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Technologies

Pfaudler Abrasion Resistant Glass

Extended service life for enamelled plants with highly abrasive processes

Highly abrasive solid reactants are often used in the manufacture of chemicals. To dissolve these solids, highly corrosive acids such as concentrated hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid and high temperatures up to 160°C are required. Enamelled components and systems are the only materials of construction suitable for these corrosive and errosive process conditions. 

Abrasion damage is a critical issue in chemical production processes. It is difficult to predict as this damage cannot be modeled and tested in laboratory facilities and is process-specific and plant-specific. The effects of abrasion strongly depend on the solids used and may change just by varying the supplier of the solids raw material or by varying the technical quality. Operational changes also vary the effects of erosion such as varying the energy input (for example the speed of the agitator) which has a great influence on the mechanically induced erosion of the glass. An optimization of mixing system (impeller style, agitator speed, as well as the baffling technology) is ideal for the process; however, designing for reduced erosion may have a negative process effect that leads to a reduction in yield and increased side reactions.   The use of Pfaudler's Abrasion Resistant Glass (ARG), a highly abrasion resistant enamel coating, allows for optimum mixing design and process efficiency while improving the life cyle of the plant equipment in these harsh chemical applications.

The ARG (Abrasion Resistant Glass)  enamel combines improved chemical resistivity in alkaline solutions with a significantly higher abrasion resistance compared to  standard WWG (World Wide Glass). Currently, a great many of our global customers have reactors with ARG glass operating in processes with solids (both as raw materials or as end materials), producing output ranging from technical grade commodities to high purity products. Operating experience of our customers has shown that a reactor lined with ARG has abrasion resistance that even surpasses the values measured in the laboratory. According to testimonials, the current service life of ARG coated systems is significantly higher and actually more than double than with the previous types of enamels used.

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Systems

Corrosion Resistant Columns

Columns are used in the chemicals industry for many different mass transfer separation processes. Fractionating or distillation columns are used to separate various chemicals by the difference in their volatilities. The chemical unit operations of distillation, fractionation, or stripping are used to separate and purify products. Stripper, absorber and scrubber columns are used to separate and purify products, recover valuable product or unreacted raw materials from waste streams or to remove hazardous chemicals from vent and waste streams to prevent chemical emissions and to meet environmental regulations.

In 1884, Pfaudler invented the technology of corrosion resistant, glass-lined steel (Glasteel®) and is the leader still today in this technology.  In addition to chemical reactors and storage tanks, Pfaudler also designs and fabricates glass-lined steel columns. Our Pfaudler Edlon division pioneered the use of fluoropolymer technologies to the chemicals industry, and in addition chemical tanks, also designs and fabricates fluoropolymer-lined columns.

Pfaudler’s process engineering group, established in the 1950’s, has a team of chemical process engineers dedicated to the design of distillation, fractionation, scrubber, and absorber columns for corrosive applications.  Our Pfaudler Montz division has been designing and fabricating alloy column internals and complete column process systems since the 1960’s and holds many patents for these technologies.

Pfaudler combines these technologies, resources and expertise to design a complete column “system”, with single-source responsibility, for any corrosive chemical process.  

Pfaudler Column “System”

  • Pfaudler mechanical engineers are certified to design and build your column shell per all major global pressure vessel codes, including ASME, PED, DIN, TUV, AD 2000, TEMA, SELO and GB150. Pfaudler designs and fabricates glass-lined or fluoropolymer lined columns to safely contain hazardous chemicals at operating conditions.
  • Pfaudler chemical engineers utilize Apentech HYSYS software to simulate any chemical process and design the column internals necessary to affect the necessary separation.  
  • Pfaudler designs, fabricates and supplies all the column internals including the packing, supports, and distributors in fluoropolymer, glass-lined steel, or ceramic materials of construction in structured or random form.

Our start-of-the-art process test facility which includes multiple columns with which we process customer materials to confirm performance of our technologies for each specific process and collect data to design a commercial scale facility. Please see the video describing our test facility on our website.

Pfaudler also designs and fabricates complete chemical processes involving columns. These systems include not only the column “system” but all the ancillary equipment, piping, instrumentation and controls to provide a complete Engineered Solution for your process needs.

Pfaudler has thousands of installed columns in hundreds of different applications globally. Contact Pfaudler and work with us to design your column to improve yield and purity, recover product and raw materials to reduce costs and strip hazardous chemicals to prevent environmental emissions.  

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Services

Special Reglass and Refurbish of Reactors

Pfaudler, in addition to its expertise in manufacturing and market  products and engineered solutions, has a core expertise in the area of services and aftermarket. 
Here is an example of a full refurbish operation held on some of equipment for a pharmaceutical application. 

Product Line: two Reactors, DIN CE type, with 16.000 liter capacity each
The Reactors were built in 1998 by Technoglass in Italy for a Poly-aluminium Chloride (PAC) plant application, and were fully operational until the end of 2010.  
The Reactors have been purchased by Pfaudler and resold as a second hand after a full refurbishing and upgrade to an important Italian Customer, for an intermediate pharmaceutical production (API).

The reactors have been completely reglassed, refurbished and qualified according to PED and ATEX regulations; 

  • All parts have been refurbished; 
  • A new gearbox and a new electrical motor have been installed.
  • The manhole cover in AISI 304L have been reglassed with a final surface finish of 0.6 micron
  • Davit arm for easy manhole opening made in AISI 304L with a final surface finish of 0.6 micron
  • All split flanges, bolts, nuts and clamps have been replaced with new ones in full stainless steel 

Finally, the reactors have been fully insulated, including the top head, using  an AISI 304L insulation (3mm) with polyurethane foam; the final surface finishing has resulted in  0.6 micron. 
The overhaul and final test have taken place at the manufacturing plant of San Donà di Piave (VE), in Italy. 
The photos are showing the state of the reactors before and after the servicing. 

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Technologies

Introducing Antistat “X”™ Roll Covers with Non Static, No Shock

Roll Covers are traditionally used for roll release solutions in the papermaking and converting industry. Heat-shrinkable fluoropolymer (i.e. FEP, PFA, etc.) sleeves and spray-applied coatings eliminate many of the traditional roll problems associated with paper production
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Technologies

Efficient pH Measurement Technology in Flue gas Desulphurisation plants

When organic material is burned in power plants or during various procedures of process engineering, noxious gases form that are not permitted to enter the environment without treatment. 

The treatments required include extracting the sulphur dioxide that results during the burning process from the flue gas. In larger plants, a wet process* is generally used for this purpose. Having been used for this application since 1978, Pfaudler probes have proven a long-lasting and low-maintenance solution for measuring pH.

*The method used most often for the desulphurisation of exhaust gases is the extremely efficient wet scrubbing method, wherein the acidic-in-solution sulphur dioxide is captured by an alkaline scrubbing suspension in a scrubbing tower (absorbing tower). Calcium carbonate is typically used for neutralisation in this application. The calcium sulphite that results from the process is converted into calcium sulphate (gypsum) in the lower part of the absorbing tower by flowing air through the column. It is then used as a building material in the construction industry.

The flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) probe's purpose is to set the optimum pH value of the scrubbing suspension during wet desulphurisation. A fundamental problem of measuring pH in FGD is that stubborn scale deposits accumulate on the pH probe in just a short time. These deposits lead to impairment or even failure of the pH measurement. Because of this, conventional pH sensors must be removed or cleaned with acid at short intervals, which results in high operating and maintenance costs. When a Pfaudler pH probe is installed, the smooth enamelled surface and robust design prevents scale deposits from accumulating at the recommended inflow velocity of 1.5-2m/s. Some pH probes have been in constant use for over 25 years. The probe usually only needs to be maintained or calibrated when the entire plant is shut down once a year for maintenance.
Combined pH/ORP measurement in a power plant.

Since early 2000, combined pH/ORP (oxidation-reduction potential) probes have been used in FGD plants to monitor the AOX compounds found in the effluent water. This allows both measurements in the washing suspension to be recorded at the same time with just one measurement probe and one transducer. Pfaudler pH probes that are already in place can be replaced easily, since they are mechanically and electrically compatible. Pfaudler pH/ORP ring probes are generally used with a nominal size of DN 50. They are used directly in the pipeline between a flange connection, which prevents the pipeline's cross-section from narrowing and achieves a lower probe abrasion.

Enamelled ring probes – The facts

  • Consistent measuring accuracy over the entire service life (no ageing)
  • No scale build-up thanks to smooth enamelled surfaces
  • Minimal maintenance due to lack of cleaning/calibration processes
  • No retractable assembly required
  • Robust against mechanical impacts
  • Extremely resistant to corrosion
  • Resistant to pressure pulses
  • Shock-resistant to ∆T at max. 120°C
  • Can be used with high flow rates
  • Can be stored dry for any length of time
  • Simultaneous measurement of pH and ORP values 

For further information please visit our Instrumentation website (www.pfaudler-instrumentation.com).

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Innovation

CFD in Mixing Technology

Numerical fluid mechanics (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD) is an approved method of fluid mechanics. CFD is commonly used in applications for the automotive and aircraft industries; it is also used in the process and mixing industries.

The goal is to solve flow related questions with numerical methods. The equations are mostly according to Navier-Stokes, Euler or potential based.

CFD offers the possibility to solve problems and to show results with demonstrative pictures and videos. The user will get results like flow velocities and directions, shear forces, local energy dissipation, mechanical power input, heat transfer coefficients, local pressure distribution, suspending possibilities as an abstract of the most important results. CFD is a fast and economic method compared to lab experiments or field tests. The influence of geometrical variations like modified blade pitch, width of blades, or new customized turbine designs can be examined to decide if the variations are beneficial to the process.

Also problems normally found during operation of equipment (for example, cavitation damage) can be analyzed and explained to prevent similar damage in future.

Additionally, CFD is very helpful when reviewing retro-fit projects such as upgrading from outdated mixing systems or baffles to current technology offerings like Cryo-Lock™. It allows for validation of more effective or energy saving designs. A large number of process related questions can be analyzed prior to the start of any manufacturing of equipment.

Pfaudler is successfully using CFD related to mixing/process technology and heat transfer. We have practical experience to verify mixing systems and complete feasibility studies. We have data bases with all standard equipment such as turbines, baffles and vessel geometries available allowing us to produce 3D-models (the base of each CFD calculation) in a short period of time. All results are included in a final report with suggestions, recommendations, pictures and video clips. We are offering services beginning with the CFD analysis through the delivery of mixing system, all from a single source.

Case example: Replacement of a damaged Impeller style agitator by a CBR turbineThe intention of the CFD is a confirmation of changeability of impellers.  In this case, we set out to show that the CBR style agitator will deliver comparable results at given process conditions. The idea was to prove that flow direction and energy input results of the two different style impellers are very close and that the risk of process deviations will be low. A speed modification of the existing drive was not desired. The calculation was based on parameters like density and viscosity. 

Results:

Velocity distribution, vertical cut across the reactor. See YouTube channel 

As shown in the result pictures the deviations are small. Based on the comparison the change of the mixing system was realized and the CFD results could be confirmed by the customer/operator after installation of the new mixing system.

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