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Sturtevant and Malvern Combine Expertise for Optimal Sorbent Milling

July 2, 2009
Sturtevant Inc., a well-established manufacturer of material processing equipment, is using an Insitec on-line particle-size analyzer from Malvern Instruments to tailor solutions for specific customer applications. A particular success is the development of an optimized mill for processing Trona, a reactive sorbent for the removal of harmful pollutants from flue gas. The installed solution provides effective pollution abatement at competitive cost.

“For us, on-line particle-size analysis provides maximum process insight with minimal manual input,” said Steve Coulombe, product manager from Sturtevant. “This knowledge accelerates and improves product and process optimization allowing us to provide an even better service to customers. The solution developed for Trona milling is a great example of what can be achieved and has great potential towards becoming a standard within the power plant industry.”

Injecting Trona (sodium sesquircarbonate) directly into a flue gas stream removes sulfur trioxide ahead of desulfurization, reducing the likelihood of ‘blue plumes’ and decreasing levels of acid rain. At-plant trials with a Simpactor 6HD impact mill and an Insitec on-line particle-size analyzer show that the mill can successfully handle feeds of varying coarseness, producing a consistently fine material that minimizes injection levels. Low levels of spent sorbent in the fly ash waste permit its incorporation in cement making the stream a saleable by-product, or reduce waste disposal costs otherwise.

“Trials at the power plant were extremely successful,” said Alon Vaisman, the expert who led the trial from the Malvern side. “With on-line particle-size analysis in place the customer could see how the process was performing in real-time and the consistency of the product. The developed solution is excellent since it minimizes both emissions and operating costs.”  

The Insitec is a laser diffraction system for the on- or in-line measurement of particles in the size range 0.1 to 1000 microns. Capable of delivering four complete particle-size distributions per second, it can track even rapidly changing processes in real time, providing a data stream for optimal process control. Fully automated analysis from sample extraction through to measurement minimizes manual input.

For further details of the Insitec system, visit www.malvern.com.