Many Engineered Wood and Pellet manufacturing facilities experience regular periods of scheduled downtime just to clean their equipment (WESP, centrifuge, piping, etc.). Downtime for scheduled maintenance can be frustrating and cost millions of dollars, especially if that maintenance includes replacing RTO media.
RTO media can be cleaned using hydroblasting and/or caustic based cleaners. That works but only for a few cleaning cycles. It's also expensive. The other repair option for plugged RTO media is replacing it. This can cost millions between the media itself, the labor associated with the replacement, and the downtime for the facility. RTO media replacement and regular equipment cleaning are only two costly maintenance activities. Engineered Wood and Pellet facilities incur many costs when it comes to maintaining their valuable equipment:
- Replacing RTO media every 2 to 3 years (about $1 million each time)
- Hydroblasting once per quarter
- Between 60 and 80 man hours for equipment cleaning
- Plant shut down for the maintenance time period
- Disposal costs for solids from centrifuges
- Cost associated with storing wastewater on site during maintenance down time, and then hauling it off for disposal
- Costs associated with environmental compliance violoations for storing wastewater
Facilities can save on these costly repairs and replacements by preventing contaminants from entering the equipment in the first place. Removing contaminants such as tars, lignins, sodium, and potassium from the water fed to the WESP, for example, prevents any of those liquid fine particles from entering the RTO. This can extend the life of the RTO media indefinitely. Since implementing the CleanWESP treatment program, one ProChem customer has gone 10+ years straight without having to replace their RTO media. CleanWESP is a chemical treatment program designed to remove damaging contaminants from recycle tank water in order to protect valuable equipment and save time. ProChem, Inc. performs a treatability study on the water from each customer site to determine the appropriate treatment program for that situation. The goal of CleanWESP is to protect valuable equipment, saving the customer down time and maintenance costs.