Monday, November 27, 2017

Unique Rotating Dryer Design is Perfect for Forest and Agricultural Products

The exclusive technology DRYER ONE, developed by Belgium company Technic One, enables the precise drying and processing of a large range of forest and agricultural products, in addition to the recovery of waste materials.

It operates bu loading the material to be dried onto a rotating plate through which passes a hot air flow. After a 360° rotation, the partially dried material is transferred onto a second plate where it is rotated again, thereby completing the drying process. Various control processes are used to ensure the good working and to reach the desired moisture content of the product.

Typical drying applications are wood waste, wood shavings, sawdust, maize, coffee grounds, brewer's grain, corn, soy, seeds, rice, and barley.

A visual understanding of the dryer operation is explained below:

  1. IN - The lower rotating plate is loaded with the material to be dried.
  2. LOWER LEVEL DRYING - The material is rotated by 360°.
  3. UP - The material to be dried is transferred towards the upper plate by a bucket elevator or a vertical screw conveyor.
  4. HIGHER LEVEL DRYING - The material is rotated 360° by the upper rotating plate, moving in the opposite direction to that of the lower level plate. This exclusive technology ensures better distribution of heat and greater efficiency than other hot air drying techniques.
  5. OUT - The dried material is exited towards the packaging or storage area.
  6. HOT AIR FLOW - The hot air is sucked from the top to the bottom creating a counter current. It successively crosses the higher and lower level plates.
  7. RETRIEVAL AND EXPULSION OF AIR SATURATED WITH MOISTURE - After passing through the two plates the saturated air is pushed upwards for expulsion. If necessary, filters suitable for residual particles can be installed at the final stage of the process.

  1. Hot water is brought from a cogeneration unit.
  2. The heat exchanger transfers the heat from the hot water into ambient air. The heated air is then drawn into the dryer.
  3. Cooled water evacuation after exchange.
  4. The incoming air is dry and hot (60-90°C)(140-194°F).
  5. The reverse counter-current air flow (moving from the top to the bottom of the dryer) presses through material laying on the rotating plates, this largely prevents dust dispersion.
  6. The outgoing cooled air (25-30°C)(77-86°F), almost completely saturated with moisture, is evacuated via the central chimney.
  7. The first rotating plate gradually and partially evaporates the moisture.
  8. Material is transferred from the lower plate to the higher plate via a bucket elevator or a vertical screw conveyor. During the transfer, the material is rotated and mixed, providing better quality and even drying.
  9. The second rotating plate completes the drying process and allows the hot air to absorb residual moisture.

  1. ROTATION OF MATERIAL - Each drying plate is equipped with a screw conveyor which thoroughly rotates and mixes the material to be dried. This process provides more even and better quality drying.
  2. ROTATION SYSTEM - Each rotating plate is driven by a gearmotor, which ensures a constant rotation speed with complete reliability.
  3. PLATE COVERINGS - The rotating plates are covered with a highly resistant synthetic grooved surface or stainless steel perforated sheeting. The load loss of the material to be dried is lower than that of the covering, leading to better diffusion of the hot air flow across the whole surface. Moisture can be extracted gradually, without thermal shock. The more even humidity level is one of the main advantages of DRYER ONE™. The coverings can easily and quickly be replaced.
  4. ROTATING METAL PLATES - The rotating plates have a stainless steel grated structure with a planarity much greater than that of conveyor belts. They have high resistance to load stress and corrosion. The grated structure is divided into segments of equal size, making it much easier to carry out maintenance work or replacements in the space of just a few minutes.

For more information on the Dryer One system, contact Process Systems & Design by calling (410) 861-6437 or visiting

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Biomass for Power and Heat Generation

There are many potential advantages to using biomass instead of fossil fuels for meeting energy needs. Specific benefits depend upon the intended use and fuel source, but often include: greenhouse gas and other air pollutant reductions, energy cost savings, local economic development, waste reduction, and the security of a domestic fuel supply. In addition, biomass is more flexible (e.g., can generate both power and heat) and reliable (as a non-intermittent resource) as an energy option than many other sources of renewable energy.

Biomass fuels are typically used most efficiently and beneficially when generating both power and heat through CHP (combined heat and power). CHP, also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source, such as biomass/biogas, natural gas, coal, or oil. CHP provides:
  • Distributed generation of electrical and/or mechanical power.
  • Waste-heat recovery for heating, cooling, or process applications.
  • Seamless system integration for a variety of technologies, thermal applications, and fuel types into existing building infrastructure.
CHP is not a single technology, but an integrated energy system that can be modified depending on the needs of the energy end user. The hallmark of all well-designed CHP systems is an increase in the efficiency of fuel use. By using waste heat recovery technology to capture a significant proportion of heat created as a byproduct in electricity generation, CHP systems typically achieve total system efficiencies of 60 to 80 percent for producing electricity and thermal energy. These efficiency gains improve the economics of using biomass fuels, as well as produce other environmental benefits. More than 60 percent of current biomass-powered electricity generation in the United States is in the form of CHP.

The industrial sector currently produces both steam or hot water and electricity from biomass in CHP facilities in the paper, chemical, wood products, and food-processing industries. These industries are major users of biomass fuels; utilizing the heat and steam in their processes can improve energy efficiency by more than 35 percent. The biggest industrial user of bioenergy is the forest products industry, which consumes 85 percent of all wood waste used for energy in the United States. Manufacturing plants that utilize forest products can typically generate more than half of their own energy from woody waste products and other renewable sources of fuel (e.g., wood chips, black liquor).

Most of the electricity, heat, and steam produced by industrial facilities are consumed on site; however, some manufacturers that produce more electricity than they need on site sell excess power to the grid. Wider use of biomass resources will directly benefit many companies that generate more residues (e.g., wood or processing wastes) than they can use internally. New markets for these excess materials may support business expansion as the residues are purchased for energy generation purposes or new profit centers of renewable energy production may diversify and support the core business of these companies.

Biomass Feedstocks

The success of any biomass-fueled CHP project is heavily dependent on the availability of a suitable biomass feedstock. Biomass feedstocks are widely available in both rural and urban settings and can include:

Rural Resources:
  • Forest residues and wood wastes
  • Crop residues Energy crops Manure biogas
Urban Resources:
  • Urban wood waste
  • Wastewater treatment biogas
  • Municipal solid waste (MSW) and landfill gas (LFG)
  • Food processing residue
Feedstocks vary widely in their sources and fuel characteristics and therefore vary in typical considerations for their utilization. Various biomass resources can require different approaches to collection, storage, and transportation, as well as different considerations regarding the conversion process and power generation technology that they would most effectively fuel.

Process Systems & Design welcomes your inquiries in to biomass processing. With years of engineering experience in this field, PS&D is an outstanding engineering partner for any biomass-to-energy conversion process.

Contact Process Systems & Design by visiting or call (410) 861-6437.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Leading Authority on E-Liquid Manufacturing Equipment

As an alternative to smoking tobacco, inhaling vaporized liquids containing nicotine, flavors and vegetable glycerin has become very popular. The name this new industry has been given is “Vaping” and the products used in electronic vaporizers is referred to as E-Liquid. E-Liquids are heated to vapor, then inhaled, and the various compounds (such as nicotine) are adsorbed by the mouth, nose and lungs.

Because of the obvious health concerns of inhaling flavor compounds, stabilizers, and other E-Liquid constituents,  FDA (Food and Drug Administration) oversight is acute. Considering this, the E-Liquid industry must be prepared to implement strict cGMP manufacturing processes that include all aspects of production - from storage and blending, flow of ingredients, and finished product - with strict FDA record-keeping compliance.

Since the E-Liquid/Vaping industry is relatively new, companies considering a move into producing and selling E-Liquids are finding it difficult to find experienced, qualified equipment designers and consultants. Not only are their few qualified vendors, but the legislative constraints on the industry seem to change frequently. The right equipment partner needs to not only have the technical know-how to build safe, reliable, and efficient equipment, but they also must be on top of FDA and other governmental factors.

Process Systems & Design, located in Westminster, MD is one of the world’s leading experts in E-Liquid manufacturing. PS&D developed the first FDA compliant, safe, accurate, automated, and self-contained e-Liquid compounding system for the e-liquid/vaping industry.  You can lean more about Process Systems & Design at or by calling (410) 861-6437.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Gypsum Processing for Cement, Plaster and Wallboard


Gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4 2H2O), a white or gray naturally occurring mineral, and is used as a commercial and generic term for all calcium sulfate materials. Raw gypsum ore is processed into a variety of products such as a portland cement additive, soil conditioner, industrial and building plasters, and gypsum wallboard.

Gypsum ore, from quarries and underground mines, is crushed and stockpiled near a plant. As needed, the stockpiled ore is further crushed and screened to about 50 millimeters (2 inches) in diameter. If the moisture content of the mined ore is greater than about 0.5 weight percent, the ore must be dried in a rotary dryer or a heated roller mill. Ore dried in a rotary dryer is conveyed to a roller mill, where it is ground to the extent that 90 percent of it is less than 149 micrometers (100 mesh). The ground gypsum exits the mill in a gas stream and is collected in a product cyclone. Ore is sometimes dried in the roller mill by heating the gas stream so that drying and grinding are accomplished simultaneously and no rotary dryer is needed. The finely ground gypsum ore is known as landplaster, which may be used as a soil conditioner.

In most plants, landplaster is fed to kettle calciners or flash calciners, where it is heated to remove three-quarters of the chemically bound water to form stucco (CaSO4 1⁄2H2O). Calcination occurs at approximately 120° to 150°C (250° to 300°F) and 0.908 megagrams (Mg) (1 ton) of gypsum calcines to about 0.77 Mg (0.85 ton) of stucco.

In kettle calciners, the gypsum is indirectly heated by hot combustion gas passed through flues in the kettle, and the stucco product is discharged into a "hot pit" located below the kettle. Kettle calciners may be operated in either batch or continuous mode. In flash calciners, the gypsum is directly contacted with hot gases, and the stucco product is collected at the bottom of the calciner.

At some gypsum plants, drying, grinding, and calcining are performed in heated impact mills. In these mills hot gas contacts gypsum as it is ground. The gas dries and calcines the ore and then conveys the stucco to a product cyclone for collection. The use of heated impact mills eliminates the need for rotary dryers, calciners, and roller mills.

Gypsum and stucco are usually transferred from one process to another by means of screw conveyors or bucket elevators. Storage bins or silos are normally located downstream of roller mills and calciners but may also be used elsewhere.

In the manufacture of plasters, stucco is ground further in a tube or ball mill and then batch-mixed with retarders and stabilizers to produce plasters with specific setting rates. The thoroughly mixed plaster is fed continuously from intermediate storage bins to a bagging operation.

In the manufacture of wallboard, stucco from storage is first mixed with dry additives such as perlite, starch, fiberglass, or vermiculite. This dry mix is combined with water, soap foam, accelerators, and shredded paper or pulpwood in a pin mixer at the head of a board forming line. The slurry is then spread between two paper sheets that serve as a mold. The edges of the paper are scored, and sometimes chamfered, to allow precise folding of the paper to form the edges of the board. As the wet board travels the length of a conveying line, the calcium sulfate hemihydrate combines with the water in the slurry to form solid calcium sulfate dihydrate, or gypsum, resulting in rigid board. The board is rough-cut to length, and it enters a multideck kiln dryer, where it is dried by direct contact with hot combustion gases or by indirect steam heating. The dried board is conveyed to the board end sawing area and is trimmed and bundled for shipment.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The VIPER Automated, FDA Compliant, Self-contained e-Liquid Compounding System

PS&D's Viper is the first FDA compliant, safe, accurate, automated, and self-contained e-Liquid compounding system for the e-liquid vaping industry.

The production system is integrated with a flexible batch management system that provides a platform for automatic control and electronic record-keeping to comply with FDA regulations 21 CFR 210, 211, and 11. Proven products from Rockwell Automation provides the core of control and information management system. It provides the authorized operator with a secure tool for designing flexible recipes that combine operator-entered and automatic data collection into a single work flow. In-process weights are collected automatically and used to manage the flow of ingredients and finished products between storage and blending vessels. System components, including motors and automatic valves are sequenced according to the recipes’ logic. Data are stored in a relational database management system for long-term storage and reporting. PS&D supports the information technologies associated with the recipe management and data collection processes through secure cloud-based computing and network communications platforms.

For more information, visit or call (410) 861-6437.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

From Biomass to Biofuel

Biomass converted to gasoline
Biomass converted to gasoline (image courtesy of
Biomass resources run the gamut from corn kernels to corn stalks, from soybean and canola oils to animal fats, from prairie grasses to hardwoods, and even include algae.

In the long run, we will need diverse technologies to make use of these different energy sources. Some technologies are already developed; others will be. Today, the most common technologies involve biochemical, chemical, and thermochemical conversion processes.

Ethanol, today’s largest volume biofuel, is produced through a biochemical conversion process. In this process, yeasts ferment sugar from starch and sugar crops into ethanol. Most of today’s ethanol is produced from cornstarch or sugarcane. But biochemical conversion techniques can also make use of more abundant “cellulosic” biomass sources such as grasses, trees, and agricultural residues.

Researchers develop processes that use heat, pressure, chemicals, and enzymes to unlock the sugars in cellulosic biomass. The sugars are then fermented to ethanol, typically by using genetically engineered micro- organisms. Cellulosic ethanol is the leading candidate for replacing a large portion of U.S. petroleum use.

A much simpler chemical process is used to produce biodiesel. Today’s biodiesel facilities start with vegetable oils, seed oils, or animal fats and react them with methanol or ethanol in the presence of a catalyst. In addition, genetic engineering work has produced algae with a high lipid content that can be used as another source of biodiesel.

Algae are a form of biomass which could substantially increase our nation’s ability to produce domestic biofuels. Algae and plants can serve as a natural source of oil, which conventional petroleum refineries can convert into jet fuel or diesel fuel—a product known as “green diesel.”

Researchers also explore and develop thermochemical processes for converting biomass to liquid fuels. One such process is pyrolysis, which decomposes biomass by heating it in the absence of air. This produces an oil-like liquid that can be burned like fuel oil or re ned into chemicals and fuels, such as “green gasoline.” Thermochemical processes can also be used to pretreat biomass for conversion to biofuels.

Another thermochemical process is gasification. In this process, heat and a limited amount of oxygen are used to convert biomass into a hot synthesis gas. This “syngas” can be combusted and used to produce electricity in a gas turbine or converted to hydrocarbons, alcohols, ethers, or chemical products. In this process, biomass gasifiers can work side by side with fossil fuel gasifiers for greater flexibility and lower net greenhouse gas emissions.

In the future, biomass-derived components such as carbohydrates, lignins, and triglycerides might also be converted to hydrocarbon fuels. Such fuels can be used in heavy-duty vehicles, jet engines, and other applications that need fuels with higher energy densities than those of ethanol or biodiesel.