Compressed Air in the Chemical Industry
Manufacturing and producing high-quality chemical products creates toxic, corrosive and changing materials This means that compressed air could react with the substances when it is contaminated. The compressed air often comes into direct contact with the product itself during the production process and therefore must be subjected to the strictest conditions and permanent monitoring. An absolutely oil-free, dry and constant compressed air is hereby required.
Within the framework of the chemical production process, the ATEX 2014/34/EU Directive with its European provisions for explosion protection is particularly relevant in this case. Applications in petrochemical environments also require high safety standards, which are summarised in the technical standards of the API.
We can support you with the holistic consideration for compressed air treatment and processing so that - especially in the demanding chemical industry - you can implement important process safety and a comprehensive operational process without large pressure dew point and differential pressure fluctuations: for maximum possible safety and efficiency.
Applications in the chemical industry
Powdery or granular raw materials are processed in numerous industries. Compressed air is utilised as the conveying air so that these substances can be transported on or metered through the production plant. Chemicals in the form of raw material and powder are transported via pipework on to the location for additional processing in the chemical industry such as e.g. to silos, metering plants or production plants. The compressed air implemented in this process must have a defined degree of drying so that powders and granules combine or become lumpy due to the residual humidity.
The air supply for larger chemical plants is often implemented via external piping. A particularly low pressure dew point is hereby necessary in order to prevent condensation. It is recommended that there is provision of a back up system in drying plants with higher volume flow in order to guarantee a constant supply in complex chemical and petrochemical plants.
Processing of powders and granules
A wide variety of products are manufactured in chemical processes which include, among others, concrete powder, synthetics, plastics and rubber, adhesives, pharmaceutical products, cleaning agents and cosmetics. These products are generated from natural (e.g. fats and oils) or synthetic raw materials (e.g. ethylene, styrene, vinyl chloride) . Compressed air provides support within the framework of manufacturing insofar that it breaks down, atomises, fans out, mixes or homogenises. The compressed air must therefore have in addition to its - depending on the purity to be defined for the type of application - a special drying degree so that powders and granules do not combine or become lumpy due to residual humidity.
When it comes down to direct product contact e.g. in the case of the detergent atomisation and subsequent use as an additive for dishwasher tablets, the compressed air must be absolutely oil-free. In order to guarantee the process reliability, not only permanent monitoring but also complete documentation of the quality of the compressed air is indispensable.
Compressed air can be utilised in chemical plants and systems for measurement, control and regulating tasks. Compressed air can also be especially utilised in explosion hazardous areas (EX Areas) because, in contrast to electricity, it generates no sparks. This means that, for example, compressed air tools and hydraulic lifts with an ignition-free source drive unite can be operated. Compressed air is a safe energy source in explosion hazardous environments and therefore explicitly approved for use in EX Areas).
A lot of compressed air is often required on drilling rigs and in natural gas and crude oil storage facilities where there are strict safety regulations. The compressed air is also exposed to the harsh ambient temperatures. Since the control and regulating systems are often positioned in outdoor areas, it must be ensured that the pneumatic devices are, for example, protected from condensation failure or freezing up.