MechChem Africa March 2019

⎪ Petrochemical, oil and gas ⎪

VEGAPULS monitor to track molten polyethylene levels

M ore than ever before, a good portion of our cars are made from plastics and plastic composites. According to theAmericanChemistryCouncil, plastics account for approximately 50% of the volume of a typical vehicle. Using plastic in cars helps achievebetter fuel efficiencies and improves vehicle safety. Many times, these plastic parts are made of polyethyl- ene, and recently, VEGAAmericas helped an auto partsmanufacturer track the levels in their tanks. Making a measurement in the tightest of spaces An auto parts manufacturer responsible for making vehicle interiors, steering wheels, exterior mouldings, and trim pieces for large auto manufacturers hadn’t been taking level measurements in all 30 of their polyethylene tanks – a product with poor reflective properties. In a particular plant, the tanks are very small – roughly five feet tall and about a couple feet in diameter. On top of the tanks, there’s only a single one-inch process connection, and it’s pushed to the sidewall because of a bulky mixer mounted on top. To make matters more complicated, there’s little to no headspace above the vessel to install a guided wave radar. Creative mounting made possible with the VEGAPULS 64 Because of the lowdKproduct and the close proximity to the sidewall, VEGA representatives suggested testing a VEGAPULS 64 on three of the vessels. To bypass the large mixer flange on top of the tank, installers had to reduce the one-inch threaded process connection to a¾-inch thread andmount with an eight-inch extension. Thiswas only possible because of theVEGAPULS64’s versatile process connections This article presents a success story fromVEGAAmericas, which helped a car parts manufacturer track the polyethylene levels in its tanks through creative mounting of its VEGAPULS 64.

The VEGAPULS 64’s versatile process connections enabled the level monitor to be mounted on the side of the tank without a problem.

and the ¾-inch connection wasn’t a problem. After constructing this more elaborate process connection and commissioning the radars, installers were able to get a reliable signal. The previous instrumentation on these vessels hadn’t been func- tional for years, sooperators hadbeenworkingblind. This newsolution involving a small, unique process connection and the VEGAPULS 64 has enabled the plant to run its process at an optimal production rate and reduce the risk of overflowing the tanks. The plant is now planning to replace most of its existing tanks with the same setup. q

Biomethane from waste to supply 9 600 households GermanbiogasplantmanufacturerWELTEC BIOPOWERhas startedbuilding abiometh- ane plant near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, UK for Lanes Farm Energy. will reduce the energy required for mixing. Liquids will be fed in controllable volumes directly to digesters from five pre-storage tanks, ofwhich two are equippedwith stain- less steel bottoms.

chicken manure as well as grass silage and hybrid rye,” he says. The effective utilisation of leftovers is a key reason why Charlotte Morton, CEO of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), consid- ers biomethane projects to be ecologically and economically trend-setting. According to ADBA, the anaerobic digestion (AD) of food leftovers could cover a third of the gas or power demand in the UK and create 35 000 new jobs. The solids are fed through two walking- floor feed hoppers with 110 and 220 m 3 , and two MULTIMix units, which remove foreign objects, liquefy, shred andmacerate incoming solids to make them into an eas- ily pumpable, easily mixed, easily digested liquid. The mashing and shredding process makes sure that the bacteria can access the substances in the digester faster and

Tel Sultan, director of Lanes FarmEnergy says, “After in-depth discussions with over ten technology providers, WELTEC was selected to be our partner to deliver the technology.”The plant will go live in late 2019anddeliver c7.3millionm 3 of biometh- ane to the UK gas distribution network. This amount of eco-friendly natural gas equivalentissufficienttosupplyabout9600 households with sustainable energy, 24/7. “The locally sourced feedstocks con- tribute greatly to the project‘s sustain- ability,” says Kevin Monson, sales manager at WELTEC UK. “Food leftovers account for more than half of the 80 000 tpa of substrate. Additionally, there is cattle and

The gas production will take place in four stainless-steel digesters with a height of 8.8 m and an above-average capacity of 6 848 m 3 each. WELTEC has also decided to implement membrane upgrading to transform the bio- gas into high-quality biomethane – and the digestate canbeused further as high-quality fertiliser, returning organic material and nutrients to the land. For on-site electricity supply, WELTEC will integrate a 500 kW CHP to enable Lanes Farm Energy to generate additional income from exporting excess electricity to the grid. q

March 2019 • MechChem Africa ¦ 31

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