Increasing Capacities By Retrofitting Mist Eliminators

Ziebold, S. A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
There is often a need to increase capacity through existing mist eliminator installations without significant tower modifications. Often there is not enough extra space outside existing vessels unless more expensive changes can be justified. Also, plant downtime must be considered. The challenge in retrofitting is to overcome velocity limitations inherent in the design while at the same time extend performance capability. The solution most often is to create new ways to add extra filter area while remaining constrained to the existing space. This strategy, however, can dangerously backfire if basic design principles are not followed. Mist eliminator design is a complex integration of many conflicting performance parameters. Often the objective is to increase scrubbing capacity while maximizing collection efficiency and service life and minimizing operating pressure drop (energy cost), particle regeneration (re-entrainment) and overall maintenance costs. Results of plant retrofitting using mesh pads, impaction fibre beds and diffusion fibre beds are presented based on actual plant projects. Often the retrofit project can be more effective by increasing the scope and combining other new plant equipment with the upgrade such as new tower components. In some cases, the type of mist eliminators can be upgraded from impaction type (velocity dependent) to Brownian diffusion type (velocity independent) if additional downstream protection or reduced emissions are desirable, especially at turndown rates. Trade-offs between different fibre bed types and styles are discussed as they relate to performance and maintenance.
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