Synergies successfully exploited…
In early 2016, the Wet Electrostatic Precipitator department in the Plastics Technology Division received its biggest single order in the current financial year thus far. The order was placed by Envirotherm GmbH, an Essenbased plant engineering firm, that offers a broad range of technologies for wastewater treatment and exhaust air purification, including everything from the initial feasibility study to the required post-commissioning services, i.e. after sales service.
Envirotherm had itself been tasked by its customer Adsor-Tech GmbH, a niche producer of a special activated charcoal that is needed for manufacturing protective equipment for the civil defence, military, fire-brigade and police service.
The order covered the complete refurbishment of the wet electrostatic precipitator that had been in service at the Premnitz factory for over 25 years. Wet electrostatic precipitators are used wherever aerosol/fine particulate mixtures need to be separated from exhaust gases with high degrees of efficiency (> 99.5%). Nowadays, the separation of acid mists, aerosols, fine particulates, resin vapours, paint mists, oil mists and odours is primarily performed by wet electrostatic precipitators with a high cost-benefit ratio. STEULER-KCH‘s Plastics Technology Division has been supplying the wet electrostatic precipitator market for over 34 years with the required deposition surfaces in the form of compact tube bundles made from a variety of different plastics. Continuous in-house technical advancement has ensured our position as market leader for decades. Tube bundles for wet electrostatic precipitators are thus one of Steuler‘s major success stories. Our extremely corrosionresistant, lightweight and durable tube bundles made from thermoplastic are used where constructions made from conventional materials are unsuitable. We use flame-retardant plastics, which we can also supply with electrically conductive surfaces if required, in order to ensure that they function safely and reliably under demanding operating conditions.
The predominant area of application for wet electrostatic filters equipped with these plastic tube bundles is non-ferrous metal works, power stations, waste incineration and chemical plants. The advantages of our tube bundles are their modular construction based on a flexible building block design and the use of polypropylene (PP) tubes with special properties as well as an efficient earthing system that meets the highest safety standards.
The „Adsor-Tech filter refurbishment“ project involved replacing both the filter internals made of PVC/GRP as well as the existing housing made from rubberised steel. The hostile chemical environment involving hydrogen peroxide and sulphuric acid made it necessary to construct the housing from a composite material composed of a supporting structure made of GRP combined with an internal PVC-C liner.
In order to withstand the high voltage of around 45,000 volts typically used for the process, the GRP sheath was constructed to be flame resistant with an anti-static/electrically conductive outer surface with integrated earthing connection. The manufacture of vessels, apparatus and special constructions made of glass fibre reinforced plastic is one of STEULER-KCH‘s core competencies and they are produced at the new Mogendorf plant.
By exploiting synergies within the company, the Wet Electrostatic Precipitator division was able to offer the customer an “all-inclusive package” for the necessary plastic parts, and thanks to our having successfully served the supplier market for wet electrostatic filters for years, for the first time ever include a filter housing in the overall order that was manufactured in house.
For the Mogendorf factory, which officially started operation last year, the filter housing was the largest component fabricated at the site to date, with a flange diameter of around 4.6 metres and overall height in excess of 11m. As such, transporting it to the Premnitz site represented a special challenge over and above meeting the quality and dimensional accuracy requirements. The abnormal load travelled from Mogendorf to the Rhine port at Andernach, from where the filter housing „floated“ to Brandenburg via the Rhine, Mittelland Canal and Havel. The last 20km to its final destination in Premnitz was completed by road.
The complete filter was installed in a record time of just 2 weeks, a feat that usually takes 4 to 5 weeks. This huge time saving was made possible thanks to the high quality and precision fit of the supplied components. Another beneficial aspect was the fact that the connectors on the housing were for the first time able to support the weight of all the internal electrical equipment, making a 1:1 exchange of the plant in plastic possible.
Following commissioning of the new filter in August 2016, both Envirotherm and the end customer personally thanked the responsible staff of the Wet Electrostatic Precipitator department for their excellent work in carrying out the refurbishment.