Mixing, Reaction and Granulation: Continuous “All-in-One Process” for the Production of Animal Feed and Fertilizers

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Tailor-Made Ploughshare Mixers

The continuous Ploughshare Mixer operates in accordance with the principle of the mechanically generated fluid bed developed by Lödige: Ploughshare Shovel, the basic shape of which was patented by Lödige already in 1949, rotate as mixing elements in a horizontal, cylindrical drum close to the walls.

The peripheral speed and geometric shape of the Ploughshare Shovels lift the mixing components from the product bed into the open mixing area and scoop material from the wall of the drum counteracting the centrifugal force.

A fluid bed generated mechanically in this way has all the product constantly involved in the mixing process. It thereby ensures maximum mixing intensity at even the high feed rates and short residence times.

The specially shaped mixing elements ensure good product conveyance. Choppers are installed in the mixing drum to disperse agglomerates and provide controlled granulation during the mixing process.

Three Production Steps, One Mixer

The production process of MCP at Balakovo is run in three steps: mixing, reaction and granulation. In the first step the two raw materials phosphore acid and calcium carbonate are homogeneously mixed.

In the second step, a chemical, exothermic reaction takes place and transforms the mix into monocalcium phosphate. In the third and last step, granulation is carried out achieving the requested granulate spectrum.

The granulation step offers many advantages compared with non-granulated MCP: the flowability of the product is improved and therefore the transport and storage abilities, too. The product is dust-free and suitable for packaging and dosing.

The Phloughshare-mixer works as a continuous “all-in-one-process” i.e. all three steps in the production of MCP are performed in one single machine. No further equipment or process steps are required.

The continuous mixer ensures a high availability and minimises the cleaning frequency. The mixing elements and arms are fitted with a special wear resistant protection against the high mechanical abrasion and corrosive effects of the product.

Mixing with High Product Yield

A throughput of 20 t/h with a grain size of 0.2–2.0 millimeters were required performance characteristics of Balakovo’s new mixing and granulation unit for the MCP production. Lödige’s continuous Ploughshare Mixer of type KM–D successfully performs as an “all-in-one” process, making any further equipment or process steps redundant.

Furthermore, BMU achieves a high product yield of the required particle size as well as good homogenity and mixing quality with this machine. Phloughshare-mixers can be applied for throughputs ranging from 1.0 t/h up to 50.0 tonnes per hour.

* The author works for Gebrüder Lödige Maschinenbau GmbH, Paderborn/Germany.