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Chapter 12

INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING

Basic Know-How

MHE® flame retardants exist as powder particles, paste, gel and aqueous solutions.
Each one of the above mentioned products mainly contains the same chemical compounds with a slight difference regarding quantity and concentration, depending on the host material application in focus.

MHE® flame retardant is chemically designed to meet the market demands on flame retardant functionality, adaptive technical design, low carbon emission technology, non-toxicity to humans and other living organisms etc.

MHE® is more representing a method how to compose harmless flame retardants rather than a single formula.

MHE® is a complex organic salt.
A chemical reaction between weak organic acids and in-organic alkali hydroxide, make an organic salt.
The generated salt might be an acidic salt or an alkali salt.
Acid salts are donators of protons. Alkali salts are receivers of protons.
In chemical reactions between acid salts and alkali salts, water [H3O+ + OH-] is generated in some way.
Exothermic reaction releases thermal heat energy, meanwhile endothermic reaction absorbs thermal heat energy.
The chemical reaction between acids and alkalis are exothermic.
It vaporize most of the generated water.

AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS A wet mixing of acids and alkalis to get a liquid where all solid parts are dissolved, is a quite simple chemical process.
It is a very cost-effective process compared with producing powder particles from the same source.

POWDER PARTICLES
A production of powder particles by a wet mixing of acids and alkalis put demands on a drying process to get rid of the water.
The drying process is followed by cracking, sifting, milling, after-drying and packing processes to achieve requested powder particles.

DRYING
There are many different drying methods applied in the chemical processing industry of today.
In respect of the constantly increasing charge of energy costs, it is necessary to put focus on the over all industrial chemical processing costs. Drying might be the most expensive part in the chemical processing making powder particles.

Most chemical processing industries already have drying equipment based on convection technologies.
Convection technologies are in general quite expensive to utilize as the effect is poor.
Electromagnetic radiation technologies are more effective and less expensive to run. But the installation costs of the electromagentic radiation equipment are quite expensive.
It makes drying equipment applying electromagnetism to be quite rare in the chemical processing contractor industries, today.

In respect of the all over processing cost a quick mixing process followed by a drying process utilizing drum dryers (convection technology) might be a good compromise, at least up to a powder particle production of 5 MT per day.
Drum dryers are not too expensive to install. The drum dryer technology makes it possible to apply a rather wet mixture for drying. The wet mixture reduces the time for the initial mixing process. Hereby you save process time during the mixing, time you might spend on the drying process keeping the cost per production hour to a minimum.
Even though it costs lots of energy to get rid of water by drying, the all over processing time might be less.

It always is a compromise we have to consider working with contractors in the chemical processing industries.
It makes it important to compare different chemical processing methods available among contractors to get as many metric tons produced per week as possible, to reduce the all over production cost.
It is a most essential parameter to keep in mind, especially as the target market decides what sales price to accept.

CRACKING
After the drying process the particle size differs a lot.
The cracking process will reduce the differences in size to become more equally before it is time to sift the batch.

SIFTING
It is important to sift the batch before milling starts.
The more equal in size the load of particles might be, the less time the milling process will take.

MILLING/GRINDING
There are two main methods known to reduce powder particle size. One is based on solid state physics, the other on interaction between plasma physics and solid state physics.
In the first case, it concerns friction between two solid state materials. Mechanical forces, defined by size and direction, applied to some solid state materials like balls, rollers, mortars etc in ambition to break up particles into smaller pieces. Hereby particles are crushed between two solid state materials to achieve required size. The method might have a bad impact on particles original mechanical property.
The other method concerns friction between a plasma (liquid or gas) and a solid state particle. In plasma any applied mechanical forces will be equally distributed in all directions. Letting the plasma interact with particles, for example in a chamber, designed to create a vortex fluid stream, the friction will break up the fed particles into very tiny particles. The plasma method reduce the risk to destroy the original mechanical property of the particles. The method transfers the applied kinetic energy to the particles which due to the vortex will break up the number of particle agglomerations into very tiny particles, caused by the interaction between the plasma and the solid state particles.

PACKAGING
Only air-sealed bags for powder particles are utilized.
Kegs, barrels and plastic containers are utilized regarding gel and aqueous solutions.