Inray’s X-ray technology is used in addition to real-time moisture determination of biofuels for the detection of foreign objects. In modern heating / power plants, the function of removing foreign objects is already automated. In the picture on the left is a piece of aluminum weighing just over a kilo and on the right a piece of flat iron weighing a couple of kilos. Both were identified by X-ray and removed from the process before they had time to cause problems.
Biofuels and recycled fuels have varying number of foreign objects depending on the type and supplier. Among the fuels have been found rocks, concrete, asphalt, slags, hammers, shovels, and everything possible that should not be there. Fuel receiving systems are constructed to remove oversized objects and magnetic metals. The most challenging materials for these systems are non-magnetic pieces such as aluminum, stainless steel, stones, concrete and asphalt. Sometimes magnetic metals also cause problems, as magnetic separators do not always work perfectly either.
Often, smaller foreign objects do not cause problems immediately, but in the long run, they too consume equipment and are unwanted ingredients in the boiler, where damage can be generated even in large quantities. Assessing the cost of foreign objects is challenging because the effects are manifold. They break and consume equipment, impair plant availability, cause production losses and costs throughout the entire supply chain. Typically, the biggest problems occur in the winter at full load when problems are least needed.
Inray’s FuelControl® system scans the fuel flow and identifies foreign objects based on their size and density. An alarm is given to the plant’s control system either from a single large piece or from even smaller foreign objects if their concentration exceeds the permissible limit. After the alarm, the fuel containing foreign objects is removed to the pallet in a controlled manner. Immediate feedback with X-ray images will be sent to the fuel supplier.
Automatic removal of foreign objects saves money by:
- Avoiding equipment breakages and unnecessary wear
- Improving the usability of the plant
- Preventing further damage by providing immediate feedback to the fuel supplier