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Pinova Solutions, founded in 1911, is headquartered in Brunswick, GA. Over time, the company has developed technologies for the derivatization and expanded utilization of their end products including extraction and refining of wood resin for numerous applications. In order to produce their products, the plant takes tree trunks (loaded with sand), and processes them much like a pulp and paper mill. The final step is the burning of the waste to produce power and steam in their onsite 7mw boiler which has a mechanical dust collector in it.
Plants like Pinova can, at times, see extreme abrasion issues on the fuel preparation, combustion, and scrubbing side due to the presences of sand and bark. Pinova has determined that every six months the metal dust collector components in their plant should be replaced to avoid maintenance costs and/or gas bypass primarily due to holes that develop due to abrasion.
Pinova Solutions reached out to Blasch Precision Ceramics to see if there was a non-metallic alternative that would provide greater reliability and longer life than the traditional cast iron components they used previously. Tim Connors, Market Manager at Blasch, worked closely with John Clark, Powerhouse Manager at Pinova, to engineer and manufacture Oxytron™ (oxide bonded silicon carbide) SiClone™ Mechanical Dust Collectors to meet Pinova’s specific requirements. Blasch has for some time produced a cast silicon carbide ceramic assembly that has shown much longer life than its metallic counterparts. In fact, Blasch has been supplying this product to waste coal CFB plants in the Northeast for more than 15 years. This, however, was the first time that Pinova had trialed a non-metallic system.
The wear results on the SiClone dust collectors were excellent and the customer found the dust collectors to be safer to install due to the lower weight. Blasch Precision Ceramics’ mechanical dust collectors cost approximately 15% more than what the company was paying for the hardened metal they were using, however, John Clark stated, “I’ll be happy to replace 3-5 pieces (or more) every 6 months to avoid maintenance costs. Parts only attribute to 30-40% of shutdown costs, the rest is labor.”
Pinova plans to place another order for their spring 2018 turnaround, which will include dust collectors for the turnaround as well as for stock. After his visit with Pinova, Andrew Hiller, Assistant Division Manager at Blasch Precision Ceramics stated that “John was really pleased with Blasch and he [John] hopes to use Blasch’s ceramic solutions elsewhere in the facility.”