KWS Manufacturing

Shaftless Screw Conveyors and Thermal Processor levated Temperature Gasification Project

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Plant Name and Location

Technology Assessment & Demonstration Facility
Owego, NY

General Description

One of the world’s largest corporations with interests in global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies contacted KWS concerning a new project involving gasification at a biomass-to-power facility in central New York. Gasification is a process that changes organic materials into gaseous fuels by reacting the feed material at elevated temperatures without combustion and with a controlled amount of oxygen. The feedstock at the facility is primarily woody biomass with the capability of utilizing solid waste, organic wastes and non-biological residues. The waste product is ash or char. The plant has a gross rating of 250-kW. For the initial phase of the material handling process, a screw conveyor was required to convey the woody biomass feed from a double flap valve to the reactor and be rated for elevated temperatures and pressures. After the gasification process, the high-temperature char made as a result was sent to another double flap valve, then cooled and conveyed in a KWS Thermal Processor before being conveyed into dumpsters for disposal.

Design Parameters

  1. Product Type: Woody Biomass and Char
  2. Material Density: 10 to 25 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Capacity: 50 Cubic Feet per Hour
  4. Duty: 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per week

KWS Advantages

The Customer contacted KWS during the design phase of the project and realized there was no better choice than KWS for conveying bulk materials under high pressure and temperature as well as cooling bulk materials from elevated temperatures. When a project requires highly engineered bulk material handling equipment, KWS has the knowledge and experience.

KWS is at the forefront for designing unique solutions in the growing pyrolysis and biofuels industries. This project utilized a unique method to heat the biomass so KWS chose to design the conveying system using special abrasion resistance stainless materials like RA253 and Nitronic 60. The Customer’s large team of project, process, mechanical, electrical, and structural engineers were able to interact easily with the KWS engineering department. Since KWS has a large group of Professional Engineers on staff, we were able to speak their engineering language and provide answers every step of the way.

Special Features

Operating temperature of the process exceeded 1400-degrees F. KWS utilized temperature-resistant alloys to maintain high yield strengths and corrosion resistance at temperature. The shaftless screw conveyor housings and spirals were constructed from dissimilar metals and operated at very slow speeds to prevent seizing and galling under these harsh conditions. Extended pedestal drive bases with special shaft couplings were used to keep the drive components away from the extreme heat. No fugitive air was allowed into the process so the shaftless screw conveyor housings were constructed from RA253 seamless pipe with Class 150 flanges at every connection point. KWS Shaftless Screw Conveyors were the best option to convey the damp and sluggish biomass to the reactor as well as convey the high temperature char to the KWS Thermal Processor. The KWS Thermal Process cooled the char produced from the process to a safe temperature.


"Thank you for always communicating quickly and providing sketches and information so our team could create a working system."

Carlo, Project Engineer


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