Whether they be within fertilizer factories or at shipping or receiving points, dry bulk fertilizer products are mainly stored in stockpiles. Employing a pile instead of a high silo is an economical solution for large volumes. In most circumstances, the stockpiles are covered in order to protect both the environment, as the product is prevented from being blown around, and the product itself as it is shielded from being affected by adverse weather conditions.
In most instances where a fertilizer product boasts both a consistent composition and quality from an upstream chemical process, the piles also often function as buffer storage. The piles are thus employed to balance time and volume between production and shipping or to balance reception during interim storage and onward transport to users.
In other instances where there is little or no consistency – specifically when mined ores of varying qualities and/or characteristics arrive at a chemical plant and require homogenization prior to a chemical process – piles can also be employed as a blending bed. This is often the case for large fertilizer storages, especially those with high throughputs for either stacking, reclaiming or both, and are usually equipped with fully automated stockyard machines.
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Leveraging More Than 50 Years of Expertise
Tenova TAKRAF is a global OEM for mining and bulk handling equipment with a history dating back almost 300 years. The company has a successful 50-year-plus track record of supplying stockyard machines to the global fertilizer industry, with its first scraper reclaimer (for a potash factory) being supplied in 1966. Since then, the company has designed, manufactured, supplied, and successfully commissioned around 400 scraper reclaimers across various commodities with a large majority being employed in the effective handling of potash, urea, phosphates, and sulfur.
Tenova TAKRAF's approach to this vast array of global projects is “flexibility.” This means they treat the specific requirements of each project in a unique manner, ranging from the supply of a single machine to various machine packages and/or delivery of a complete bulk conveyor system including storage bin machines, conveyor belts, and loading and unloading equipment. Such complete handling systems leverage an extended material handling portfolio covering stockyard/disposal facilities, loading/unloading equipment, conveying, port facilities, and in-plant handling equipment.
Stacking and Reclaiming
In most instances, a storage facility is fed material through a network of conveyors that efficiently carry the product to be stored. In order to achieve an optimal pile width within the storage area, the stacking of material is carried out via overhead tripper cars. Having supplied machines with capacities of up to 4,000 tn/hr, Tenova TAKRAF has significant experience in the supply of these under-roof tripper cars.
For the recovery of product from a pile, scraper reclaimers are the preferred (and dominant) equipment of choice for operators and planners alike. Some of the advantages of these machines include:
* Proven robustness and reliability
* High efficiency and low operating costs
* Simple and steady working movements allowing for full automation
* Gentle treatment of material and almost dust-free handling of fertilizer products
Maximum Storage Space in Indoor Areas
As a result of general market developments and increasing fertilizer logistic requirements, the global demand for storage volumes and handling capacities is increasing. This growing demand has resulted in large pile widths, sometimes even exceeding 60 m. For such indoor applications, the portal reclaimer, which boasts separate main and auxiliary reclaiming booms, is the preferred solution, as it requires a minimum amount of space due to its shape. This results in the maximum covered storage space for the product stack.
Depending on bulk products’ densities, Tenova TAKRAF is able to supply portal reclaimers with handling capacities of up 6,000 tn/hr and with rail-spans that can exceed 60 m.
Special Features of Stockyard Machines That Handle Fertilizer
As previously mentioned, scraper reclaimers are, due to their method of operation, very gentle in their treatment of material and thus operate with minimal dust creation. This makes them ideally suited to fertilizer material that often comes in granulated form.
This gentle treatment of a material, together with the minimization of dust, also applies in principle to all equipment within the fertilizer handling value chain including boom stackers and/or overhead tripper cars. These machines, which generally employ cone shell stacking for the minimization of dust, can also be equipped with lowering booms or special chutes in order to further improve handling and dust minimization.
Nevertheless, depending on the characteristics of the fertilizer product and customers’ unique requirements, Tenova TAKRAF is able to equip its scraper reclaimers and stockyard machines with special features such as:
* Stainless steel design for blades and chutes
* “De-lumpers” arranged within the discharge chutes for the breaking up (“de-lumping”) of caked bulk material
* Hoses on hose reels for fresh air supply to operator cabins
* Life-time lubricated outboard roller chains
* ATEX-certified components in case of inflammable / explosive bulk material such as Sulphur
TAKRAF GmbH, Leipzig, Germany +49 (0)341 24 23 5 00 www.takraf.com
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