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The environmental and economic benefits of using fly ash aggregates in concrete admixtures are well documented with adoption continually growing across industry [1]. The critical factor in managing this abundantly available waste from coal fired power plants is in converting it on-site at the lowest cost to both the materials processors and for sale to end users. The best way to cut processing costs is to lower capital equipment costs and increase efficiencies in production. Lancaster Products has successfully worked with Nometrain Pty. Ltd. from Queensland, Australia, to develop processes with a Lancaster High Shear Counter-Current Mixer to produce granulated Cold Set Ceramic products. This Cold Set Ceramic process uses a chemical reaction to cure the fly ash into a ceramic product which eliminates the need for kilns commonly used to fire fly ash agglomerates after they are pelletized in our high shear mixers. Nometrain has developed an environmentally safe, proprietary process that utilizes chemicals instead of water with the fly ash mix which “cures at ambient temperatures to produce a matrix with exceptional early green strength, and which cures over time [2].” This revolutionary process does away with the need for kiln firing eliminating an additional piece of expensive equipment and greatly reduces the energy costs typically associated with the firing of fly ash agglomerates. The partnership with Lancaster Products has allowed Nometrain the ability to utilize the Lancaster Mixer to create agglomerates of varying sizes at 90+% yields in an extremely short mix cycle. read more Blending of Dissimilar Powders to Achieve Homogenous Mixtures Using High Shear Mixers

Many of the mix requirements presented to our engineers start with the need to blend powders of dissimilar properties into a homogeneous mix. It’s not uncommon for customers to discover that the equipment they currently use or are considering for use either does not produce the level of homogeneity specified or the process takes too long. We take great pride in seeing their faces light up when we show them the results that can be achieved using a Lancaster Products High Shear Counter-Current mixer!

Vastly differing densities of powders can present unique problems when attempting to achieve a desired homogenous mixture. In particular, we have experienced this in the technical ceramics industry where the key ingredients often have dissimilar densities. The issue is further compounded in cases where the ratio of ingredients can be significantly unbalanced with 95% of the mixture containing ingredient “A” and the other 5% consisting of ingredients “B, C, D…”. read more Using Section 179 Tax Deductions to Offset the Cost of Capital Equipment

High shear mixers manufactured by Lancaster Products are currently in use within several different ceramic proppant manufacturing plants worldwide. Our mixers successfully meet the stringent specifications demanded by both the proppant manufacturers and end users at fracking operations across the globe.

The hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” industry ebbs and flows in an indirectly proportional relationship the price of crude oil, but the reality is that it continues to be an important and growing industry. As with any highly competitive industry, the best way to maintain profitability is to improve efficiencies in both processes and equipment. One of the products consumed in high amounts are eco-friendly ceramic proppants which are introduced under high pressure into the fractured subsurface to “prop” open fractures and allow oil and gas to flow through the fractures. Enhancements in the characteristics of ceramic proppants significantly improve the efficiencies of fracking operations and therefore play a critical role in the profitability of the fracking industry. read more Fertilizer Manufacturing Using High Shear Mixers

Over the years, we have worked with several fertilizer manufacturers in helping them meet their required specifications to produce safe and effective fertilizer for mass consumption. These requirements have ranged from mix-only processing of sulfur to a pelletized, shelf-ready end product made from organic ingredients. In all cases, our high shear mixers outperformed alternative solutions and/or improved efficiencies from existing processes.

Fertilizer manufacturing is a process by which raw materials/nutrients, often in powder form, are mixed and agitated with a binder until pelletized for easier spreading with minimal dust dispersion. The pellets must be a homogeneous mix of nutrients to ensure maximum effectiveness without over/under saturation when applied. Furthermore, the size of the pellets will vary based on its intended application. For example, fertilizer for commercial agricultural fields will not necessarily be the same size as that used on golf course greens. read more Unique Design Flexibilities of Counter-Current Rotating Pan Mixers

Most technical books on mixing equipment rarely include information about Counter-Current High Shear Mixers. Yet, these mixers have been successfully satisfying industrial mixing needs for over half a century. So, how are they different from, and in many ways superior to, other mixer designs?

To best understand the benefits of a counter-current high shear mixer we’ll use the common home kitchen mixer for comparison, as both types of mixers share key components such as an agitator and a vessel where the mixing occurs. In kitchen mixers the agitator is mounted to a motor and the vessel remains locked in place and the rotational axis of the agitator may be fixed or move in an orbit. After mixing our ingredients for some time, we stop the agitator and scrape the bowl to get the unmixed materials near or adhering to the walls to where the agitator runs for better dispersion. We re-start the agitator to finish the mixing step before transferring the wet cake mix to a baking tray, again scraping with a spatula to make sure all the mix is transferred.

Costs to dispose of coal combustion products (CCP), including fly ash and boiler slag, continue to rise in the utility sector, but there are many financial and environmental benefits to converting this waste into marketable end-use products.

Enhanced EPA regulations imposed on power plants require various levels of on-site air pollution control to make air emissions cleaner. What comes out of the air, however, goes into the solid waste, which is costly to dispose of and contributes significantly to landfills. Several other facets must be factored into disposal costs such as transportation and regulatory requirements. It is for these reasons that a growing number of utility companies are turning this costly by-product into a source of revenue.

Fly ash and bottom ash can be used to produce road base materials, manufactured aggregates, flowable fills, structural fills, and embankments. Coal ash is also used to replace natural materials in the production of portland cement. Other applications for CCPs include wallboard manufacturing, roofing tiles and shingles. CCPs are also used for waste stabilization, snow and ice control, soil modification, as mineral fillers, in agriculture and mining and for very specialized uses. For example some CCPs have properties suitable for metal castings in the aerospace and automotive…. read more Particle Enlargement With Lancaster Products High Shear Mixers