By Sebastien Brosse
It’s a simple fact of life: where water is used in industrial applications, wastewater will be created and need to be treated or sent out for disposal. With transfer pumps playing a pivotal role in the wastewater-treatment, disposal and reclamation processes, the main challenge for plant operators becomes identifying the best pump technology for the operation.
Before that choice can be made, though, plant operators should be familiar with the characteristics of wastewater that make them challenging to handle. Only then will they have a better understanding of which types of pump technologies are a better choice than others.
In general, there are three specific challenges that must be overcome by the pump when handling wastewater – all of which can be neutralized through the incorporation and use of peristaltic (hose) pumps:
- Material Compatibility. Fouled process water – whether it will be sent out of the plant through a disposal operation or reclaimed for further use – must be cleaned. Oftentimes, the cleaning process involves the use of abrasive, corrosive or toxic chemicals. Many of these chemicals are acids that can harm a pump’s wetted components if they are not materially compatible. In this case, the only pumping technology that can be used is one in which all of the components that come into contact with the cleaning fluid are not susceptible to harm from abrasive or corrosive chemicals.
- Product Containment. This goes hand-in-hand with material compatibility. Chemicals that compromise the integrity of the pump’s wetted components can lead to damage that will result in the formation of leak paths. Pump leaks are never a good thing, but they become more of a concern when the leaking fluid is one that is hazardous or dangerous to humans and the environment.
- Particulate Size. Many different types of substances, not just chemicals, can foul water. Dirt, rocks, sand and fine contaminant particles are just some of things that will bring pump operation to a halt if the technology is not able to transfer particulate-laden water without seizing. Wastewater that is also heavily particulate-full will also be more viscous, with thicker liquids harder to pump for certain types of technologies.
As mentioned, peristaltic (hose) pump technology offers the design characteristics and method of operation to successfully handle wastewater that may have a high concentration of hard-to-contain and transfer chemicals. PSG®, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA, a Dover company, has been supporting operators in the wastewater market with its Abaque™ Series Peristaltic (Hose) Pumps, all of which have been engineered to defeat the challenges inherent in wastewater-handling applications.
The Abaque pumps excel in wastewater handling because they feature a seal-free design. This design ensures highly reliable product containment because it eliminates any potential leak or contamination points, while also allowing the pumps to run dry, self-prime and have low rates of product slip.
With regard to material compatibility, the pump’s hose – which is the only component that comes into contact with the pumped liquid – can be made out of a material that has been specifically designed to be compatible with the chemicals used to treat wastewater. Abaque offers three types of hose materials for its pumps:
- Natural rubber – highly resilient with excellent abrasion resistance and strength
- EPDM – has high chemical resistance, especially when handling concentrated acids and alcohols
- Buna® N – highly wear resistant to natural gas-containing products
The hoses used can also be selected based on their level of "fatigue resistance," or how the hose material is able to withstand stress and failure as the pump runs through its millions of pumping cycles. A hose that fails too soon will result in pump shutdown and, by extension, potentially prohibitive downtime, repair and replacement costs. Also, hoses that fail will leak their contents within the plant, which, again, can be a hazard for site personnel and the environment if harmful chemicals are being used.
Regarding particulate-handling, the Abaque pumps have been engineered to handle liquids with water-like viscosities up to those with a viscosity level as high as 70,000 cSt (352,000 SSU), solid particle sizes from 1.5 mm to 18 mm (0.06 inches to 0.71 inches) and soft particle sizes from 1.5 mm to 31 mm (0.06 inches to1.22 inches).
From a general operational standpoint, the Abaque pumps satisfy a wide range of wastewater-handling applications because the alternating contraction and relaxation of the hose within the pump casing enables it to produce a consistent rate of product displacement. This ability to maintain volumetric consistency makes the Abaque pumps ideal for strict the dosing of chemicals and 24/7 operating cycles that are common in wastewater applications.
Because of the diversity of material-compatibility concerns, importance of product containment and varying viscosity and particulate levels, the pumps used in wastewater-handling operations must be nimble and versatile enough to cope with a variety of operating conditions. Because of that, Abaque Series Peristaltic (Hose) Pumps have become a first-choice technology for plant operators who value highly reliable, safe, versatile and environmentally friendly pump operation.
Sébastien Brosse is Team Leader Abaque® and can be reached at Sebastien.firstname.lastname@example.org. Abaque is a brand of PSG®, a Dover company, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA. Abaque pumps are manufactured in PSG’s Auxerre, France, facility and supported through its Mouvex Americas facility in Grand Terrace, CA. For more information on Abaque’s full line of peristaltic (hose) pumps, please go to psgdover.com.
This content is sponsored by Abaque. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Process Flow Network editorial team.