Case History: Catalyst Processing

A chemical processor making their own catalyst needed a better system to process the catalyst, with less labor, less operator exposure to the product, and better control of gradation.

The catalyst, produced by calcining in saggars or pans, was brick like. Operators were breaking the product from the pan, then manually chipping the chunks to feed manually into old, undersized mills. The process was very slow, very dusty, and provided little control of the end product.

For maximum effectiveness, the catalyst needed to be -12 x +30 mesh. Any undersize virgin catalyst was to be crushed to -100 mesh, for a different use. Spent granular catalyst, rejuvenated in a separate process, needed to graded and packaged as well.

The process was housed in a small, garage like structure with very low headroom, within the catalyst plant. Entry into the structure was in fact, via 8 ft. wide roll-up garage doors. To keep the project cost down, the customer preferred to avoid demolition or alteration of the structure, and have the system be modular and pre-tested for fast installation and startup.

Applicon designed and built a unique, compact but serviceable system, including:

• Lift and dump the saggars (pans), into a dust controlled dump station, relieving the operator from wrestling these 100 lb. containers.

• Break the monolith or chunks, using a slow speed, high torque single rotor lump crusher. A replaceable, extreme duty bar grate limits the size of slabby material to less than 12 mm x 30 mm x 30 mm, with most product substantially smaller.

• Controlled feed to the primary roll crusher.

• Primary roll mill, with large rolls and deep nip point to allow the slabby feed to enter the compression zone with minimum abrasion, which would make excessive fines.

• Multi-deck screener. Oversize is recirculated back to the primary mill; 12 x 30 mesh exits as product; undersize reports to the tertiary roll mill.

• Tertiary mill is a smaller, high compression roll mill, to reduce the – 30 mesh to catalyst powder.

• Product (12 x 30 mesh) accumulates in a hopper for packaging.

• Packing into 50 lb. boxes or pails, by weight.

• Drum lift and dump. This lifts and inverts a 500 lb. drum of recycled catalyst, for grading and packing.

Applicon built the principal processing system as a single skid which could be easily rolled into the room, with quick connections to the outlying handling and packaging components. The system was pre-assembled and run prior to shipment, with the skid mounted devices pre-wired to the control panel, also mounted on the skid. Remote devices (level sensors, prox sensors) were provided with quick connections. Site installation, wiring and startup required only a few days of effort.

Related Literature: Materials Handling/Powder Processing: Going Modular