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Inclined elevation of sludge concentrate child's play for screw conveyor

All over the world, retailers, caterers and the food industry use Prochamp canned mushrooms.

The company has the whole production chain in house, from the preparation of compost to mushroom growing and marketing canned mushrooms, all done in and around Velddriel, Netherlands.

Because of rising demand, Prochamp decided to extend the plant and to build a new wastewater treatment plant.

For its new plant, Prochamp was looking for a way of conveying sludge concentrate to a container at an angle of 40°.

The company’s regular screw conveyor supplier was not able to guarantee that a screw conveyor could do this, but Van Beek, a Dutch equipment manufacturer, took up the challenge with both hands.

"It was our first project with Van Beek", said Gerard Verhoeven, project manager at Prochamp, even if Van Beek was an old acquaintance of his from an earlier project.

"I therefore knew very well what I could expect and it therefore came as no surprise that our cooperation was excellent. The screws are now in operation and our problem has been solved. It all looks good and is working as we expected."

When treating this wastewater a lot of sludge is produced, which is split in a decanter centrifuge into sludge concentrate and wastewater, after which the sludge concentrate ends up in a container.

"The building that now houses the treatment plant has little space for transport from the decanter to the container. We were involved in thinking about the concept and design," said Peter Verhoeven, sales engineer at Van Beek.

"Another screw constructor dropped out because the screw would have to elevate the sludge concentrate at an angle. That company could not guarantee this would work, but our experience led me to believe this was possible. Such cases always involve a customised solution," he explained.

"Because of experience in the past you know what is or is not possible. I then look back to previous similar projects and check whether we had problems here. It is also important that you ask the end user the right questions, so you are not faced with any surprises. Sometimes we conclude that we cannot in fact help, but that was certainly not the case here."

A system setup with three screw conveyors now carries the sludge concentrate to the container.

A horizontal screw collects the sludge concentrate and carries it to an inclined screw conveyor that conveys it upwards.

The concentrate disappears into the container via a horizontal screw downstream, and finally trucks take away the containers of sludge concentrate.