How to Easily Avoid Filter Installation Problems

Correctly installing your Eaton industrial filter is the first step in ensuring the life expectancy of your unit – as well as optimal performance. Incorrect installation can affect the filter’s systems, cause it to operate poorly or physically damage the equipment.

The following list is a brief collection of easily-avoidable installation conditions that may cause problems during filter installation:

Low System Pressure

Since DCF and MCF™ filters rely on a purge operation to clear captured solids from the filter, having enough system pressure is important to successful purging. Eaton  recommends a minimum of 30 psi of system pressure to ensure an adequate purge. This pressure may need to be higher when the process liquid has high viscosity or the solids are sticky. The Stealth Purge option with external water flushing is an alternate solution that is independent of system pressure.

Purge Line Plumbing

A common error when installing mechanically-cleaned filters is incorrectly plumbing the purge line. The best situation for a purge line is to make it short in length, placing it on a downhill grade from the filter, and draining it into a collection tank. Since typical purge operations are less than 1 second in duration, there is very little flow in a purge line due to system pressure.

If the line runs uphill, solids will collect in the line and never flush away. In addition, a water flush line on the purge header may be needed if the purged materials are especially challenging.

Check Valves On Filter Outlet Plumbing

Running an outlet line into long, head-high runs (such as uphill) is an uncommon, yet potentially damaging situation. When the filter purges, a water-hammer situation may develop if flow reverses from the outlet side of the filter.

In the worst case scenario, this may cause the elements to collapse. However, this situation is easily prevented by placing a flow check valve on the outlet line from the filter.

Filter Placement Around Pumps

Since Eaton filters are pressure filters, they should always be placed on the outlet side of pumps. Placing the filter on the suction side of a pump may result in erratic operation or damage to the filter elements.

Backpressure on outlet lines Eaton filters will always work best when there is some backpressure on the filter’s outlet. The worst performance scenario for a filter is when the outlet runs directly to an atmospheric tank. For this reason, we recommend the installation of a flow orifice or control valve on the outlet header of the filter. By providing a slight amount of back pressure, the system will operate much more evenly and avoid pressure blinding.

Backwash Filter Media

When your filter’s backwash outlet line runs to an atmospheric tank, Eaton recommends using a flow orifice sized to prevent excessive differential pressure across the filter media during the backwash operation. This will prolong the life of the filter media.

External Backwash Liquid

The fluid source used in external backwash filter systems should be clean – and have particles smaller than the rated retention of the filter elements in the system. If these conditions are not met, the backwashing process can actually plug the elements instead of cleaning them.

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How Manufacturing Companies Can Generate Less Waste

The filtration of process water can play a critical role in optimizing production lines due to its ability to protect downstream equipment and piping; as well as its role in the quality and value of finished goods. The right filtration equipment can affect a company’s environmental impact through the reduction of emissions and waste generation. It can also safeguard employees by minimizing their exposure to hazardous materials. These factors, in turn, affect the company’s productivity and bottom line.

Despite its significance, many manufacturing facilities have not realized the benefits of optimized filtration for process water. This is because installing a filtration system — where none has previously existed — can be difficult to justify with tight capital budgets. In addition, decision makers face the same challenge when a filtration system is in place and operating. However, a careful look at key cost factors can quickly justify an investment that will generate a significant return — whether it is a new investment or an upgrade — with an up-to-date filtration system.

Important: When exploring water treatment filtration options there is a growing area of concern pertaining to water conservancy and water supply — especially freshwater. When this is combined with an increased emphasis on reducing the environmental impact from waste creation and disposal, it is important that all industries take a second look at their manufacturing processes, and determine if it is time to evaluate newer filtration technology. The cost reduction resulting from a new system may surprise you.

There are two ways to achieve this. One method is to use equipment that requires less fresh water. The second method is water reuse when the amount of water used is mandated by the process requirement. This trend is fueled by several economic benefits that can be broken down into separate and specific areas of cost savings:

  • Reduced cost for purchase and treatment of fresh water.
  • Reduced cost for heating process streams or money saved through energy recovery.
  • Reducing waste treatment costs.

Any decision regarding filtration of water should be weighed against the relative importance of each of these factors.

In addition to minimizing overall maintenance costs, other factors include labor costs, the potential costs of lost production, conversion, and recovery of valuable products during scheduled and unscheduled downtime. While much of this can seem intimidating, there are a few easy methods to determine whether your current filtration system needs an update to a more state of the art filtration system.

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Why Spray Nozzle Protection is Important During Your Manufacturing Process

WHAT IS SPRAY NOZZLE PROTECTION? Spray Nozzles are specifically engineered for four critical functions: flow control, cleaning, coverage, and atomizing. It is important to filter solids from water, or any industrial liquid, before they reach your spray nozzles.

Unwanted and oversized particles can block the inside of an orifice, which in turn restricts water flow, impairs spray uniformity, and allows debris to pass through which in turn ends up in your process or on your product.

The proper filtration will help keep the nozzle clear of debris enabling them to provide uniform and consistent spray patterns.

For spray nozzle protection, careful media selection is essential. The primary factor to be considered is orifice size and shape of the nozzle opening. Other factors include solids content, type of contaminant, particle size, and shape, amount of contaminant to be removed, liquid temperature, and required flow rates.

For liquids other than water, knowing the liquid’s viscosity, corrosiveness, abrasiveness, and adhesive qualities are essential in specifying the nozzle protection filter.

To prevent fly ash and sulfur dioxide from venting into the atmosphere, flue gas scrubbers uniformly spray a sorbent into the dirty, hot flue gas. These sorbents, however, often contain oversized particles that can plug spray nozzle orifices. When this happens, the spray becomes uneven, and fly ash and sulfur dioxide can escape from the scrubber.

The key to spray nozzle protection is to filter the liquid before sending it to the spray nozzle. This eliminates the excess and oversize particles, which ultimately plugs the nozzle orifices. Once plugged, the spray becomes uneven, and the output quality becomes compromised. All at an additional and unnecessary expense to the bottom line.

The pro-active approach to this problem is to protect the spray nozzles, which is to filter the solution before it reaches this stage of the process. While there are many different filtration options, the most cost effective is to use self-cleaning filters. This is why incinerator systems manufacturers regularly contact Eaton to analyze their filtration methods in hopes of protecting their expensive spray nozzles while lowering their process costs.

Eaton typically determines that the solution to this problem is twofold. To begin, many manufacturing facilities are throwing out more cartridges than necessary with disposable media. That is because disposable media are typically changed on a time cycle (e.g., once a shift, once a day, or once a week), regardless of whether the media needs replacement. To effectively filter when needed — and not when convenient — it is important to use automation when at all possible.

With the use of automation, the filters can be cleaned at precisely the right time, rather than when it is convenient. That is because the cleaning is controlled by the pressure differential between inlet and outlet headers as contaminants build up on the filter screen. When the pressure reaches a predetermined level, the screens are cleaned automatically — only as needed, and when needed.

The second problem was their use of processing liquids (sorbent) with unwanted and prior supposedly ‘filtered’ particles in it, which resulted in fouling and clogging of the spray nozzles. The consequence of this dynamic was uneven spray and fly ash/sulfur dioxide escaping from the scrubber.

Once identified, the incinerator systems manufacturer eliminated this problem by using Eaton self-cleaning filters. This meant less waste in the process. It also limited the unwanted particles in the process stream, which eliminated the spray nozzle clogging. Therefore, the process line did not have to be stopped to clean the nozzles.

The incinerator systems manufacturers are extremely pleased with the reliable operation of the filters, the elimination of spray nozzle plugging and fouling, as well as the fact that there are no spent cartridges to dispose.

–by Ask Filter Man


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How does Backwash Efficiency Affect Your Catalyst Bed Protection Filtration System?

Filtration systems are generally regenerated through a backwash cleaning cycle. The primary factors effecting backwash efficiency are • Available pressure differential • Backwash flow • Filter media characteristics  

Available Pressure Differential:  During backwashing, the backwash differential pressure (between the backwash source and drain) should ideally be three to five times greater than the differential pressure across the dirty media.  In a feedstock filter, the maximum dirty differential pressure should not exceed 15 PSID, meaning the backwash liquid should be delivered at 45 – 75 PSID to maximize the cleaning efficiency.

Backwash Flow:
A sufficient flow rate of backwash liquid will also be required to regenerate the filtering media. The required flow rate will be primarily dependent upon the type of media selected. Sufficient backwash flow along with sufficient backwash pressure will lead to hydro-shock cleaning effect and completely regenerate the media to its clean differential pressure.

Filter Media Characteristics:
The final component of filter regeneration is the media characteristics. By their very design, slotted wedge wire and woven wire mesh allow particles to be captured on the surface of the media, providing optimum particle release and media regeneration.  Sintered metal is multi-layered and can offer higher per-cake efficiencies, but can be difficult to regenerate.  This leads to shorter run times and increased downtime.

In summary, feedstock filtration is an important aspect in efficiently refinery operation.  Protecting catalyst beds from particulate contamination prevents bed plugging and increases catalyst life. Several factors affect filtration system efficiency and should be carefully considered when selecting a feedstock filtration system.

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How to Protect your Fixed-bed Reactors from Contamination

How liquid filtration systems protect fixed-bed reactors from contamination, leading to extended catalyst life and longer run lengths.

In the petroleum refining industry, catalysts represent a significant cost, so refineries are chiefly concerned with extending a catalyst’s life as long as possible. The simplest way to do this is to protect the fixed-bed reactor from becoming contaminated with dirt, carbon deposits, and other organic materials. These items can cause the bed to plug, resulting in decreased reaction efficiency, and potentially require the unit to be brought down early. Catalysts must then be regenerated or replaced.

In general, catalyst bed protection requires the filtration of all particles larger than 25 microns from the feedstock stream. Particles that are smaller than 25 microns will pass through the reactor bed without plugging the catalyst.

Three major factors must be taken into consideration when selecting a proper filtration system:

  • Flux rate
  • Filtration media
  • Clean ability

Flux Rate:
The size of the filtration system is dependent on the flux rate, which is defined s the flow rate per unit of filtration area.
For example, 100 gpm of VGO flowing through a filtration system with 50 ft2 of filtering area represents a flux rate of 2 gpm/ft2. It can be seen from this flux rate formula that an increase in filtration area will lead to a lower flux rate, which will in turn result in a lower velocity of the fluid as it passes through the media.

Lower flow velocity across the filtering media allows the formation of a porous cake on the surface of the media. This leads to longer run times between backwash cycles and increases efficiency in particle removal.

This cake formation also has the added benefit of preventing particles from becoming embedded in the media, allowing for easy removal of particulate during the backwash cleaning cycle.

Filtration Media and Clean ability:
When selecting a feedstock filtration system, another important consideration is media type and its clean ability.

Possible media choices include slotted wedge wire, woven wire mesh, and multi-layered sintered metal. Each one carries its own advantages and disadvantages, but perhaps the most critical consideration when choosing a feedstock filtration system is the ability to completely regenerate the filtration media to its original clean state.

If the media is not sufficiently cleaned, the result is shorter run times and will eventually require the filter to be bypassed for manual cleaning or media replacement.

In summary, feedstock filtration is an important aspect in efficiently refinery operation. Protecting catalyst beds from particulate contamination prevents bed plugging and increases catalyst life.  Several factors affect filtration system efficiency and should be carefully considered when selecting a feedstock filtration system.


The Filtration of Process Water and Its Importance in the Petroleum Industry

Disposable Filter Media: When final product clarification is a key process objective, a general standard of particle removal is retention in the 0.2 – 200 µ range. Many disposable filter media meet this criterion. Disposable filter media, typically bags or cartridges come in a wide range of µ and fabrics. Woven and nonwoven polypropylene, cellulose, polyester, nylon, and other materials are all available.

Two types of efficiency ratings are typically used for disposable filtration media: nominal and absolute. Nominal ratings can vary from 50 – 90% removal efficiency, depending on the product and the manufacturer. Absolute ratings imply 100% removal of particles at a set rating; this actually means 98.7 – 99.99%, depending on the product and the vendor.

Bag fabrication has advanced over the past few years, improving the filtration capacity of bags and making them more efficient. Multilayer bags, some as much as an inch thick, are now on the market. The multiple layers increase the solids holding capacity of the bags and provide a larger surface area for filtration. These higher efficiency bags normally last longer, remove a higher percentage of contaminants (up to 99.9%) and can be rated as low as 1.5 µ.

Even with new designs in bag construction, cartridge filters trap particulate that a simple bag cannot, such as soft particles, which can be extruded through bags. The ‘depth’ design of cartridges (layer of rigid construction) means they have more surface area upon which to trap the dirt and enable significantly more dirt holding capacity when compares to a similar size bag. This makes cartridge the filter choice for absolute filtration.

While disposable media such as bags and cartridges usually have a relatively low initial cost, operating costs can be high if charge out is frequent. Media replacement and waste disposal costs can quickly outweigh any ‘savings’ from the lower acquisition cost. Conversely, for applications with low processing volumes or where media replacement is infrequent, bag or cartridge filtration may be the best choice.

Cleanable Filter Media: Several different types of cleanable filter media are available as alternatives to disposable media or as a prefilter in staged filtration systems. They include wire mesh, wedge wire, defined pore, perforated, and sintered metal filters. Cleanable media can often be used in the same applications as disposable bags or cartridges, sometimes with significant labor and cost savings. There are many applications where pressure or flow requirements make cleanable filter media a better choice. When comparing purchase price to operational expenditures, a typical payback can range from six months to one year.

Cleaning of this media type may be done manually, hydraulically or mechanically. Manual cleaning often requires the use of expensive cleaning compounds, and the filter media can be damaged during cleaning. Additionally, work force is obviously required for manual cleaning, and worker safety/exposure issues are raised. Hydraulic cleaning involves using either the process stream or another compatible source of liquid to backwash the filter media. This may be cost prohibitive if the liquid being filtered is very expensive, hazardous, and/or no compatible with an outside source of liquid to the backwashing. Disposal of large volumes of contaminated backwash liquid could also be prohibitive.

There are three main classes of cleanable filters: vibrating screens, backwashing filters, and mechanically cleaned filters. Of these three, only vibrating screens require manual cleaning, but they have limited use in the petroleum process, especially for water treatment.  Mechanically cleaned filters are ideal for highly viscous liquids. Again, this does not apply to most water treatment applications.

Backwashing filters work well in high volume applications, typically ranging from 100 gpm and upwards. A minimum pressure of 45 psi and a small volume of liquid are required for backwashing. For these reasons, backwashing filters are often found throughout the petroleum industry.

Ultimately, whatever the process water application, careful consideration and selection of filtration equipment can significantly improve overall system performance. Although most attention for filtration in the petroleum industry traditionally focuses on refining crude, water is a key process component and can help drive optimization. It will reduce maintenance costs, repair costs, and labor requirements. It will also extend the life of expensive and valuable equipment, improve a plant’s competitive position, and help to drive profits.