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Vortex DRS

A safe, flexible method of recovering mud additives.

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Cement and drilling mud additives such as barite, which are used in large quantities, are often transported to and around offshore drilling rigs, and larger land drilling rigs, in dry bulk form using air. This method of handling provides time and safety benefits to oil companies, drilling contractors, and service companies but can result in a lot of wasted product. Industry studies have indicated that as much as 15% of bulk product that is handled pneumatically can be lost to the environment in the form of dust. Most of this dusting occurs out of the vent lines of bulk storage silos or PD tanks during the fillingprocess. This product waste costs companies thousands of dollars and also presents potential health, safety and environmental issues and non-compliance with government environmental regulations.

The Alfa Laval Vortex DRS (dust recovery system) provides a safe and adaptable method of drastically limiting the amount of wasted product that is emitted into the environment in the form of dust during pneumatic transport through passive product recovery.

Basic equipment

The Alfa Laval Vortex DRS consists of one or two 20” Spintop® Air Cyclones mounted on top of an 80 PSI pressure rated collection vessel. Pneumatically controlled 4” slide gate valves are positioned between the bottom discharge of each air cyclone and the 4” ports on the top of the vessel. These slide gate valves are used to seal the collection vessel for pressuring up and transporting the collected product back to the bulk storage silos.  Vibrating rod type level detectors with flashing signallights are used to indicate when the collection tank is full.   Externally installed fluidizer heads are mounted to the bottom discharge of the collection with a patented V-Slide® device, which helps prevent bridging and rat-holing of dry product, and a Vortex Air Eductor to facilitate unloading of the collected product.

Additional equipment

• Air compressor for fluidizers

• Air blower or compressor for air eductor

  • Simple, robust design, no moving parts
  • Effectively captures dust without filters or motors
  • Recovers fluid additive dust for transfer back to usable storage
  • Low maintenance
  • Highly customizable to fit specific rig applications

How it works

Bulk mud additives are commonly transported inside of PD tanks on boats to offshore drilling rigs, and in tank trucks to large land rigs. Once at the rig site, the mud additives are transferred pneumatically into large bulk storage silos or PD tanks on the rig. The powdered additives collect in the receiving storage vessel or PD tank and the air that propelled the bulk powder to the vessel is vented to the system. It consists of one or two Spintop® Air Cyclones mounted atop a secondary receiving vessel and it works to passively capture dust carried with the vented air, rather than allowing it to be vented to the atmosphere. Once captured in the dust collection vessel, the product can be transferred back to the primary storage vessel and mixed into the active mud system instead of being wasted or trapped inside of filter cartridges

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