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
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Talc is a metamorphic rock and the softest mineral on Earth. It is so soft that a fingernail will scratch its surface, and geologists can recognize it by its greasy feel. Talc is a hydrous silicate of magnesium, Mg3Si4O10(OH)2, and usually contains small quantities of nickel, iron and aluminum as impurities. It occurs commonly in thin layers known as foliafolia, but is also found in coarsely granular, finely granular crystalline masses. Talc appears transparent to opaque, is rarely colorless, and can be found in hues ranging from white to purple. One form of this mineral is soapstone, or steatite, which is a larger granular form of talc that is also rich in magnesium.
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
Magnesium oxide, commonly called magnesia, is an inorganic compound that occurs naturally in the metamorphic rock known as periclase, which can be found in some forms of marble. Its name comes from the Magnesia region of Asia Minor, which gave rise to the word "magnet" because of the local stone's magnetic properties. Magnesium oxide is a particularly pure white mineral that is odorless and soluble in water. Known by the chemical formula MgO, it is formed from bonding magnesium ions in a lattice with oxygen, which gives it a crystalline structure. It is typically processed into a fine, white powder.Read More
Mica is a mineral of the silicate family, and is known to most people as the glittering gold flakes in some rocks. It splits into thin sheets when fractured, and is found in all three types of typical rock formations. The most common is muscovite mica, also called potassium mica, which is found in both metamorphic and igneous rocks. A black-colored variant called biotite commonly appears in igneous rocks such as granite, and also appears in metamorphic rock. It is comparatively rare in sedimentary rocks, but where it does appear, its thin gold-like flakes are often confused with the genuine material. Hence the term "fool's gold."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
Activated carbon is a form of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between its carbon atoms. It is an excellent source of water filtration, and is made from carbon-rich source materials such as wood, bamboo, nutshells, peach pits and coconut husks. The material is charred at high temperatures to produce a highly porous substance that attracts and holds organic chemicals inside it. It can be used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene and chlorine, as well as odors and colors, from water.Read More
Lithium has quickly become one of the best and most popular material choices for batteries. The main reason the lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery supplanted its predecessor, nickel cadmium (NiCd) was because the former is capable of producing a wider, stronger range of voltages, without suffering from a "memory effect" that makes it remember the point in its charge cycle where recharging began. Given an equal voltage, a lithium-ion battery is smaller in size and lighter in weight than a corresponding nickel cadmium or even nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, and has virtually no self-discharge. This allows a lithium-ion battery to be stored for months without losing charge, and they also tolerate a wider range of temperatures.Read More
Yellowcake is a mixture of uranium oxide that is produced from the milling of uranium ore. It is an intermediate step in the processing of uranium after it has been mined, but before fuel fabrication takes place. The material is characterized by small, coarse granules with a pungent odor. Even though it is radioactive, it is safe when stored and handled properly. This yellow cake is typically created from ore at the mine site through a leaching process, and is what remains after drying and filtering, before being stored in drums to be transported to an enrichment plant.