High efficiency cement cooling for cement milling: Nick Sutherland, Solex Thermal Science Inc (Canada)

Filmed at Cemtech MEA 2015, 8-11 February, Grand Hyatt Dubai, UAE


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Just a little bit of background before I start on the presentation, I'll just flick on to the agenda, I'm just talk over that. This is a paper which is based on a pilot study that we did in Canada, Lafarge's Exshaw plant of the [xx] rocky mountains. We don't yet have a full surge unit in operation, it's still sort of early days. But we are hoping in the next few months to secure orders for one or two units around the world. So, if you bear that in mind when we come to the questions.

Some of this information is actually coming from Lafarge Exshaw, I did this as a joint paper with Red Ambary who is the Process Developer Manager at Lafarge Exshaw. So, he added some of the background to it. So, why do we need a cool cement? There's lots of reasons, there's current demand from the customer for tighter and tighter cement controls is the problem it potentially causes you in the silos for blockages.

So, we know cement is a hydroscopic product, it will absorb moisture from the atmosphere if it's temperatures are not in balance. Maybe not so apparent at the moment but I remember the good days when you could sell every ton of clinker you could make or turn it into cement. So, a lot of the problems with feed going straight from the kiln or the cooler straight to the cement mill with no possibility of cooling in between. So, quality a few reasons for the cement cooling trends. I'll skip through to one or two of the slides just to give you some background. Obviously, I don't want to teach you the cement industry, I'm sure you all know where a cement cooler sits. And this is the conventional technology if a cement plant actually needs a cooler at all. And this type of unit, as we know as a cascading water fall down on the outside and then the product being driven up through the middle.

Couple of photographs to the line these are actually from Exshaw, even when you put a [xx] around it over period of time it turns into a cement blanket and when it comes to do the repairs it's a really pain to get rid off. I got a picture on the top, the amount of build up you can incur their.

So, the customer being Lafarge so the [xx] down a few issues that causes blockage into the drains because the cement gets into the water, it goes down to the drains and it starts to build up and it causes floods, it causes all sorts of problems. I'm sure you know all the issues that you have with traditional cement type coolers. After you've been running for a while you start to loose the efficiency because the water attracts only a part of the surface you know if you've lost surface area, if you lost the cooling capacity.

So, a quick look at our technology, this technology has been around for about 25 years, but only in recent times have we looked at cement as an application for our technology. This particular example is actually cooling sand. So, this is actually a two bank units, fed from the top, this is coming from a sound drier and then cooled through our unit through a mass flow core and now though a rotary valve.

And this is sort of a representation of what's actually inside there, sort of heat exchanging plates with water going through indirectly transfer from the product to the plate into the water and then taken away through the water flow. So, these are the two things the two technologies are in competition.

One thing that our technologies scores very highly on is energy usage because apart from the rotary valve which is controlling the flow rate and maybe an elevator to get it into the unit itself. If that's required, there's no energy import, we use gravity which is free. So, a brief history of the industry or of the technology.

So, it was about 25 years ago that it was developed. It was developed by a fertilizer company in Canada that was also a mining company [xx]. We've actually achieved over 450 now, we're about 500 units

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