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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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, barge unloaders, industrial dryers, torrefaction, process equipment, H&P Process Spotlight, calciners, sand, continuous barge unloader (cbu), oil sands, coal ash, tailing ponds, activated carbon, upgrades, dust collection, algae, biomass
Canada's oil sand deposits contain the world’s second largest oil resource, after Saudi Arabia. Surface mining can extract around 20% of the oil and currently covers about 342 square miles in the province of Alberta, roughly two-thirds the size of the city of Los Angeles. In their natural state, oil sands are loose particles that are a combination of clay, sand and water saturated with bitumen. Processing of this material fundamentally separates oil-bearing bitumen from the sand itself, and can also be referred to as bituminous sands.
Activated carbon is a material that is riddled with tiny pores that increase its surface area, making more of it available for chemical reactions. It is used for water filtration, gas purification, sewage treatment and metal extraction. More precisely, it removes color and impurities from liquids and gases, and separates and extracts chemical compounds. Activated carbon is most commonly found in aquarium filters, respirators and gas masks, and is used to treat poison following oral ingestion.
Fertilizers have significantly improved the quality and quantity of the food available today. Modern fertilizers are composed mainly of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium compounds. These components have limited quantities in soil, and they dwindle as plants are harvested, causing a reduction in the quality and yield of plants. Fertilizers replace the chemical components that are taken from the soil by growing plants and actually create a better growing environment than natural soil.
The process of fermenting beer has been a staple in civilization since the dawn of time. Fermentation is the biological process in which sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose are converted into cellular energy, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide. In the brewing process, grains are boiled, allowing the brewer to gather as much fermentable liquid from the grains as possible. In most cases, the leftover spent grain, or dried distillers grain, becomes waste that can be cheaply sold as feedstock.
To reach gas that was previously thought to be unreachable, pressure is used to fracture or "frac" rock formations deep underground to allow a better flow of gas through a well. When the pressure is removed, the fracture closes back up, which dramatically diminishes its effectiveness. Frac sand is pumped into the well with a mix of water and chemicals during the fracturing operation. The sand will remain in the fracture when the pressure is removed, keeping the fracture propped open and allowing the gas to continue to flow through the well.
The copper processing industry refines its metal from ores or scrap. Its leading consumers are wire mills and brass mills, which use the metal to produce copper wire and alloys, respectively. Copper's end uses include construction materials, electronics and transportation equipment. Once refined, the metal can be used as a powder in automotive, aerospace, electrical and electronics equipment, and in various chemical and medical processes.
Torrefaction is a process by which wood biomass is transformed into something that looks and acts much like coal. Through this process, moisture is removed from the wood, along with other non-essential fibers and substances. All that remains of the original wood is a smaller, blackened solid which can be made into dense bricks of bio-coal. This man-made coal can provide energy rates of up to 25 GJ/ton. Naturally occurring coal generally provides 30 GJ/ton.