NEUMAN & ESSER delivered three compressors for one of the currently most exciting and promising future projects. The Audi e-gas plant is designed to manufacture about 1,000 metric tons (1,102 US tons) of synthetic renewable methane per year. For this purpose, the NEA compressors assume various tasks.
Highly efficient storage media is urgently needed for wind power and photovoltaics. Fluctuations caused by weather and seasonal variance can only be compensated using such storage. The power-to-gas concept which stores and transports regenerative energy as hydrogen or methane is promising. Using this, these renewable resources can be made optimally useable and fossil sources can be replaced reliably.
The world’s first industrial plant for generating synthetic methane (e-gas) from CO2 and renewable electricity is under construction in Werlte, Germany. It draws electricity primarily when an excess is available. “This power-to-gas technology opens up new possibilities for sustainable mobility and tomorrow’s energy industry. The e-gas project marks a transition toward alternative forms of energy for automobiles,” explains Reiner Mangold, Head of Sustainable Product Development at AUDI AG.
The Audi e-gas plant, which can convert six megawatts of input power, will utilize renewable electricity for electrolysis. This process splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, which could one day power fuelcell vehicles. Because there is not yet a widespread hydrogen infrastructure, however, a second process step follows: the hydrogen is then reacted with CO2 in a methanation unit to generate renewable synthetic methane.
CO2 required for the e-gas production is a waste product from a nearby biogas plant operated by the energy provider EWE AG. The biogas plant is fed with organic waste as opposed to energy crops, avoiding any competition with food production. The e-gas plant will produce about 1,000 metric tons (1,102 US tons) of e-gas p.a. and chemically bind some 2,800 metric tons (3,086 US tons) of CO2.
The Audi e-gas plant in Werlte is being built on a site owned by energy provider EWE AG measuring 4,100 m² (44,132 sq ft) overall. Ground was broken in September 2012. As the owner, Audi is constructing the plant in cooperation with the equipment manufacturer etogas GmbH (formerly SolarFuel GmbH).
Three NEUMAN & ESSER systems are part of it all. The vertical e-gas compressor 2TZS25GT is new in NEA’s range and supplies 350 Nm³/h. The 2-crank and 2-stage machine is a pressure-resistant supplement for low volumes. A V-type biogas compressor has a supply quantity of 700 Nm³/h. The second V-type compressor with 1050 Nm³/h can compress both e-gas and biogas. The NEA compressors are on the one hand involved in feeding the processed biogas and on the other hand when passing the renewable methane on.
EWE has already cooperated with NEUMAN & ESSER for several years. Initially, NEA supplied the energy company large boxer compressors for natural gas storage. As the biogas sector developed, EWE inquired regarding compressors for feeding in the high pressure area more and more frequently. EWE has a reliable partner with NEUMAN & ESSER.
NEAC Compressor Service purchased a “Biogas Caddy” two years ago for servicing existing systems. The proven specialist Dirk Rühlmann has everything together that he needs for his daily work here because often enough the plants are a long way away from the next possibility to obtain tools. The Biogas Caddy makes him independent and punctual.
Currently, the plant is in the commissioning phase. e-gas production will start this summer. From autumn 2013, the synthetic gas will be fed into the EWE NETZ GmbH grid. The potential of coupling electricity and gas will then be proven. Should excess capacities of wind energy or solar energy be passed on or stored as e-gas in large quantities in the future, the NEUMAN & ESSER compressors can also prove helpful because these are further applications where NEUMAN & ESSER is the technology driver.
Aerated concrete, also described as gas concrete, is a high-quality, versatile construction material which is manufactured as stone, layout element or sheet and is used almost throughout the entire construction industry. Due to its low weight and comfortable processing options, aerated concrete is often the best choice when renovating or re-constructing older buildings, also for half-timbered houses.
The construction material is manufactured from unhydrated lime, water, cement and siliceous sand as well as a small quantity of aluminum. The mortar mix is poured in tubs where the metallic aluminum hydrogen gas develops. Several small gas bubbles are formed and foam up the material. The blocks are cut to the desired stone or construction component sizes using wires. By hardening it in the steam autoclaves, the aerated concrete is provided with its final properties.
Due to these excellent properties, aerated concrete is establishing growing acceptance as a preferred material for buildings worldwide. Wehrhahn is the global market leader for production plants to manufacture aerated concrete. In addition to standardized systems, the company develops and manufactures individual system concepts which are formed taking special consideration of respective requirements and on-site conditions.
The production conditions for construction materials vary widely. Wehrhahn takes all relevant factors such as the production quantity, location, available space and much more into account. The challenge is to guarantee a perfect manufacturing process under the respective conditions, whilst taking the raw materials available into consideration. For example, unhydrated lime is a raw material which is not available in sufficient quantities in all regions. Wehrhahn therefore supplies production systems with lime kilns and grinding systems for own unhydrated lime production. This avoids bottlenecks.More information about Wehrhahn
In the meantime, four NEA PM05 pendulum mills and one PM08 have been integrated into Wehrhahn’s production systems and support the trouble-free manufacturing of quality products. Heino Drewes, Project Engineer at Wehrhahn, says: “Our customers expect first-class technology “Made in Germany” from us and that is precisely what they have received from us for more than 120 years. The NEUMAN & ESSER mills fit perfectly into our concept. They are low-maintenance, stable, and supply the quantity desired with a narrow particle size distribution.” At the most, eight percent of the ground material exceeds the grain size of 90 μm. However, not only the NEA pendulum mills’ fineness convinces. NEA guarantees a minimum throughput of 4,000 kg/h for the PM05, for the larger PM08 even 9,000 kg/h. The exceptionally short stop periods for servicing and repairs are important for users.
Unhydrated lime is manufactured on an industrial scale, whereby carbon dioxide is extracted from limestone at a temperature of more than 1,000°C, so-called lime burning. Burnt lime, caustic lime, calcareous earth and slack lime are further names used for unhydrated lime. With water, it reacts when heated strongly and becomes slaked lime. For Frank Verreck, NEUMAN & ESSER Mahl- und Sichtsysteme Area Sales Manager, unhydrated lime is an all-rounder: “After burnt lime is ground, it has a wide variety of industrial applications. Moreover, the better it is ground, the more precisely its properties can be fixed.”
Indeed, the area of application for the raw material is multifaceted: in the construction industry unhydrated lime serves as an admixture for mortar, plaster and paint, for the industrial manufacturing of lime sand bricks and for cement clinker. In the chemicals sector, the substance is used as a drying agent and for the absorption of carbon dioxide. The further areas of use for dehydrated lime include fertilizer lime, the desulfurization of crude iron and flue gas desulfurization. One important area of use is for manufacturing soda.
|Wehrhahn GmbH||founded in 1892|
|Company headquarters in Delmenhorst, Germany||more than 150 employees|
|Scope:||more than 100 systems for manufacturing aerated concrete blocks and sheets as well as a further 100 systems for producing fiber-cement sheets and fiber-cement pipes are in operation worldwide|
Customers and mechanics rely on NEAC Compressor Service’s safety specialist, Christian Michels. Together with the service technicians, he guarantees quality and safety at large and small construction sites alike.
There are some 7,600 biogas plants in Germany today, with an overall output of more than three gigawatts. They supply more than five million households and have replaced three nuclear power stations. Most of the plants use the biogas to generate electricity and supply surrounding houses with heat. This, however, is not the only means of using the product.
As biogas is produced at low pressure, it must be condensed using a reciprocating compressor. Approximately 30 NEA compressors run at German biogas plants of various sizes, feeding the purified biomethane into the existing natural gas grid. Depending on the grid operator, the NEA compressors must increase the initial gas pressure between 4 and 8 bar, up to 70 bar.
Installing a Biogas Plant in East Frisia, Germany Ten more compressors are currently ready for use across Germany, or are presently under construction. Two of them have been erected in Berumbur, a village of 2,500 inhabitants, some ten kilometers from the North Sea coast. The difference at this plant is that the characteristic fermenters are not visible. They lie some seven kilometers away and provide a maximum of 750 Nm³/h gas via a pipeline.
It took NEAC Compressor Service just 14 days to complete the basic installation of both compressor plants, including all pipe and gas connections. Ralf Pulfrig was responsible for installing the NEA components. This experienced NEAC mechanic from Wilhelmshaven is part of the dense network of technicians both in Germany and throughout the world. As a NEA GROUP service provider, NEAC guarantees the fast and competent availability of services. This covers the full spectrum for process gas compressors and oil-free air compressors, from installation and subsequent commissioning, maintenance, servicing and repairs, right up to modernization and the procurement of spare parts.
Ensuring Quality and Safety Together NEA GROUP is renowned for its rapid, professional, and skillful completion of orders. To guarantee the highest level of safety at the construction site, a NEAC Safety Specialist pays a personal visit to such small construction sites as in East Frisian Berumbur. This protects both employees and companies from accidents, so ensuring a reliable adherence to strict time lines.
The 27-year-old Christian Michels has been the NEAC safety specialist since mid-2012. Last year, the former mechanic replaced Joachim Dickhaut, a NEAC employee who worked for the NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP, right from the very beginning of his career, for almost 50 years. As with Mr. Dickhaut, Christian Michels is not primarily an overseer of the employees at the construction sites. He ensures maximum safety by working together with colleagues as a partner, since team work and communication are an essential element of a safety specialist’s qualifications. These skills and expertise are honed at specialist training courses on work safety, which include workshops on how to transmit this knowledge correctly to the mechanics.
“The NEAC mechanics are well aware of the dangers of negligence”, says Christian Michels. “I have never experienced anybody not wearing their protective equipment unless it is superfluous, as are the protective goggles here. I am the mechanics’ contact person for safety-related questions and their backup system. Just as the customers, they can rely on me.” As Ralf Pulfrig confirms, “If we have questions about safety, he deals with them. He also sometimes brings things with him for the team, such as a new open-ended wrench, if one gets broken, or an extra pair of gloves.”
During his inspections, the safety specialist checks for orderliness and cleanliness at the construction site. In his mandatory job of safety analysis, he tests badges on electrical and measurement devices, fire extinguishers, the emergency plan, and for hazardous substances, as well as anything conspicuously related to work safety. Michels stores the completed checklist in the NEUMAN & ESSER integrated management system (IMS). “I present the reports for the annual OHSAS 18001 audit”, as Christian Michels explains further. “Through this, I document that I was at the construction sites and that the construction sites meet the standards.” Many customers are also interested in the reports. NEAC sends them the results, though some of them only ask for a phone call from their friendly NEAC safety specialist.
Official Seal of Approval for the NEA GROUP Quality and safety have a long-standing tradition in the NEA GROUP. NEAC has held the SCC Certificate since 1999. The Safety Certificate Contractors (SCC) is an international series of standards, designed for companies active in the mineral oil-processing or chemical industries. NEAC meets the most stringent requirements of the SCC(P), the unrestricted certificate for petrochemicals.
Quality and safety have a long-standing tradition in the NEA GROUP. The certification of the Work Protection Management System according to the international OHSAS 18001 standard reflects this. With the exception of the Sales Offices NEA Rus and NEA Egypt, all the Group’s companies are certified both according to ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 because work protection doesn’t stop at the factory gates, but is brought to the customers by the globally active service technicians.
Union Engineering, headquartered in Fredericia, Denmark, is the world’s leading enterprise for CO2 technologies, providing applications for desalination plants, beverage industry, industrial gas companies, oil & gas and even the tabacco industry.
In 1978, the first NEA CO2 compressor plants were sold to Union Engineering to reliquefy CO2 for brewery applications. During this time, that is for almost 35 years now, the cooperation between Union Engineering and NEUMAN & ESSER has been based on mutual confidence and reliability.
NEA oil-free, water cooled, reciprocating compressors are used for the brewery and beverage industry, vertical type machines are used for smaller flow rates and compressors of V-type design for higher flow rates. All in all, 300 units have been sold to Union Engineering to date.
Expanding Filling Capacity while Lowering Tar and Nicotine with CO2
The DIET – Dry Ice Expanded Tobacco – process was developed as early as the nineteen seventies by Airco DIET. This American company, with its headquarters near New York, was committed to finding a way of expanding the tobacco filling capacity, while reducing the tar and nicotine content.
The result was a process that fulfilled these requirements, using CO2. The first plant was sold in 1979, and in 1985 Union Engineering became a permanent part of the team constructing DIET facilities, developing module plants of different standardized sizes, in-house.
This process mainly consists of an infeed, a cold and hot end system where CO2 gas is an essential functional component to ensure that this process works.
CO2 has to be Brought to Pressure
The use of low and high pressure compressors – oil-free, of course – is an absolute necessity for the so-called cold end process to achieve the aim of high expansion, while lowering nicotine and tar content. So which requirements must the compressors fulfill for this process? To comply with Union Engineering’s concept, to build module plants in container frames, Union had just one possibility with compressors: low mass forces and limited dimensions.
A solution within the CO2 standard compressor range was quickly found. For small flow rates: vertical compressors with balance of masses (no free inertia forces) and for higher flow rates: V-type compressors with extremely few mass forces.
Union Engineering developed their own concept for compressor plants; NEUMAN & ESSER supplies compressor bare blocks only and the components are furnished and integrated into the plant by Union Engineering themselves.
For the tobacco industry as well, oil-free compression is absolutely essential. Special sealing rings and materials are required for these applications, which were tested in agreement with Union Engineering. The resulting service life achieved ensured reliable continuous operation.
Common Strategy for Success
The highest ambition was and is to satisfy the requests of the tobacco customers as quickly as possible. However, the contract between Union Engineering and Airco DIET turned out to be restrictive, until in November 2008 Union Engineering acquired Airco DIET.
Since that time Airco DIET, whose Managing Director is Asbjørn Schwert, has become an important part of the Union Engineering Company. The new plant designs developed by Airco DIET and NEUMAN & ESSER were very warmly received by the market, a fact reflected by the continuing number of orders. Intensive discussions are being held at the moment on how to develop common strategies to supply customers in future with services and OEM spare parts, both flexibly and securely, including for the After Market area.
Quality is the most essential feature for these plants. The units are packaged in-house, and tested according to current standards so that they are received by the customer in perfect working order.
Expertise in CO2
Union Engineering and Airco DIET is a successful cooperation on CO2 technology with customers all over the world and a wide range of applications.
Find more information about tobacco and its industry on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco
Also very interesting is the history of tobacco, read for instance here: http://archive.tobacco.org/resources/history/Tobacco_History.html
|Union Engineering, founded in 1933||take over of Airco DIET in 2008|
|Headquarter:||Fredericia in Denmark, offices in 6 countries|
|For more details:||www.union.dk|
The Norwegian company Eidesvik runs a modern fleet of highly specialized vessels, a number of which operate in the seismic survey sector. Their longtime business partner CGG is a fully integrated geoscience company operating out of 70 locations worldwide.More information about CGG
For three years now, their joint venture, CGG Eidesvik Ship Management AS, has operated and managed the high-end seismic vessels in the CGG fleet. This venture was created to share the constraints of seismic operations and achieve excellence through reduced maritime downtime, better targeted maintenance and improved information flow.
The ship management joint venture operates ten vessels, one of which is the Oceanic Endeavour. This is a dual-source, multi-streamer seismic vessel equipped with state-of-the-art integrated geophysical and navigation data acquisition systems.
The seismic sources on the vessel consist of tuned arrays of air guns. Three NEA Seismic Air Power Systems (NEA SAPS) of the 62 series serve as energy sources for the air guns. They provide air pressure of up to 200 bar (3,000 psi) with a screw compressor and a three-stage, two-cylinder V-type NEA reciprocating compressor.
Competent and flexible on board
Once a year, NEAC Compressor Service carries out maintenance work on the containerized compressor systems. The technicians inspect and replace wear parts if necessary. To keep downtime to a minimum, the three-year revision and subsequently the one-year service were scheduled during a dry dock overhaul in Måløy, Norway.
To save time, the supervisors boarded the ship there before their colleagues joined them in Måløy. The NEAC supervisors started with the first dismantling work during the transfer, in consideration of the tight time schedule of two weeks.
Coordinating their work was particularly challenging for the service technicians. As usual on a ship, resources such as cranes, tools, mounting equipment or hoisting devices are always limited. Nevertheless, the six NEAC experts disassembled all recip compressor wear parts (apart from such crankcase driven components as the cross head or connecting rod), and replaced them with new ones, where necessary. They also exchanged the frame tie-rods with newly designed and improved ones.
After this they replaced the three screw compressors with new couplings, coupling bolts and alignment and the existing condensate system also had to be renewed. In addition NEAC checked and cleaned all other important parts to ensure proper and even better functioning of the complete unit.
NEAC Product Manager Stefan Damberg was surprised: “During overhaul and measuring almost all replacement components showed no, or only little wear and were in remarkably good condition.”
For the next 4,000 operating hours, the Oceanic Endeavour is now perfectly prepared for superior 3D high-resolution and 4D seismic projects; in accordance with its leitmotif: safer, quieter, better offshore acquisition.
|Geoscience company||Headquartered in Paris, France|
|Founded in 1931||Opened its first seismic data processing center in Massy, France, in 1966|
|Employees:||9,500 people working in more than 70 locations worldwide|
|For more details:||http://www.cgg.com|
After several years of intense processing work, NEA América do Sul successfully completed an important job this past April. It included the installation and commissioning of the first three compressor systems in South America with the impressive NEA size 500 frame compressor with 1,000 kN rod load.
These systems with three-stage and four-crank NEA reciprocating processors are designed according to the API 618 5th edition and were installed in the new diesel desulfurization unit (HDS) S-10 at the largest refinery in Brazil. The construction of this HDS unit, managed by a well-known Brazilian contractor, took more than four years and is one of the most significant investments of the giant Brazilian oil company. Therefore, the procurement of the critical system components such as the compressor systems was in the hands of the operator.
High Level Engineering Requirements
Each system is driven by a 6 MW strong synchronized electric motor and consists of a large number of components which make all “engineering hearts” beat faster: pulsation dampers, interstage process gas coolers, a frame-mounted oil system according to API with stainless steel components, remote control panels, an installed monitoring system, hydraulic stepless flow control system and a lot more was carried out in accordance with the order. All three units for the diesel desulfurization process are designed for a volume flow of up to 55,000 Nm³/h hydrogen with a suction pressure of 20 bar g and a discharge pressure of 140 bar g. Here, without exception, NEA América do Sul was responsible for the concept and its implementation “from the first stroke of the pen” in detailed engineering to successful installation and start-up.
In addition to checking the foundation and the alignment of compressors with the system components, the entire electronics also had to be checked. The prime task when making electrical checks was to set up the panel of each excitation machine precisely for each drive whilst taking all interfaces to the corresponding power station into account.
The completion of the instrumentation was quite detailed and included the fine tuning of the computer-supported stepless volume flow control, and synchronizing the control device data for each compressor with the HDS unit data.
An Investment Which Pays Off
The investment in the HDS S-10 unit is immensely important for Brazil. With the objective of producing diesel with a maximum of 10 mg/kg sulfur dioxide trace amounts and the reduction of nitrogen oxide emission by 15%, it is now possible to keep to the specified environmental regulations. The winners with this investment are the residents of Brazil’s larger cities.
Successful installation of these turnkey systems proves once more that the Belo Horizonte engineering team is also capable of implementing orders of this magnitude professionally and punctually in the oil & gas segment and in-line of contractors’ and operators’ extreme requirements.
Read more about desulfurization on Wikipedia
YARA International is a Norwegian fertilizer, urea, nitrate and ammonia manufacturer located in Oslo. In Germany, the Chemicals Group operates a Research and Sales Center in Dülmen, fertilizer works in Poppendorf close to Rostock as well as production plants in Brunsbüttel, Bad Hönningen and Dormagen on the Rhine.More information about YARA International
Large quantities of dolomite are pulverized at the Rostock works and used as fertilizer carriers. Until recently, pendulum mills from a French manufacturer were used there. They displayed massive wear and tear, both on the base of the mill housing and on the main vertical shaft. The shovel shaft and the shovels were only designed as a welded sheet steel construction. A further weakness in the highly abrasive environment was that the pendulum purge air was fed using rubber hoses.
These problems are the reasons why YARA looked for reliable mills and struck it rich at NEUMAN & ESSER. The wear resistant pendulum mills with components which are easy to exchange could easily assert their position against the competition.
Wear Resistant Mills for Top Requirements
NEA pendulum mills incorporate 80 years’ experience, both in construction materials and design. For example, the four-part ground wear plate can be replaced very fast. The shovel shaft and shovel carrier are made of robust cast steel and the shovels themselves are made of high strength sheet steel. In contrast to the current mill, NEUMAN & ESSER does not use any rubber tubes for the purge air. The pendulum purge air is fed through the rotor and the spigot trunnion. It is a well-designed, long-term and above all, nonwearing solution.
Wolfgang Palm, Sales Manager After Sales at NEUMAN & ESSER Mahl- und Sichtsysteme, was responsible for the new installation of the PM 30 at YARA. He stated that “The special feature of this project was its many ambitious specifications. For example, it involved a very tight time frame. We had to conclude all of the assembly work within only three weeks.” This is precisely the period of time which YARA schedules for the annual servicing of the entire fertilizer works. Also, the space available for the 42 ton heavy lower mill housing was extremely tight. For the installation of the cast housing with the dimensions 4,900 x 4,400 x 1,100 mm, the access space was very limited. “To the left and right of the housing, we had no more than a hand’s width of space“, explains the NEA Sales Manager.
YARA stipulated that the mill gear, mill drive and upper mill housing including the feeder from the existing pendulum mill had to be reused. NEA incorporated all of these components into the complete system design.
Ambitious Project Mastered with Routine
Following the successful mill assembly, the NEA experts installed a new inverted cone classifier and incorporated the product and hot gas ducts into the system design. The pulverizing system was operable again within the specified period of only three weeks.
Wolfgang Palm is satisfied: “YARA is now perfectly equipped for dolomite grinding. Apart from the very tight space available, this is really a routine project for us. The dolomite has very little wear effect on the lower mill housing and the vertical main shaft any longer. The mill now consists of very solid components.”
YARA Rostock Project Manager Wolfgang Wolff is most impressed: “The newly installed pendulum mills mean a huge improvement for me and not only with regard to their wear and tear behavior. The new mills are considerably quieter and enable higher throughput. The first PM 30 installed by NEUMAN & ESSER already improved throughput by 15% to 34,500 kg/h. We now even manage 37,500 kg/h with the new filter. Moreover, we can adapt the fineness better to our requirements.”
After installation of the first PM 30 and its reliable functioning since then, YARA has also replaced the second mill with a PM 30 from NEUMAN & ESSER. It was installed in September last year and has been grinding kieserite and anhydrite since the beginning of October. Although these are the first NEA mills for YARA, the companies have known each other much longer. Four MAFA Wurzen compressors have been in use at these works for over 30 years. MAFA was taken over by NEA Holding in 1991 and these compressors have been serviced since then by the company group service provider, NEAC Compressor Service.
|YARA International provides:||Solutions for sustainable agriculture and environment and manufactures fertilizers, urea, nitrates and ammonia|
|Company headquarters:||in Oslo, Norway|
|Founded in 1905 as Norsk Hydro||YARA came into being in 2004 as a result of splitting from Hydro Agri, a Norsk Hydro company division|
|Employees:||Approximately 8,000 worldwide|
|For more details:||http://www.yara.com|
The NEUMAN & ESSER grinding systems process bentonite for the oil and gas industry with maximum precision and economic efficiency. Only by doing this can the extraordinary material properties be exploited to the fullest.
The mineral bentonite can be found all over the world. It is formed from weathering volcanic ash. Bentonite is a mixture of various clay minerals. It consists of 60-80% of montmorillonite. Further accompanying minerals can include quartz, mica, feldspar, pyrite or also calcite.
Primarily its exceptional properties are noteworthy: when stirred into water, as it demonstrates a so-called thixotropic reaction. It reacts as a fluid when mechanically stressed, i.e. shaken or stirred. However, it hardens in quiescent condition because its viscosity increases.
The most common use of bentonite is in drilling fluids. The bentonite in the flush fluid lubricates and cools the cutting tools whilst protecting against corrosion. As the drilling fluid generates hydrostatic pressure in the borehole, it hinders fluid and gas penetration.
Although these drilling fluids are also used for simple drilling such as wells, their true potential is only demonstrated for demanding tasks such as drilling for oil and natural gas sources and exploration on drilling platforms.
The drilling liquid conveys the drill cuttings to the surface. When the purge pumps have idle periods, the thixotrophy of the bentonite hinders the stone material from dropping back into the drilled shaft.
As a flush fluid, bentonite seals the drilled shaft from water ingress downwards and at the sides of the shaft. The mineral forms a firm sludge cake on the bore wall which provides the borehole with additional stability. The fine bentonite particles enter into the bore wall, swell and harden. Depending on the constitution of the ground structure, fine and coarse particles are needed.
Good arguments in favor of an NEA PM system
The requirements of the bentonite particles are not unusual, but nonetheless critical. API 13A “Specification for Drilling Materials” precisely regulates the technical data for the bentonite in the drilling fluid.
A leading manufacturer of drilling grade bentonite in the Middle East supplies oil and gas producers worldwide. Since 2005, he has been using a NEUMAN & ESSER grinding system for bentonite grinding. The bentonite manufacturer selection was made for a cyclone configuration with a PM 20U4 pendulum mill and an SDR radial classifier 1200 for coarse grinding from 15–25% > 63 μm.
Frank Verreck, Area Sales Manager at NEUMAN & ESSER Mahl- und Sichtsysteme, explains: “The arguments in favor of this investment were this system’s high throughput performance of nearly 18 t/h and reliable reproducibility of the product fineness as well as the outstanding selectivity. That was important for the customer. The system can be used for highly precise setting of the particle sizes, enabling precise predictions of the properties of the drilling fluid. This rules out unpleasant surprises at the oil and gas producers’.”
Grinding experiments at the NEA Test Center
Furthermore, NEA customers profit from the grinding system manufacturer’s several decades of experience. “We have offered our customers the opportunity to reconstruct their grinding process since 1940”, Frank Verreck explains. “We have various systems in our Test Center which can be used for all grinding and air separation experiments. The NEA Test Center supports the planning of new systems as well as the improvement of existing systems to optimize processes and products.”
What finally convinced the Middle East bentonite manufacturer of NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme was their impressive wear protection provided by the NEA mill. The impurities in bentonite cause increased stress, attrition and wear and tear in the mill. Nonetheless, the abrasive feed material does little to harm the mill. All the components of the grinding system are designed to be robust and wear resistant. “If our customers are as happy as this customer is, we are then particularly proud of our mills and grinding systems“, as Frank Verreck admits.
NEA Grinding and Classifying Systems for Bentonite
NEA has gained experience in grinding bentonite, bentonite-coal mixes and Fuller’s earth. Today, more than 50 bentonite grinding systems are successfully in operation. Cut point range and maximum particle size can be set very precisely, both for the small mills and the large systems which grind bentonite up to 40 t per hour fine or 55 t per hour coarse. Moist feed material with up to 18% water content can be processed without any problems. An efficient hot gas generator provides the required heat necessary to dry the bentonite, while simultaneously grinding and classifying the product in the mill. The NEA grinding system has low costs for wear and tear, maintenance, electricity and is thermally efficient.
|Montmorillonite||Due to the montmorillonite, bentonite provides special properties relating swelling properties and adsorption. The triple-layer silicate can intake an exceptional quantity of water and extends by a multiple of the original size. The inner surface of a gram of bentonite is 400–600 m² – normal clay only has 2 m². The swelling and viscosity behavior of bentonite in the presence of water as well as its particularly high inner surface open numerous application options for the mineral.|
|Application||Bentonite is used as a food additive as well as in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as an additive in ceramics, in foundries, for paper and detergents and also as a surface coating in nanotechnology for varnish and paint. The multifaceted mineral is a heat stabilizer in plastics, air purgers, absorbents and binders.|
The growing supply of shale and so-called “unconventional gas” in North America has seen a corresponding demand for reciprocating compressor packages. This has prompted NEA USA and NEAC Compressor Service USA to invest extensively in this sector in order to support customers. Unlike other providers, however, they also apply the API 618 standards to these applications. In an advertising campaign launched in 2009, NEA USA started to actively promote a “Made in Germany” compressor with a “Made in the USA” package to these markets, and their achievements are clear to see. With over 750 API 618 packages across North and Central America, these two American companies have, since their foundation in 1992, continually proven their ability to successfully manage projects from proposal to final commissioning.
The investments made by NEA GROUP USA from 2012 to 2014 were substantial: Several experienced industry veterans were hired, technical cooperation with GROUP headquarters in Germany in product development was intensified, and geographic sales coverage increased. To meet the stringent technology standards they have set themselves, NEA USA works closely together with NEA GROUP’s Central Division of Technology department in Germany on customized compressor systems. This strategy ensures that all aspects of compressor performance and mechanical design are optimized.
The result: NEA GROUP USA is perfectly positioned to serve customers in the Upstream and Midstream sectors (gas production, transport and storage), who require extremely reliable systems for highly demanding applications and value highly efficient, quality project management.
NEA USA continues to promote and differentiate itself from all other packagers in the USA through its focus on engineering and project management. When developing projects, NEA USA creates detailed 3D models with the customer right from the start. Interactive and meticulous reviews of these 3D models in collaboration with the customer provokes important discussions on issues such as control logic and finalizing instrumentation components, which assures the customer that they will be receiving the customized package they desire.
The fruits of this “tailor-made” approach can be seen in just a sample of the projects won by NEA USA in 2014:
For each of these projects, NEA GROUP USA developed a robust installation and commissioning plan in close collaboration with the customer.
NEA USA and NEAC Compressor Service USA know that they have a unique selling point in their service offer as an OEM compressor manufacturer and service provider for the Upstream and Midstream sectors. The customer receives a compressor system tailored to meet his exact requirements and has a single contact partner throughout the entire design and commissioning process. From the initial meticulous design of the compressor system to the final on-time installation plan – an unconventional supplier of compressor solutions in a market for unconventional gas.
Once the operating conditions of reciprocating compressors change revamping is a good opportunity to make them fit for current technical specifications and process conditions. Recently NEA modernized recips in an Eastern European refinery to easily meet new requirements. Customers are considering compressor adaptations due to new or extended process requirements. Reciprocating compressors are always tailor-made and designed for a specific operating condition and for long lifetime. New developments and requirements or product specifications demand change operating conditions. Thus, the operators want to modify or revamp their compressors to match the new process conditions or changed capacity as they did in the following case. In 2003, NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP delivered a reciprocating compressor size 2SZL320H to a refinery in Eastern Europe for a desulfurization process, compressing hydrogen from 28 bar suction pressure up to 85 bar discharge pressure. The reciprocating compressor is a two-crank, horizontal, two-stage, double acting, lubricated service machine with 530 kN max. rod load. The compressor is directly driven by a rigidly coupled electric motor with a nominal driver power of 1,700 kW. The original design capacity was approx. 33,000 Nm³/h. The NEA scope for the compressor unit as a whole included the pulsation vessels, interstage cooler, interstage separator up to the last stage check valve. After only 5 years of successful operation, the hydrogen gas demand increased approx. 15% due to higher demand on clean fuel.
Verification of Compressor and Accessories
Initially, the existing reciprocating compressor is re-calculated according to the original or as-built situation with the NEA compressor design tool KO³ (Compressor Optimization Version 3). This verifies that the compressor fulfills the designated process conditions without deviations and avoids general mechanical or performance problems. Following this, a calculation is made with new operating conditions. In a first step, a pre-check is made in order to see if an adaptation of the compressor for the new operating conditions is basically possible. The modification of both the compressor itself and the surrounding accessories need to be considered. If the pre-check result is positive, a revamp project is realistic. The second step is the detailed verification of a compressor revamp as an engineering study starting with a thermodynamics and compressor calculation. For this Eastern European refinery the conclusion was to install a new compressor crankshaft with an increased stroke to fulfill the new requirements within the allowable compressor limits. The piston rods and piston had to be replaced due to the existing cylinders’ running length. The advantage here is that the cylinders are not changed; the general compressor arrangement can remain. Using the advanced compressor design tool KO³ several compressor characteristics had to be checked including valve design, mechanical properties and crankshaft strength. Each compressor upgrade also effects a verification of the accessories. The new required compressor performance must be covered. According to the current legal situation in Europe, it is necessary to comply with the “Machine Directive” (CE) and ATEX regulations, if making significant compressor modifications. Depending on the kind of modification, a revamp and subsequent operation of modified equipment is only allowed in conjunction with a valid original equipment manufacturer (OEM) declaration.
Risk Analysis and Management of Product Safety
The NEA GROUP has generated a spark hazard analysis and risk assessment for reciprocating compressor units. If there is a substantial modification, the assessment is performed and measures – if required – are indicated. Just as for new compressor design, major revamp jobs or modifications must comply with the advised product process. This means use of a procedure for all scheduled quality control instructions, for feasibility study, risk assessment design engineering, and fabrication. A large number of reciprocating compressors run over several decades and many can run even far longer, revamping is a good opportunity to make them fit for current technical specifications and process conditions. With the right technical support by a compressor OEM, the reciprocating compressor can be prepared for long-term operation and match the operating company’s demands. The intensive engineering in advance pays off. This way NEA always provides the technically safest and economically most reasonable solution. This was also the case with the Eastern European refinery. At the end the customer was very satisfied with the result. The delivery took place in time and at the revamp on the construction site was accomplished within only three weeks.