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Vacuum Belt Filter: Get to Know

Today (4/30), I asked my Boss if he wanted to join us to have site visit to Dawuan, Cikampek. One of our upcoming project will be Bankable Feasibility Study of Carboxymethyl Cellulose Plant. He told me that he basically liked travelling. I sensed something positive would be coming. However, he asked me to find a lot of information about Vacuum Belt Filter, to list the information required to design vacuum belt filter, and to find technical drawings of vacuum belt filter. It was a bit hard job to do. But, I feel a lot of fun.

Why Vacuum Belt Filter? That equipment is one of indicative bottleneck in this feasibility study. In the Bankable Feasibility study, we plan to increase the capacity of purified grade carboxymethyl cellulose (P-CMC). Vacuum belt filter is very crucial and critical equipment because of its function. It has double function:

  1. To separate liquid from solid phase
  2. To wash the solid phase

The trademark of the Vacuum belt filter is Pannevis, the technology originated from Holland. I browsed in the internet, Pannevis already changed to Larox, which is from Finland.

Vacuum belt filter is a horizontal belt filter which is commonly used in industry due to its operation flexibility, adaptation to corrosive slurry, and suitability to handle large throughput. As already mentioned before, the function of vacuum belt filter can be combined with washing or not.

Now, let’s learn the some parts of Vacuum belt filter in case you will work with that equipment.

  1. Filter Housing. It is the outer part of Vacuum belt filter equipment. It ensures rapid flow and leak-free containment of material. It’s sometimes pressurized to ensure complete containment.
  2. Filter cloth. In my case, polypropylene was used as filter cloth material due to high strength and excellent resistance to most acids and alkalis.
  3. Drive roller. The drive roller transports the filter cloth continuous at certain range of speed.
  4. Cloth washing device. Cloth washing device can consist of a stationary spray pipe provided with flat spray nozzles.
  5. Vacuum tray. Filter cloth is supported by vacuum tray. Vacuum tray is synchronously moved  with the filter cloth during filtration

Me and my team have already discussed about vacuum belt filter and the possibility to replace the old one with the new one with higher capacity. The answer is it might be possible to replace the old vacuum belt filter but we face a big constraint: vacuum belt filter is usually tailor-made. It is a custom equipment that usually different from one equipment to other. One vacuum belt filter is usually designed for special purpose and process.

We once had an idea to replace vacuum belt filter with rotary drum filter. But, we forget the main purposes of vacuum belt filter which acts as purity enhacer. In the existing vacuum belt filter slurry is washed about seven times by ethanol 75%. Seven times washing means this step is very important. We are not sure if the purity will remain the same if we use rotary drum filter.

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