WFC13Like the Olympics, the World Filtration Conference is held every four years. Only, in the case of WFC 13, it’s been six years since we’ve all been able to meet. The event, postponed twice by the pandemic, is on for October 6 – 9 2022 in San Diego. This conference will be one of the largest Congresses for Filtration & Separation welcoming many speakers from around the world. I’m looking forward to great conversation about holistic optimization of unit operations.

I am fortunate to be a session moderator as well as a presenter on a topic of holistic and integrated chemical engineering. The presentation is “Optimizing Downstream Final Drying with Upstream Solid-Liquid Filtration, Cake Washing & Dewatering.  This topic is also highlighted in my new book, Integration and Optimization of Unit Operations.” 

Most often when analyzing a new process development project, engineers take a “silo” approach and look at each step independently. The presentation illustrates that by taking an integrated and holistic approach and looking at each step not individually but as a continuum, the process solution becomes much more efficient.

Practical Look at Holistic Optimization of Unit Operations

We’ll discuss three examples illustrating an integrated and continuum approach. The discussion looks at the solid-liquid separation technologies of continuous pressure filtration:

  • with either a “single-drum” or “drum with individual cells”
  • with centrifuges either vertical peeler or horizontal inverting
  • followed by final dryer technologies including either conical vacuum and “Nauta-type” dryers.

The standard approach would be to first look at the solid-liquid filtration or centrifugation step and optimize this step for the maximum washing and drying efficiency. Then, with this information in hand, optimize the downstream drying. However, a new and different approach is to look at the process as a continuum from solid-liquid filtration/centrifugation through cake washing and dewatering to final drying.

The “Integrated and Continuum Approach” results in operational energy and nitrogen savings as well as lower capital and installation costs for a more efficient and reliable process.

You can read the full technical article or view the presentation slides if you can’t attend. Contact me if you will be in San Diego or otherwise let’s schedule a virtual meeting. Let’s get more efficient together.