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Slide Gate Valves Under Extreme Conditions

Shut-off Valve as a Discharging Valve When Extracting Glycerin from Waste

| Author / Editor: Seher Sevim / Wolfgang Ernhofer

The valve directly underneath consists of two completely sealing shut-off valves that are connected to each other via a valve container and locked against each other.
The valve directly underneath consists of two completely sealing shut-off valves that are connected to each other via a valve container and locked against each other. (Picture: Emil Kammerer)

Biodiesel is produced from raw plant oils. The by-product is glycerin. This can be sold in a freshly extracted form or refined in various grades of purity. In order to extract glycerin from the waste product compound, it is necessary to ensure the compound has to be discharged safely. The focus lies on a slide gate valve suitable for any challenging application.

During the acquisition of glycerin from biodiesel manufacture, a waste product is produced that primarily contains salt as well as a small amount of glycerin. The glycerin-free portion of the waste product is called MONG (matter organic non-glycerol). The discharging of MONG generally represents a very special challenge for shut-off solutions in two respects. Firstly, the shut-off valve must maintain the vacuum in the system in an absolutely reliable way, i.e. create a perfect seal. Secondly, the slide gate valve must enable MONG to be discharged with as litte residue left as possible – without the valve being damaged by the properties of the product being discharged so that the seal is absolutely tight.

The characteristics of MONG are thus crucial, as it is not always easily free-flowing, but instead sometimes adheres, can be highly abrasive and chemically aggressive as well. It displays an aggregate state from moist and paste-like substances as well as solid ones. As the product is abrasive and fast-drying, this can lead to anything from slight blockages through to the complete damaging of the shut-off equipment. The latter brings the risk of the shutdown of the plant and thus a complete stoppage in production.

The consistency of MONG can fundamentally be influenced by its glycerin content. This, in turn, is fundamentally a cost-based decision on the part of the plant operator: for any amount of glycerin that is discharged in the waste product making it flow easily, this cannot be reused or resold.

Automated discharging valve

For the first time in 1988, the company Emil Kammerer designed a semi-valve that enabled MONG to be discharged in a relatively automated manner. During the following 26 years up to the present day, the valve system was further developed in cooperation with the respective clients so that the various customer-specific operating parameters could be taken into account without a loss of quality or function. The discharging valve is thus optimally-adapted to the operating conditions of the respective plant so customers can achieve the best possible results from a technical, chemical and commercial viewpoint. The modifiable shut-off solution has since proved itself to be very successful in practice in various customer plants in Germany and abroad.

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