Engineering solution: Rethinking ways to eliminate fines
A salt producer seeks the most efficient way to transport solar salt while limiting fines generation.
Looking like gigantic igloos, three concrete storage domes swell out of the landscape of Cargill Salt's Savage, Minn., yard. One dome presented a salty problem. For a new project, the company wanted to store prescreened minus 5/8-inch solar salt in a pile inside the 140-foot-diameter dome. The solar salt, derived from sun-evaporated sea water or other natural brine, would arrive by railcar, travel up the plant's existing long, inclined belt conveyor to the dome's top, and drop 70 feet to the concrete floor below. The problem was that the new project's specifications called for a maximum of 4 percent fines.