Case Study - Waste to Energy Solutions for Optimal Energy Production

Challenge

The questions around boiler ash hoppers and how Saint-Gobain monolithic materials represent the ideal long-term waste to energy solution to costly breakdown, maintenance and repair issues.

Waste to Energy Solutions for Ash/Grit Hoppers

Modern waste to energy (WTE) facilities run uninterrupted for many months even years converting our waste into a valuable & sustainable energy resource. Most burn waste exclusively to drive steam turbines and generate energy, while some CHP (combined heat and power) WTE plants also cogeneration to recover heat and supply it directly to local initiatives for homes or commercial applications.

 

Continuous burning campaigns take their toll on systems and can be particularly arduous on refractories around combustion areas, superheaters, and ash hoppers.

 

Operation and maintenance teams know how problematic ash hopper operation can be. Build-up or damage can include anything from minor blockage that reduce capacity and call for unscheduled maintenance, to relines requiring extensive planning, downtime, loss of revenue, alongside health and safety implications due to confined space working.

Old system: Heavy ash adhesion

Hoppers are subject to ash sticking and bridging which blocks flow and capacity of the hopper. This phisically needs to be removed which entails cost and safety implications. Additionally, ash can cause erosion of the working surface - combined with thermomechanical stress - which can lead to cracking, causing the lining to come away and expose weaker insulation behind, or indeed reach even the steelwork, leading to hot spots with additional maintenance and repair costs.

On this site, client had issues not only with old lining wearing away, but the hopper was often vulnerable to the ash bridging & blocking the unit, requiring physical removal. This had happened as quickly as within 12 weeks of starting a campaign.

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories’ entire product portfolio is designed to ensure longer service life under extreme conditions, ensuring longer burning campaigns, reduced maintenance frequency, and lower replacement costs.

Shortly after our installation

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories’ entire product portfolio is designed to ensure longer service life under extreme conditions, ensuring longer burning campaigns, reduced maintenance frequency, and lower replacement costs.

Now after installing the working face using Refrax® Progun 80, there has been a huge extension in the campaign life of the unit. Refrax® Prugun 80 surface resists the sticking leading to bridging & blockage while offering a wear resistant surface & longevity in operation. 

Ash build-up & cleaning has become very unusual and the dreaded physical clearing of blockages as noted above are now, thankfully, an infrequent occurrence & at a much reduced level.

At Saint-Gobain Performance & Refractories, we consider the long-term aspects of these applications and invite durable and cost-effective long-term waste to energy solutions. These are important qualities for WTE plants in their quest for longer on-line availability, safety, and performance.

Utilizing our monolithic materials and expetise, facilities have been able to drastically reduce wear on the lining, predominance of bridging, and maintain a flow of material through the process. This enables resources to be allocated elsewhere in an efficient and controlled manner.

It has now run for nearly 2 years with virtually no repair.

1st image: After 1 year continuous.

2nd image: End of 2nd year of operation, general good condition without large adhesion or damage.

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories’ entire product portfolio is designed to ensure longer service life under extreme conditions, ensuring longer burning campaigns, reduced maintenance frequency, and lower replacement costs.

Interested in our unique waste to energy solutions?

Our monolithic materials in ash hopper applications have yielded longer performance with reduced downtime. If you would like to learn more about using the Saint-Gobain waste to energy solution to elevate your performance, why not contact us to speak with an expert?