Screw Conveyor DSM rely on Van Beek's Screw Conveyors for its Ammonium Sulfate Plant

Editor: M.A. Manja Wühr

DSM intends to replace its ammonium sulfate plant in Geleen/The Netherlands. Van Beek will provide 17 screw conveyor systems for the new plant.

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Van Beek provides 17 screw conveyor systems for a new ammonium sulfate plant that DSM is building in Geleen (the Netherlands).
Van Beek provides 17 screw conveyor systems for a new ammonium sulfate plant that DSM is building in Geleen (the Netherlands).
(Picture: Van Beek)

Limburg, Geleen/The Netherlands – The ammonium sulfate plant was due for replacement after over 40 years' service. Ammonium sulfate in solution is a by-product of DSM's caprolactam plant (caprolactam is a raw material for nylon 6). The caprolactam plant produces a constant stream of ammonium sulfate solution, so by building the new plant directly alongside the caprolactam plant, the constant stream of ammonium sulfate can be processed immediately.

The feedstock for the new plant is pumped to a crystallizer, where the mixture is evaporated. This causes supersaturation, with the result that ammonium sulfate crystals are produced (solid ammonium sulfate). These crystals grow in size until granules of solid ammonium sulfate are produced. Then a centrifuge separates the liquid and crystals from one another and the product is dried, screened and stored.

All the Installations Made of RVS316L

If ammonium sulfate comes into contact with moisture it becomes aggressively corrosive. This is why in the new plant all the installations, piping and the screw conveyor systems were made of SS316L. The screw conveyor systems are of the trough conveyor type and convey the ammonium sulfate horizontally or at a slightly inclined angle.

Twelve of the seventeen screw systems (trough conveyors) form part of the transport route for the still wet crystals from the various crystallization units to the dryer. The other five screw systems form part of the transport route for the dry product to storage and transfer.

Screw Conveyors for the Foodstuffs Industry

The dimensions of the screw range in diameter from 300 mm to 500 mm inclusive and in length from 3 metres to 12 metres inclusive. The longer systems are made with special intermediate bearings (made of SS316L) and special gaskets and inspection hatches. Four of the seventeen screw conveyor systems are used for raw material production for the foodstuffs industry. Here the screw conveyors have a ground finish.

In addition application-specific options are incorporated, such as level detection, moisture measurement and the fitting of sampling points, CIP piping and spray nozzles. Van Beek makes high demands of itself as regards the technical documentation for maintenance and use. For each screw conveyor among other things drawings, manuals, spare parts lists, motor data, tag numbers and certificates are supplied.

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