bulk density of about 100 kg/m3. What type of Dryer would you suggest. It appears Tourdisc Dryer should work. Please send enquiry data sheet.

Bepex: Jayant, Yes, we have extensive experience developing process systems for UHMW PE and our Director of International business is traveling in India this month, he will follow-up with you directly today. He will provide our inquiry data sheet and other info to get a better understanding of your industrial drying application requirements. Thank you for your time and interest in Bepex we look forward to an opportunity to work with you.

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