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Integrated Dryer-Dust Collector Cuts Costs

June 17, 2014

An innovative, vibrating fluid bed drying system that integrates drying and dust collection into a single unit has enabled specialty chemical company Southern Clay Products Inc., Gonzales, TX, to capture fine bentonite clay particles and recover the high-value material as saleable product that would otherwise be lost as waste.

Developed to boost production as part of a plant expansion, the Witte drying system places an integral baghouse dust collector directly above the vibrating fluid bed dryer that captures 99.9 percent of the clay particles entrained in the process air stream and automatically returns the particles into the drying process. This design allows the dryer to operate at the higher airflows needed to achieve high drying capacities, yet permits a footprint less than half the size of a conventional dryer design.

“We looked at several types of dryers from different companies and the nature of the Witte design was by far the best,” says Clyde Bates, engineering manager for Southern Clay Products. “We used to produce about one to five percent off-spec product, but with the Witte system, we’ve been able to reduce that to one to two percent off-spec.”

The integral dust collector also eliminates the need for screw conveyors, rotary valves, drums, ductwork, and other ancillary equipment that was needed to manage the lost material, along with their maintenance and associated line downtime when they plugged.

“The Witte drying system has helped us keep our costs low and make us more competitive,” says Bates.

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Witte Company, Inc.