State of the Powder Bulk Solids Industry

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Information about State of the Powder Bulk Solids Industry

Published on October 24, 2013

Author: UBMCanon



Joe Florkowski, Managing Editor, Powder/Bulk Solids
Joseph Marinelli, President, Solids Handling Technologies, Inc.

The State of the Powder Handling Industry Presented by: Joe Florkowski of Powder & Bulk Solids Joe Marinelli of Solids Handling Technologies

History  Coulomb and Rankine (1773 & 1857)  Janssen (1895)  Jenike (1960’s)

Economy • Power plants shutting down • Upgrades to existing plants nonexistent • Staff reductions especially engineering

Education • Solids handling not taught at university level • Most new engineers not aware of the science of solids handling • International universities involved with solids handling applications • Familiarity with Bulletin 123

Research • New technology seemingly nonexistent • R & D budgets slashed to make ends meet

Economy Improving • Recovering slowly • Aging equipment will have to be upgraded • Provides opportunities for reliable vendors to help their customers

Retrofits vs. New Equipment • More companies fixing existing equipment • May be more practical to replace with new equipment • Requires knowledge of solids handling and a practical approach

Stagnation Due to Lack of Education • Engineering graduates have no knowledge of the science of bulk solids handling • Challenged addressing solids handling problems • Purdue University offers one semester course on the topic

DEM Advances • Discrete element modeling interesting tool • Predominantly for chutes • Strides being made for bins and feeders • Fine particles difficult to model in a reasonable amount of compute time

Biomass Handling • Alternative and renewable energy critical • Wood pellets or chips for heat • Soy, animal fats for biofuels • Sugarcane, corn starch, switchgrass, bamboo, palm • Agricultural and municipal waste • Estimated at 146 billion tons/yr used

Flowability measurements • Jenike Shear Tester  Standard in Europe and US • Other devices available  Ring shear, Brookfield, Freeman, rotational (Peschl)

Direct Shear Testers Brookfield Peschl Ring Jenike Freeman

Proper Design Technique • How to use flow properties test results • Practical designs to ensure reliable flow

A Better Understanding of Flow Promoting Devices • Vibration  Vibrators, bin dischargers, etc. • Aeration  Aeration nozzles, air blasters • Retrofits  Wedges, liners, cone-in-cone

Pneumatic Conveying Correlation    Develop correlation between solids flow properties and pneumatic conveying Is there a way to correlate pickup velocity or line pressure drop to flow properties Helpful values are: particle density, particle size distribution and shape

Silo Quaking Issues    Flow of certain materials cause serious vibrations Typically occurs with incompressible materials Some possible solutions

Segregation Problems  Segregation problems are common  Several mechanisms that cause it  Detailed study of entire process required

Ultra Conservative Rathole Calculations    Rathole calculations are too conservative Jenike found conservative approach necessary An approach to determine stresses acting on solids in funnel flow is required

Testing Flaky Materials  How to test elastic or flaky products  These materials do not shear well  Shear cells too small for large particle flakes

Education   Why is solids handling not taught in universities? Industry needs to push for this topic to be taught at local universities

Future    More advanced internet usage, perhaps through apps 3D printing may play a role Venues like this powder show are a necessity

Find Joe’s Powder Perspectives column online at:

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