Thermal Process Development
Hazen is able to help clients continue process development by incorporating the knowledge and experience gained from the bench or laboratory scale and translating it to larger continuous operations. Often, new processes must be demonstrated on a semicommercial or pilot plant scale to secure detailed design criteria necessary for commercial implementation. Demonstration plants may integrate several complex unit operations to accurately portray commercial operating requirements, such as internally recycling process streams. Hazen has a variety of pilot-scale equipment (rotary kilns, fluidized-bed reactors, and multiple hearth kilns), and has successfully demonstrated a process with similar results to a commercial equivalent.
Hazen has played a key role in developing many commercial processes. For example, a new process for producing iron carbide was developed in Hazen's thermal processing laboratories. The process, which is licensed by Iron Carbide Holdings, Inc. (Lakewood, Colorado), uses fluidized-bed technology to reduce and carburize the iron contained in an oxide ore to form Fe3C, an ideal electric arc furnace feed material. Hazen uses this two-inch-diameter fluidized-bed reactor system to evaluate the process amenability of iron ore samples on behalf of Iron Carbide Holdings.