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Make Sure Products are Compatible Before Using In Service

Make Sure Products are Compatible Before Using In Service
19/09/2018

At a waste-to-energy facility, part of the operating procedure is to periodically dislodge the buildup of ash that collects on the internal walls of the scrubbers (air cleaners) so that it can be removed for proper disposal. This is done to maintain efficiency of the scrubbers and to prevent the ash from being released into the atmosphere.

At one such facility, the method of dislodging the ash was with a sudden release of compressed air. The “boom” from the air release vibrated the scrubber, making the ash release from the walls and fall into a hopper.

Occasionally, the ash would partially plug up the valve, and, when the valve was opened to begin the process, there was more of a small “pop” rather than the large “boom” that was needed to shake the ash loose. When this happened, the air piping had to be dismantled, and the valve removed and cleaned. Then, everything had to be screwed and bolted back together. This process was quite time-consuming.

The site foreman decided that the valve cleaning process needed to be done faster but really wasn’t sure how to go about it. One day, while looking for something in the storeroom he shared with the sanitation department, he saw a hose with fittings. Both ends had handles that allowed the couplings to be connected or disconnected quickly. The “light bulb” above his head lit up. He went to the storeroom manager and asked him to order a hose exactly like the one he had seen. Knowing he would need other parts to make this work, he began looking through catalogs in the storeroom office. He found what he was looking for! He ordered the plastic parts because they were half the price of the metal ones and looked “exactly” the same.

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