The first furnace is a subscale laboratory model, with a regeneration capacity
up to 10 lb/hour. It uses simple manual controls, and operates
on 220 volt power. It proved the concept for a horizontal electric
regeneration furnace, and has successfully regenerated several types of carbons.
Regenerated carbons ranged from coconut shell carbon that might be
used in gold recovery, to coal based carbon typically used in water treatment.
The furnace is currently used as a market screening device. It
provides a convenient method, using small samples of customer carbons, to
evaluate the attainable degree of regeneration using this technology.
|The second furnace is a prototype production model,
with a design capacity of 2 tons per day. The furnace runs on standard
3 phase, 440/480 Volt power. Three paired banks of electric heaters
supply the thermal energy. They are turned on and off by a programmable
logic controller (PLC) to create an axial temperature gradient through three
"zones". A thin layer of initially wet carbon passes axially between
two cylinders which run the length of the furnace. The outer cylinder
is directly heated by the paired banks of heaters. The inner cylinder receives
energy primarily by radiation from the outer cylinder across the unfilled
area between them. The combined energy transfer from the two cylinders
heats the carbon to approximately 1400 degrees F. The inner cylinder
rotates and stirs the carbon while gently urging it through the furnace.
Contaminants are removed by desorption and pyrolysis and transported
away with the steam introduced by the wet carbon feed. There is little
or no degradation of the carbon during the process.
|The production prototype furnace has been installed in a proof-of-concept factory. The furnace has processed approximately 50,000 lb.s of carbon to date. The design has now been generally proven. Minor structural changes are planned for the next prototype. For example, furnace doors will be hinged to swing horizontally to improve ease of access for inspection and maintenance of the heating elements.|
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