A new, more efficient way to cool potash
A steady decline in potash prices means plant operators need to improve efficiencies within their existing processes. In part, this has highlighted historic challenges with existing direct cooling solutions that also come with high operating costs and are less flexible in adapting to varying processing conditions.
In the 2021 issue of PotashWorks Magazine, Igor Makarenko, Global Director, Fertilizer, discusses how vertical plate technology that cools potash indirectly has emerged as a Goldilocks solutions that puts more control back into operators' hands.
"Vertical plate technology is flexible and robust enough that it can accept more product while still meeting cooling requirements," writes Makarenko. "A tall tower design allows the product to slowly pass through stainless-steel heat exchanger plates that are cooled by water or other liquid mediums. The plates absorb the heat and the product cools as — encouraged by gravity — it slowly and uniformly moves downward, controlled by a discharge device.
"The design allows true counter-current flow of the water inside the plates, which achieves greater thermal efficiency and, as a result, more efficient cooling."
Makarenko notes plant operators can not only handle higher throughputs, but also guarantee a safe and even-temperature product that won't subsequently cake during further transport.
And because of its small space requirements (typically two metres by two metres), "it also gives them a conveniently located cooling stage directly at loadout. That, in turn, frees up space within the main facilities, mitigates the need for housing product in flat storage and puts the safest possible product to handle in truck drivers' hands."
Download a pdf to read the full story.
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