How It Works (click for more)
1. Raw Material Reception
Feedstock processing is a bespoke activity, the actual equipment required, and its configuration, will depend upon the customer's choice of feedstock and the quality/size mix of that feedstock. Because the introduction of metal into the reactor could cause damage to the machine, metal extraction facilities must be used and the pre-processing plant would need to be equipped with a precautionary steel removal system used to collect any steel that the feedstock might be contaminated with - for example, nails, metal, tyre wire etc.
2. Waste Storage
After processing, the feedstock is pneumatically transported to the steel storage silos to await use in the cracker.
3. Feed Hoppers
The feedstock is taken from the storage silo(s) and delivered to the machine feed hoppers; each cracking machine has two machine feed hopper sarranged either side of its central axis. The feedstock is delivered into the top of the hopper via a cyclone, and at the bottom of the hopper there is an agitating paddle that keeps the feedstock free flowing and guides the feedstock into the intake of the crammer feeder auger located underneath the hopper.
4. Crammer and Reactor Section
The crammer feeder auger transports, and forces, the feedstock into the front end of the reactor body; the forcing ensures a good seal and prevents the admittance of air/oxygen into the reactor. Within the reactor body there are two augers with specially designed profiles that apply pressure through friction and shearing forces to the feedstock causing the material to rise in temperature to around 350 - 370°C. This causes the feedstock to 'crack' and the molecules to reform. The reactor augers are driven by the primary electric motor that is located at the end of the support framework. The reactor body needs to be heated electrically before production, but once production has commenced the cracking process itself supplies enough heat to sustain the process, and so the electrical heaters are either switched off, or turned down to a low maintenance level. By the time that the cracked feedstock exits the reactor, it is in a hot gaseous state and it then flows via a short transition piece into the carbon separator.
5. Carbon Separator
The carbon separator unit houses two horizontal augers that are powered by a hydraulic motor; the two augers rotate relatively slowly. The purpose of the separator is to separate the solid carbon fraction from the synthetic fuel gases, the carbon forms on the shaped profiles of the augers and is transported to the carbon extraction device that allows the carbon to be extracted, but no air/oxygen is allowed to enter. The carbon is transported down the carbon cooling tube to the carbon bagging facility. The carbon separator has auxiliary heating facilities similar to the reactor, in order to prevent the vapour from condensing within the carbon separator.
The synthetic fuel gases are extracted from the carbon separator into the condenser cooling columns located on the carbon separator. The condensers are cooled via a closed loop water/air heat exchanger or chillers. Within the condenser the gases separate; the heavier molecules fall to the bottom to form a liquid (synthetic diesel) which is extracted to storage; the non-condensable material (gasses) are extracted and subsequently combusted through an engine or used as normal gas to raise steam.