Gypsum is a naturally occurring hydrated salt compound of soft calcium sulfate, and its use depends on the industry in which it is used. It was formed millions of years ago as prehistoric sea beds evaporated, and can be found in large, thick beds or smaller, thinner ones. Today, gypsum is typically mined in open pit quarries and processed similar to other such operations. Through thermal processing, or pyro processing, it is broken down and refined into more recognizeable forms. It is something that most people probably have not heard of but almost everyone uses, and on a daily basis.
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The first industrial application of a fluid bed dryer was for a coal gasification project in 1922. The design has been vastly improved over the years, and a modern fluid bed can process many types of bulk solid materials at a wide range of moisture levels and operating temperatures. Drying rates can range from a few hundred pounds per hour to more than 100 tons per hour, with equipment size varying from a one-foot diameter circular pilot dryer to a rectangular production unit of 20 by 50 feet.
A New Year's resolution is a decision a person makes on the first day of a year that will somehow improve themselves. Despite being a mainly Western tradition, there is evidence that people as far back as the ancient Babylonians practiced this annual ritual, with promises to return borrowed objects and pay debts. The most common reasons for failing to follow through on resolutions are unrealistic goals or simply forgetting about them. One very realistic resolution that should never be forgotten is the correct maintenance of an industrial dryer.
The Heyl & Patterson Blog, or simply the H&P Blog as it is known on social media, has been posting articles regularly since 2010. At Heyl & Patterson, our goal is to educate and inform you about the latest developments in your industries. This forum has covered topics as varied as the industries we serve, from explaining the inner workings of conduction dryers to examining how a railway across Colombia could compete with the Panama Canal. As the author of this blog, I've never broken the fourth wall, but I'd like to thank all of our subscribers for following us, and if you haven't yet read the Heyl & Patterson Blog, this is a good time to start.
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Model trains are synonymous with the holiday season, often circling the base of a Christmas tree to the delight of children and parents alike. These toys have existed since the first real railroads stretched across the early United States. The earliest versions were made of cast iron, and some could even run on steam. In the late 19th century, a German doll house manufacturer named Marklin sought to create an equivalent toy line for boys. The company envisioned a constant revenue stream of add-ons that could be bought for years after the initial purchase.
Diatomaceous earth is an amazingly versatile sedimentary rock that is composed of the microscopic fossilized remains of algae cell walls and readily crumbles into a fine powder. These deposits of hard-shelled phytoplankton, also called diatoms, are the ancestors of the modern algae living in both fresh and salt water. First discovered in Germany in the 1830s, diatomaceous earth is today found in numerous places around Europe and the United States, both on land and in marine deposits.
Electricity has been generated at power stations since 1882, and the first such plants ran on water or coal. Over 130 years later, the modern world mainly relies on coal, nuclear, natural gas, petroleum, hydroelectric and biomass, with a small amount from wind, solar, tidal and geothermal sources. The process of powering by electricity is known as electrification, and like these methods of power generation, it is usually associated with a change in a power source from one form to another.
Hydraulic fracturing, also called "fracking" or "fracing," permits access to vast amounts of natural gas that had previously been unreachable. A well is first drilled into a rock formation, and a high-pressure fluid containing a propping agent, or proppant, is then injected into the well. This mixture typically consists of water, sand and a proprietary blend of chemicals. Once injected into the well, the proppant prevents the fracture from closing, which allows the gas to flow freely.
The more efficient an oil sands operation is, the more profitable it can be. The crude by rail industry has become an important means of transporting oil within Canadian provinces, to the lower 48 states, and to Europe and Asia. Rail has become so vital because development of pipelines such as the Keystone XL have been delayed, and construction on pipelines for oversea exports is just getting under way.