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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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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Why Cleanable Media for Industrial Filter Processes is More Environmentally Friendly

Due to the new environmental regulations — and the costs associated with waste disposal — the manner in which industries filter to either recycle or eliminate filtration waste is constantly changing.

Selecting filtration equipment is the combined result of many considerations.

In addition to removing undesirable material from a liquid stream, the filtration method selected must also satisfy other requirement.

Installed costs must be weighed against operating costs. Waste disposal costs must be considered. Is continuous flow a requirement of the application, or can the filtration equipment be operated intermittently? Is worker exposure to the process liquid during filter cleaning or replacement a problem?

These and other factors must be weighed when choosing the right filtration method for a particular application.

Today, more than ever, self-cleaning filters (cleanable media) is the better methodology — and many times the right thing to do — for many reasons.

With cleanable systems, you enhance employee safety by minimizing worker and workplace exposure to process liquids.

You minimize or eliminate the unlimited cost and inconvenience of media replacement.

You minimize or eliminate the never-ending and ever-rising cost and hassle of media disposal.

You drastically reduce the labor costs to source, purchase, inventory, transport, change, and dispose of replacement media.

You increase the quality and consistence of filter performance and productivity.

To help reduce the confusion when you are evaluating different filtration methods/systems, I have compiled a list of questions you may want to consider:

Factors to Consider: When selecting a filter for a particular application, the following criteria should be considered.

1. How large is the process volume? What is the flow rate?

2. Is it a continuous or batch process?

3. What are the material characteristics of the solids being removed? How large are the particles? Is the material hazardous? Can the material being removed be recycled back into the process stream at another point?

4. What are the waste disposal costs? How often do bags or cartridges need to be replaced? Can the waste volume be reduced or eliminated by switching to a different filtration method?

5. What are the labor and downtime costs for filter or cartridge replacement? Can downtime be reduced or eliminated by switching to a different filtration method?

— Eaton Filtration

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By: Eaton Filtration

Every so often we get a call from someone who has just purchased one of our stainless steel strainers and they want to know, “Is it really stainless?” Why? Because the strainer shows rust spots or is somewhat magnetic.

This is a problem which has plagued producers of stainless steel castings for years. Can something which is supposed to be type 316 stainless really be 316 and yet show rust and/or magnetism? The answer is “yes.”

Let us take rust first. It can (and frequently does} occur on stainless alloys of controlled composition and heat treatment as the result of surface contamination. Among the many sources of contamination, the following are the leading offenders:

1. An iron film left on the surface as a result of a machining or other manufacturing operation will tend to rust in the presence of moisture.
2. Microscopic scale particles left on the surface after pickling may become visible as rust under suitable conditions.
3. Pickling solution oozing from minute pores in the metal may stain the surface and oxidize to a brown rust color due to the iron which it contains.
4. The accumulation of the natural corrosion products of the alloy in corrosive service on a rough surface may cause a brown stain due to oxidation.
5. Discoloration may be caused by the accumulation of any extraneous processing material which is of such a nature as to cause a “rusty” appearance on a rough surface.

A smooth or polished surface will always stay cleaner and brighter under mildly corrosive conditions than a rough surface. Although it is true that stainless steel is at its best when highly polished, (it should be remembered that, under strongly corrosive conditions, this polish is soon removed. It is the inherent resistances of the alloy that counts and “rust” conditions such as those described are relatively harmless. They are the results of surface contamination and in no way reflect the composition of the alloy.

Now for magnetism. Users of stainless steel are accustomed to finding the wrought types of 304 and 316 practically non-magnetic. It Rust & Magnetism in S.S. Strainers comes as a surprise to many that castings of somewhat similar composition are often found to have considerable magnetism. The result is that such compositions are suspected of being improperly made, or outside specified limits, and lacking in proper corrosion resistance. However, such is not the case.

Stainless alloys, wrought or cast, are composed of elements like carbon, nickel and manganese, which tend to promote a non-magnetic austenitic structure, and elements such as chromium, silicon, and Molybdenum, which promote. a magnetic ferrite. The amount of non-magnetic austenite and magnetic ferrite varies with composition and can co-exist.

A stainless steel composition that is to be produced in the wrought form must be one that has satisfactory rolling or forging properties, while a somewhat similar cast composition is designed
to give the foundryrnan good “castability.” Hence, the wrought composition will be made with higher nickel and manganese than the comparable cast type.
This is particularly true of type 316, where to overcome the ferritizing effect of molybdenum, considerably more nickel is used, resulting in a composition that can withstand the rigorous rolling or forging operations. Such a composition is virtually non-magnetic.

The corresponding cast form is lower in nickel, because the hotworking difficulties caused by molybdenum need not be counterbalanced. On the other hand, the foundryrnan, to gain “castability”, will increase silicon. This change in composition tends to promote the formation of ferrite with an increase of magnetism in the product.

For process industry use, our interest is not in how much magnetism an alloy has, but how corrosion-resistant it is. Corrosion rates are related to the amount of each element present in composition. Chromium imparts oxidation resistance with increasing amounts of the alloy present. Nickel and manganese, within normal ranges, have little effect on corrosion rates but carbon and silicon tend to decrease corrosion resistance. Studies made of comparable types of wrought and cast alloys show that corrosion resistance is approximately the same, even though the wrought type is non-magnetic and the cast type magnetic.

There are other phenomena which affect magnetic characteristics. Heavy sections tend to be more magnetic than thin ones. The cause is “mass effect”, which means that different sections have cooled in the mold at different rates, promoting the segregation of ferrite. Since these ferrite areas are not changed by subsequent heat treatment, they remain in the finished casting.

It must not be assumed that this ferrite segregation is harmful to corrosion resistance. In some cases, it can be helpful because ferritic material- is less •susceptible to intergranular attack. It will trap chromium carbides that ordinarily would be precipitated• along- the- grain boundaries of a completely austenitic (and non-magnetic) composition.


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Article Copyright Eaton -2011