Digester Tank Cleanout

Learn what digester tanks are used for and why the EDDY Pump is ideal for handling the highly viscous and corrosive sludge that is stored in these tanks.

A digester is a large tank where various biological reactions occur, usually to promote decomposition or to extract essential components. Digesters are used in different types of industrial processes such as anaerobic digestion, soda process, and sulfite process. In each of these applications, the digester needs to be routinely flushed out and cleaned. The constant cleaning of these large tanks has become very costly for many industrial plants. For a typical digester cleanout, these companies would need to hire vacuum trucks and expose personnel to confined and dangerous spaces, which end up cutting into profits.

Digester Tank Cleanout

Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion is carried out in most waste treatment facilities, biofuel plants, and food and drink production industries. In the case of the waste treatment or sludge digester, the material or sludge is very thick and viscous, which makes it difficult to pump. For pumping heavy sludge like what’s found in digester tanks, a pump is needed that can effectively handle the material without clogging or losing most of its efficiency. The EDDY Pump is the quintessential sludge pump to be deployed inside of the digester. The EDDY Pump uses a geometrically designed rotor, powerful enough for recirculating the sludge to create a thinner, more homogenous solution, allowing the sludge to be pumped easier. This eliminates the need to expose personnel to dangerous toxic areas and could greatly reduce the need for expensive vacuum trucks, with the right setup. The same process can also be used to clean out the digester tanks used in the food and beverage industry. The Eddy Pump’s ability to handle high viscous materials at a higher concentration of material versus water along with the ability to not clog with debris make it a superb choice for digester pumping and cleaning applications.

Soda Process

Soda process or soda pumping is another industrial process which utilizes chemical reactions and digesters. In this process, sodium hydroxide is blended with wood pulp, resulting in the creation of paper products. The byproducts of this process include caustic sludge which is loaded into digesters for further breakdown. This leftover sludge is not only caustic but also viscous and very difficult to pump. This is another perfect application for the EDDY Pump, which is more resistant to corrosive chemicals due to not having the close tolerances found with other pumps.

Sulfite Process

The sulfite process is another application in the paper pulp industry where digesters play a critical role. In this process, wood chips are put into large pressured digesters together with salts and sulfuric acid in order to extract lignin from the wood. The resulting sludge from this process is then moved to large digesters, often forming large clumps of material not suitable for pumping. For this application, one solution would be to deploy the EDDY Pump off a cable inside of the digester and have it recirculate overnight in order to help break up the clumps of material into a thinner solution. Once the solution has had time to mix, the same EDDY Pump can then pump this material over a mile to the designated discharge area.

Again, this acidic sludge is very hazardous to personnel involved with cleanouts and is very difficult for conventional pumps to handle. However, the low pH and high viscosity of the sludge pose no issue for the EDDY Pump thanks to having no critical tolerances between the rotor and the volute.

The EDDY Pump can be powered electrically or hydraulically, giving pump operators versatility along with reliability out in the field. In addition, with its non-clog patented design, the EDDY Pump can handle solids up to 9 inches in diameter. The EDDY Pump comes in sizes ranging from 2 inches to 12 inches, ensuring high efficiency for even the most demanding of pump applications such as those found in oil & gas drilling, dredging, and chemical slurries. For applications with high solid content, a cutterhead or jetting system can be attached to the end of the pump, helping to break up material before it reaches the suction. These attachments will help ensure a high solid to water ratio is achieved during the pumping process.

Why EDDY Pumps Are Better – Highlights

This video shows how EDDY Pump transports high slurry and abrasive materials. Featured dredge pump equipment includes the Remote Operated Subdredge, Diver Operated Pump and a Excavator Attachment Dredge Pump.

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