Coperion Plastics InFocus Newsletter


Proven Cost Reduction in the Production of LDPE Pellets with FLUIDLIFT ecoblue®

Innovative pneumatic conveying technology proves lower waste in LDPE plant.

Coperion has successfully proven the advantages of the innovative conveying technology FLUIDLIFT ecoblue®. Starting point was an aging LDPE production line of sensitive grade pellets with high product quality requirements which was suffering from typical wear after a production life of approximately 10 years. The product quality targets could still be met, however, the waste generated and removed at the pellet cleaning unit was significant and resulted in remarkable lost revenue. The objective of an improvement project was to reduce the waste by retrofitting the innovative conveying technology FLUIDLIFT ecoblue®.

Retrofitting the LDPE plant with FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® took only a few days. Immediately after commissioning, the success could already be monitored at the elutriator unit of the conveying system. The amount of waste material was reduced considerably, in turn, creating a higher amount of quality end product. Furthermore, the conveying pressure within the pneumatic conveying line was reduced by almost 20% which results in energy savings or offers the potential to increase production capacity with the same existing pneumatic conveying line.

The LDPE plant ran automatically in FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® mode for six months, resulting in a total waste reduction of 67% and continued to maintain the high product quality at the same time. Hence, the benefit is that the material formerly discarded at the elutriator outlet is now saved as resource and the cost of producing this product is also saved. These achievements are especially remarkable because only one out of three parts of the conveying system was equipped with FLUIDLIFT ecoblue®.

The improvement project began in May 2020. Engineering and design as well as fabrication of the equipment took until September, and in October 2020 the installation and commissioning was executed. The installed equipment mainly consisted of the FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® Dosing Unit (EDU), the Water Inlet (EWI) and the Control Unit (ECU) as well as several measuring instruments. Retrofit was installed mainly while production was up and running and only a small time to tie-in the equipment was needed. Besides the described, some modifications in the control unit to process the signals were necessary. The ecoblue® Control Unit is not only able to run automatically and adjust the water flow rate, but also to adapt to different product grades and optimize the conveying gas flow rate. This was achieved in the already existing pipework with the existing pneumatic conveying equipment.

FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® allows for a fully automated conveying line, by adjusting the air flow according to the product grade being conveyed, the ambient conditions and operational conditions. There is no longer any need for the operators to supervise and adjust parameters, as the FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® system does this on its own. Lowering the amount of attrition generated and assuring the system is running at optimal conveying pressures, are always assured, resulting in less waste and operating costs. Maintenance is also reduced as there is a significantly lower wear to the pipe surface, resulting in longer system life. Last, but not least, FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® ensures trouble-free operation with low maintenance.

Conventional pneumatic conveying methods in polyolefin production plants always generate a certain amount of attrition in the form of dust or streamers, which needs to be separated from the product and disposed. This causes a considerable amount of waste, added cost for disposal and loss of good product. Coperion’s highly innovative FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® is a pneumatic conveying technology which enhances process quality and efficiency, especially for polyolefin pellets. Compared to conventional designs, this technology generates much less dust and streamers, which improves the quality of the product and greatly reduces waste, even up to 80% and more. At the same time, the conveying pressure goes down, offering the opportunity to either save energy or increase throughput compared to conventional pneumatic conveying solutions. Existing production lines can easily be retrofitted with FLUIDLIFT ecoblue® – with much less effort and downtime compared to conventional system upgrades or even when building a new plant.

FLUIDLIFT ecoblue®: Learn more about the innovative pneumatic conveying technology in this video

Your Contact