Fly Ash Environmental Problems
1.05 billion tons of coal is burned in the United States each year leaving harmful waste (fly ash) in dumping sites. These harmful fly ash dump sites contain harmful heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and selenium.
Fly ash has a fine powdery consistency that is easily carried by the wind and can affect nearby neighborhoods and people. Breathing in fly ash overtime can irritate the respiratory system and people with existing lung diseases such as emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should avoid breathing coal fly ash dust.
Fly Ash or Coal Ash is a difficult material to pump due to its abrasive nature. Centrifugal pumps quickly get worn down and lose their tolerances and suction capabilities. This results in significant downtime and costly spare parts.
The fly ash accumulates in many stages of the power generation process and proves to be very costly and time-consuming to remove. The most troublesome stages are dealing with the lined and unlined tailings ponds, rivers, sumps, and concrete basins.
Tailings ponds and rivers continuously need to be cleaned out to increase capacity. Finding the right pump and dredging equipment can often be a complicated process. Centrifugal pumps will only pump 10-20% solids by weight. This means that most of the discharge is water and very little fly ash is coming out of the pipeline. In contrast, the EDDY Pump design can pump 50-60% solids by weight. Pump less water, more solids.
Furthermore, the abrasive nature of the fly ash destroys the impeller of the pump and causes pump failures, costly repairs and spare parts. Our pump has a high tolerance ultra-recessed rotor that withstands the destructive nature of fly ash.
Tailings ponds are often lined with plastic to minimizes the seepage of contaminants. This makes it more difficult for conventional equipment to dredge or mechanically remove the fly ash sediment without damaging the liner. We have a liner-safe wheel option for the excavator attachment.
Sumps are often the most difficult areas in a power generation plant to handle. Fly ash, coal chunks, rocks and other debris are washed into sumps and continuously need to be pumped out. Centrifugal pumps get clogged and constantly wear out because of the tolerances between the impeller and the volute.
Frac Sand Pump Applications:
- Mining the Frac Sand
- Frac Blending Rigs
- Discharging the Frac Sand
- Frac Sand Pumping Equipment
Frac Sand Mining
High production costs, coupled with rapid pump wear, are some of the main issues affecting the frac sand industry. As with all sand and aggregate production, the key metric for producers is to tightly control the cost per ton to produce the end product. The EDDY Pump will increase those operation efficiencies by offering longer lasting pumps, less maintenance, resulting in higher output.
Frac Sand AKA hydraulic fracturing proppants, is a very abrasive type of sand that causes a plethora of issues for pumps in the frack sand mining and oil/gas industries. Initially, the frac sand is mined from pits and sandstone formations. Once mined, the sand is transported to fracking sites and often loaded into frac blender rigs. The frac sand is dumped into these large blender rigs which then mix the frac sand with chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and other components to get it ready for fracturing.
Frac Sand Blender Pumps & Blending Rigs
Frac sand is being poured into the hopper of the blending rig to begin the process. The sand is then conveyed into a tank that mixes and blends with chemicals and other additives before being ready for hydraulic fracking.
Once the frac sand has been loaded into the rig hopper (featured in the image), it is then conveyed into an onboard tank where chemicals and other additives are added to the frac sand and thoroughly mixed to a slurry-like state to prepare it for hydraulic fracking. Once the sand is fully blended and ready, it then needs to be pumped to the next station which utilizes high-pressure piston pumps to force the sand mixture into boreholes at extremely high pressures to crack open subterranean rocks and fissures. This transport process is where the EDDY Pump shines.
In this image, frac sand is being introduced into the hopper of the frac sand blending rig, ready to begin the process of hydraulic fracking.
This transport process destroys conventional centrifugal pumps due to the abrasive nature of frac sand, costing downtime and lost money on frequent repairs. These pumps are usually driven hydraulically or by diesel depending on the Frac Blender Rig setup. There is also significant vibration that occurs on rigs that also can cause the pump to fail faster and the tolerances to get affected quicker. Frac sand can also be mechanically dredged up, but this is often very costly and typically inefficient for the purposes of frac sand mining.
As you can see, centrifugal impellers are quickly eroded when faced with the harsh abrasiveness of frac sand constantly being moved through a pump with close critical tolerances. As a result, frequent maintenance and expensive spare parts are required to keep the pumps running, making critical components of centrifugal pumps used for frac sand applications.
A closer look at the eroded impeller of a centrifugal pump after pumping high abrasives. Due to the close tolerances of the impeller, it cannot handle abrasive material nearly as well as the EDDY Pump, resulting in frequent maintenance and repair.
Using the EDDY Pump to Transport and Discharge Frac Sand
The advantage of pumping frac sand with the EDDY Pump is that it starts with cleaning the fine grains instead of using conventional conveying. NO wasted movement with a hauler, just a steady flow of sand.
By utilizing the EDDY Pump through various deployments, manpower is decreased and your production significantly goes up. This saves large frac mining plants millions of dollars a year.
With the frac sand market quickly growing at a rapid pace, it’s important for the frac sand processing plants to be highly efficient. There are known shortfalls in production and keeping up with industry demand. That is where our heavy lifting EDDY Pump comes into play, with less far less downtime and more pumping output than traditional pumps.
The unique design of the EDDY Pump allows frac sand to be pumped at production rates of up to 1200 tons of material per hour. The patented EDDY Pump design allows the pump to move higher rates of sand versus water. Rates of up to 40-70% solids of frac sand by weight are easily achieved with the EDDY Pump. This is accomplished through the patented open rotor design with no critical tolerances.
Frac Discharge Pumps utilize high-volume centrifugal pumps to feed the high pressure positive displacement pumps. The abrasive sands wear out the impellers of these centrifugal frac pumps very quickly and incur significant repair costs with spare parts and production loss during downtime.
The EDDY Pump, on the other hand, does not have the close, critical tolerance issues present in centrifugal and other types of pumps. This ensures the EDDY Pump will last many times longer and save a lot of money while continuously pumping abrasive frac sand.
The overarching goal is to the continuous improvement of key processes like mining, blending, drying, sizing, and shipping to reduce plant bottlenecks and drive out waste. Our pumps are another step in ultimate efficiency in addition to being the lowest lifecycle cost pump on the market, according to a US Navy study.
Equipment Options for Job:
EDDY Pump Frac Sand Equipment
EDDY Pump’s equipment for pumping is ideally designed for the tough conditions of frac sand mining. EDDY Pump’s dredging equipment can be configured in many ways in order to optimize the frac sand retrieval.
Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment
The EDDY Pump Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment is one of our most popular units. Highly versatile for mining and dredging applications.
The EDDY Pump Excavator or Backhoe mounted dredge pump is the quickest and most cost-effective way for a frac sand and aggregate plant to improve production.
Within hours a crew can connect the EDDY Pump attachment and cutterhead to one of their existing excavators and begin pumping. The material can be transported at distances of over two miles directly into their processing plants.
For the frac sand recovery, the EDDY Pump Excavator or Backhoe mounted dredge pump is often the ideal solution for frac sand mining. It will quickly attach to any excavator and begin pumping frac sand at rates of up to 1000 tons per hour at distances of over 2-miles.
The Backhoe Pump Attachment makes it so that a mining operation with no previous frac dredging experience can be up and running in a matter of days. The Excavator or Backhoe Pump pins right at the end of the backhoe boom and can begin pumping material immediately.
Please click here to see more about proper pump and excavator size for your application: Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment Info
Large frac mining pits can be tough to dredge. For these frac mining pits, EDDY Pump has designed the Autonomous Dredge. The EDDY Pump Autonomous Dredge allows for 24/7 frac sand dredging with minimal manpower. The Autonomous Dredge is an automated floating platform that runs continuously. The EDDY Pump is deployed from an A-frame that is mounted on the floating dredge and can be powered either hydraulically or by electric power. Autonomous Dredge Page
For frac sand production sites where there is already a crane, the EDDY Pump Cable Deployed Dredge is a cost-efficient solution. This cable deployed pump system comes with water jetting system to break up the frac sand. The cable-deployed pump can have an electric or hydraulic power system for optimal flexibility. The EDDY Pump mounts on cable that hangs off the crane. The water jetting ring is then attached to the pump. Cable Deployed Dredge info Here
The EDDY Pump’s patented open rotor design is optimal for fracking. It can be configured either electrically, hydraulically or directly driven off a diesel engine. Production rates of up to 7,000 GPM can be achieved with a head of over 200-ft. This is all achieved at a total life-cycle cost that is significantly less than any fracking pump on the market. The high chrome volute and rotor allows the pump to last significantly longer in a fracture pumping application. It also allows it to resist the corrosive fracking chemicals that are used while pumping.
Custom pumps are our specialty. Pump Info Here.
Frac Sand Pumping Scenario
Applications: Frac Sand Processing Pits
The purpose of this page is to identify your application and learn more about an equipment solution to meet your needs. These are the most common sand and aggregate applications that we use our equipment for. We are the OEM for the tools shown.
Application: Frac Sand Processing (water required)
Material: Frac Sand
Common Sand Pit Scenario:
The EDDY Pump Excavator Attachment is ideal for pumping sand slurry, sand pits, lined ponds or other bodies of water. Does NOT pump dry sand, we need at lease a foot or two of water on top to create a sand slurry. Call with questions.
By attaching the EDDY Pump to a standard boom or long boom excavator you can get reach of up to 75-ft and handle the most difficult applications. The EDDY Pump allows you to pump the sand slurry at distances over 2-miles at production rates of up to 600 tons of slurry per hour or 5000 GPM.
Optional upgrade, add liner-safe rollers, it also gives you the ability to dredge on concrete lined sumps or poly-lined reservoirs.
Below are commonly distances we see, along with a pump curve to match the details. Contact us with your exact numbers.
Distance: 5000 ft
Vertical Rise: 30 ft
Production: 3169 GPM
Equipment Used: EDDY Pump 10 Inch Excavator Attachment. Cutter Head OR Roller Wheel setup.
Excavator Type: CAT 320 or larger (or equivalent model excavator)
Optional HPU: Excavator powered attachment OR a separate Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) will power the pump attachment. The ideal option is based on your project requirements.
See How EDDY Pumps Are Better
Slurry and Fly Ash Video
If you have questions about your application, contact us.
Call For Sales or Support
If you need help with Pump selection, Sales or Engineering Support, Call 619-258-7020.
Why EDDY Pumps Are Better – Highlights
This video shows how EDDY Pump beats out traditional centrifugal pumps when it comes to tough slurry and abrasive materials. EDDY Pump is the at the heart of all of our featured dredge pump equipment including the Remote Operated Subdredge, Diver Operated Pump and a Excavator Attachment Dredge Pump.