Since 2010 Heyl & Patterson has been blogging on the latest trends in bulk handling and thermal processing. Thank you to all of our blog subscribers for making 2015 great. It has been a busy year here at H&P and we appreciate you spending the time to read our content while sipping your mid-morning coffee.Read More
Heyl & Patterson Blog
Despite all the advances of modern technology, coal is still a major fuel source for many communities and industries. The United States and China are two major countries that still rely heavily on coal to produce electricity, as well as for industrial uses. While steps are being taken to make coal burn cleaner and more environmentally friendly, there are still the byproducts that come with its use. One of the most common end results is the ash it produces, which in many places is accumulating faster than it can be disposed of. The picture to the right, courtesy of the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, shows coal ash particles at 2000X magnification.Read More
One of the most important factors in determining the type of rotary dryer that is most appropriate for a certain process is the usage of direct or indirect heat. Rotary dryers are capable of utilizing either direct convection style heat transfer or indirect heat transfer, in which hot surfaces within the dryer provide heat by conduction and radiation. The determination of direct or indirect drying is contingent on the properties of the material to be dried, the process conditions and the desired end product.Read More
Kaolin was first discovered in the hills of southeastern China, and its name translates as "high ridge" as a reference to the area of the country where it is mined. It was first mined on a large scale during the 7th century to manufacture porcelain, and still produces large quantities of the world's supply, giving it an alternate name of China clay. Although China has an abundance of this white powdery clay material, its quality in that region of the world is lacking. Kaolin is found around the world, but high-quality deposits that boast exceptional whiteness, viscosity and other favorable characteristics are rare. The United Kingdom, Brazil and southeast United States each have formations of remarkable quality.Read More
Bauxite is the world's primary source of aluminum, one of the most useful and versatile metals known to man. Aluminum is used for cookware, baseball bats, chairs, aluminum foil, electronics, coins, cans, flagpoles, heat sinks and transportation. One scholar of J.R.R. Tolkien even suggests that the fictional element mithril might actually be aluminum. The mineral was discovered in 1821 by the French geologist Pierre Berthier, near the village of Les Baux in Provence, southern France. French chemist Henri Sainte-Claire Deville later named the mineral after the town itself.Read More
Scientists call the pervasive overgrowth of red algae, like pseudo-nitzschia, a “bloom." Known by the ominous name of "red tides," blooms produce a toxin known as domoic acid that is harmful to animals and humans, threatens marine ecosystems and wreaks havoc with the fishing industry in affected areas. During the summer of 2015, the largest red algae bloom on record grew in the warm waters off the coast of California. This algal bloom, unusually dense and more poisonous than others, now stretches north to Alaska and promises severe repercussions for the Pacific Coast fishing industry. The state of Washington recently closed public and commercial fishing of its popular Dungeness crab due to the toxic levels found in the marine life.Read More
The United States produces 220 million tons of municipal solid waste a year. That means there is enough to fill a line of dump trucks all the way to the moon. Unfortunately, that waste does not end up in space (at least not yet). Approximately 120 million tons ends up in a landfill each year, where it sits completely useless, releasing greenhouse gases into the air and polluting the ground. However, there is an alternative. Various technologies, including thermal and non-thermal methods, can recover energy from dried and processed municipal waste.Read More
Frac sand plays the essential role of preventing fractures in oil and gas wells from closing prematurely. Fluid bed and rotary dryers are used to thermally treat the sand to remove impurities before it is injected into the fissures. Both methods of frac sand drying have their merits, and a decision between them ultimately comes down to equipment costs and maintenance issues. Heyl & Patterson recently explored the two types of frac sand dryers in an article published in Process Heating magazine's June 2015 issue, entitled "Using Rotary and Fluid Bed Dryers for Drying Frac Sand." The article was featured as the cover story.
A pilot plant is a small-scale industrial plant in which problems can be identified and solved before the corresponding full-scale facility is built. In terms of thermal processing, such a testing ground is a basic laboratory that uses stock process equipment to provide valuable data for the design of a larger version, so that any anomalies in the process can be worked out before the full-scale plant is constructed. Scientific data about reactions, material properties and even corrosiveness may be gathered, and it helps to predict the behavior of a process. Plant designers use data from the pilot facility to refine their design of the production scale facility. When bulk materials must be dried as a part of the process, a fluid bed dryer is often a key component.Read More
Mined and manufactured salts containing water-soluble potassium are known as potash. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the primary means of obtaining it was by using water in a pot to leach it from wood ash, hence the name "potash." In fact, the scientific name "potassium" was derived from the word. It is now mined from ancient marine seas where it is found in abundance, occurring naturally as potassium salts, or as we know it, "table salt." Potash is then processed from potassium compounds and potassium-bearing materials, usually as potassium chloride. This salt is separated from the potash and used for a variety of salts -- table salt, livestock salt, water softener, and road de-icer.