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Conveying Sulphur Granules and Pastilles

February 23, 2016

TipTrak Bucket Conveyors have successfully conveyed sulphur pastilles, granules and prills.

Bulk solid sulphur can be formed and produced using a variety of methods, including slating, granulation, air and wet prilling, and pastillation. This blog looks at granulation and pastillation, two methods that are quite common for producing bulk solid sulphur, and examines the critical role that conveyors play in these production processes.

Granulation or pastillation as a method for producing bulk solid sulphur is often found in facilities where raw elemental sulphur is processed into a final or intermediate product, or in facilities (such as oil refineries) where sulphur is being recovered as a by-product from another production process. In both processes, bulk material handling equipment has a vital role to play in conveying the sulphur granules and pastilles that are produced.

Production Methods: Granules and Pastilles

Drum granulation of solid sulphur is the most common method of producing dense, spherical sulphur granules. In this method, solid sulphur particles or seeds are sprayed and coated with molten sulphur as they move through a rotating drum. Usually, the particles are coated until they reach a diameter of 2-6 mm.

In sulphur pastillation, drops of liquid sulphur are placed on a steel belt cooler in regular rows using a liquid sulphur injection machine. The liquid sulphur loses heat as it moves on the steel belt cooler and forms into uniform hemispherical shapes called pastilles.

Forming sulphur pastilles is an increasingly popular method of producing solid sulphur, due to the relative ease of setup and the high quality of the final product. Another advantage of pastillation is its versatility – the same equipment can be used to create other products, such as sulphur bentonite and urea.

TipTrak Bucket Conveyors have successfully conveyed sulphur pastilles, granules, and prills.

Conveying Sulphur Granules and Pastilles: Challenges

Conveyors play a vital role in the production systems used for producing sulphur granules and pastilles. In both systems, bulk solid sulphur transportation systems, including belt conveyors, bucket elevators, and inclined conveyors are required. In addition to conveyors, weighing and bagging systems may be required for the packaging of final product prior to shipment.

Equipment used to convey sulphur granules and pastilles must be capable of handling material that is corrosive, potentially explosive, abrasive, and free-flowing. Bucket conveyors, such as the TipTrak TMMonocoque units, are often used within sulphur processing facilities where these requirements must be met.

Bucket conveyors are an excellent equipment choice for transporting final product, in either granular or pastillated form, from the production line into storage silos or bins. However, it is critical to select equipment that has been adapted and tailored for the safe handling of solid sulphur material. In particular, to reduce the risk of an explosion in a processing facility, bucket conveyors should be enclosed in dust-tight casings and often are also provided with upward-facing explosion vents.  The buckets should be antistatic to prevent the accumulation of static charge, and any steel carrying wires should be rubber coated to eliminate the risk of sparking.

TipTrakTM Monocoque bucket conveyors are an ideal choice for the safe handling of solid sulphur product. These conveyors feature a fully enclosed and sealed design that permits safe handling by mitigating the risks associated with product dusting and any resulting fugitive dust emissions that may result in an explosion. A polymer interlocking bucket assembly provides conductive continuous electrical grounding, while an explosion-proof motor and explosion vent panels where required provide additional safety and protection against the risk of explosion.  In addition to these features, the stainless steel design of the TipTrakTM Monocoque conveyor provides protection against the effects of corrosion and abrasion resulting from exposure to elemental sulphur.

If you have an application which requires conveying sulphur granules or pastilles, consultation with a UniTrak application specialist can clarify the equipment choices available to you. Our application specialists will review your particular application in detail and recommend the optimal equipment solution which fully addresses your needs. To find out more about our conveying solutions for sulphur granules or pastilles, please contact our sales department directly.

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