R/€ = 13.06
R/$ = 11.68
Au 1220.68 $/oz
Pt 1191.00 $/oz
Aug 11, 2006
Innovative designs aid drying processesBack
© Reuse this South African company Scientific Design is looking to affirm its position as a prominent supplier of engineered solutions in the field of drying, cooling and thermal processes, as well as its trademarked technology, the Firesand fluidised bed combustor.
A pioneer in the use of flash dryers for the drying of mineral concentrates, as well as fluidised bed agglomerators and cone dryers for food products, among other technologies, the company has been involved in most of the largest min- ing, chemical and fast-moving consumer goods drying projects in South Africa in the last ten years, says MD Thierry Johannes.
He says that the firm is at the forefront of the development of coal-fired fluidised bed combustion in South Africa and its Firesand technology is widely regarded as the most prominent in the field of hot-gas generation for drying applications and has established a solid reputation as a process-plant equipment supplier, providing innovative solutions to industry’s requirements.
According to Johannes, the company also specialises in the design of customised solutions in the field of drying, cooling and calcining, control systems for drying installations, in particular in conjunction with fluidised bed combustors. The company undertakes consulting assignments, conducting audits on existing installations with a view to resolving operational and control problems, as well as increasing plant capacity.
This year, it started three such assignments for one of the leading platinum producers.
One of the company’s current projects is the design and manu- facture of a pilot plant high-temperature calciner for a pilot process plant which could revolutionise the treatment of acidic run-of-mine water.
This installation will be erected on the site of one of the largest coal producers and should be completed in the first quarter of 2007.
Recognising the strategic importance of energy for the future, the firm is actively pursuing the processing and drying of biomass for either fluidised bed incineration or for the production of green fuels, with a view to reducing carbon- dioxide emissions.
Johannes believes this technology has become increasingly significant in countries which have ratified the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse-gas emissions.
The company is designing a large drying installation for the drying of biomass in order to produce wood pellets for the export market.
The completion of this turnkey project is scheduled for early next year.
The use of coal in various pro-cesses requiring heat, either directly or indirectly, remains one of their specialities, with the next-generation Firesand hot-gas generator on the drawing board.
The new improved design could see its first commercial application by the end of 2007.
As it is projected that many of the higher-quality coal seams in South Africa will have been depleted by the year 2020, the industry is increasingly turning its attention to the reclamation of coal fines.
Johannes believes that, for that to be a success, it would require the beneficiation of the fines and the drying in order to meet international calorific value requirements.
The thermal drying of coal fines has always been a challenge owing to its potential to cause fires. Drying at high temperature using air poses significant risks.
Anticipating this need, the company is building an innovative pilot plant dryer for this application.
For a period of six years, the com- pany licensed its technology to another local company and, according to Johannes, “following a period of unsatisfactory performance, rescinded the licence to resume direct activity in the marketplace”.
He comments that drying tech-nology is often considered a necessary evil, but that the change made in the industry by legislation and protocol to focus on environment-sound processing strategies means that industrial drying has become more important with regard to industry’s overall potential and is able to ensure efficient environment-sound solutions, designed for clients’ specific requirements.
Edited by: Bert Swart© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Foundries, Forges and Die-Casting News
International consulting engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) has appointed Salani Sithole as South African MD, effective March 1. Sithole has been with the company for six years and, prior to joining RHDHV, held various positions in engineering consulting,...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.
In a recent letter to the editor that I sent to Engineering News (Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array) and in a follow-up article elaborating further (We must start preparations to build our own synchrotron light source), I stated my...