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A map to modernisation

Published by , Editor
World Cement,

Carlos Fernandez, SATAREM, outlines the key steps on the journey towards successful and cost-effective clinker cooler modernisation.

Cement plants are frequently challenged by either production or maintenance restrictions with their cooler operations. It is not uncommon to discover that end users find themselves with two options:

  • Accepting and living with the problem.
  • Attempting to convince shareholders of the need to invest several million dollars into a new cooler.

Luckily, a third option exists, in which plants can improve cooler performance through modernisation. However, this solution is not always straightforward and requires a disciplined approach and, more importantly, trained eyes to determine the best way forward.

This article summarises SATAREM’s findings from recent cooler upgrade and retrofit projects from around the world and considers the best options for cement plants.

The route to a successful project

Talking from SATAREM’s experience, this article includes tips that will help cement operators to improve their cooler upgrade results.

Is the cooler performing?

This seems like an obvious question, however it is not unusual to find that plant operators are focused on achieving the lowest clinker temperature at the cooler outlet without paying too much attention to what is happening inside the cooler. Cement producers must be sure that their cooler is performing to a good standard.

Any process optimisation should also involve a comprehensive analysis of mechanical conditions, as poor cooler alignment will create problems that often result in poor clinker cooling and thus low cooler reliability.

Process optimisation should involve an analysis of clinker aeration along the grate, the recommended compartment air/clinker ratio (kg/kg) as well as specific air ratios (m3/m3/sec.), optimal clinker bed depth, and chamber air pressure, amongst other things.

Found this article interesting? You can read the full version in the December issue of World Cement.

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