Four methods for controlling solids flow in a pilot plant
Controlling solids flow in a pilot plant is difficult, and the literature contains little information to help you design and operate a pilot plant. This article first describes the problems of controlling solids flow in a pilot plant, then details solids flow control fundamentals. The final section outlines four methods -- moving probe, slide valve, screw feeder, and ball valve/star valve combination -- for controlling solids flow in a pilot plant. Each method's equipment, operation, advantages, and disadvantages are described, design and usage tips are also provided.
One of the most challenging problems in designing and operating a pilot plant is controlling the flow of bulk solids -- especially when the solid is a dry powder and will be handled at high pressures, high temperatures, or both.