A Quantitative Assessment of R&D Requirements for Solids Processing Technology
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Plants that process or produce solid materials, such as metal-ore processors, resins plants, calciners, and synthetic fuels plants, consistently have poorer performance than plants that process liquids and gases. The failure of many solids processing plants to perform efficiently has been uniform over time--new plants show no tendency toward better performance. This report attempts to identify the reasons for poor performance of solids processing plants and thereby to suggest priorities for research and development. The analysis suggests that the key performance problems in solids processing plants result from physical and mechanical difficulties rather than problems of process chemistry. Problems associated with materials handling, corrosion and abrasion, and solids behavior are not being resolved, and the problems of waste handling are particularly pronounced. In addition, the failure of solids plants performance is closely correlated with incomplete knowledge of heat and material balances.
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