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Air vs. Steam Atomization Part 10 – Economics (Capital Costs)

Posted on October 31st, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence


Previous posts discussed incineration, atomization and their associated operational costs. Implementation of this project will require changes to the existing equipment and existing operation. These changes included a new variable speed drive for the compressor motor, pressure controls for the plant air receiver, addition of a nozzle upstream of the final air compressor cooler to enable the use of hot compressed air and new piping with appropriate interlocks for atomizing air and steam.

The most expensive item requiring the most attention to detail was the variable speed drive for the compressor motor. Fortunately, the compressor already had a TENV (totally enclosed non-ventilated) motor that could be readily used with the variable speed drive. Upgrading the winding insulation could be performed when the motor needed a rewind. The estimated cost of purchasing and installing a new variable speed drive was approximately USD 40,000 at the time.

Adding an internal connection to extract hot air required a shutdown to dismantle some of the compressor piping to install a suitable nozzle. Fortunately, there was sufficient space to install the nozzle and route it out of the compressor enclosure. This cost was estimated to be USD 2000.

Pressure controls for the plant air receiver that varied the compressor motor speed were handled in a relatively straightforward matter and cost approximately USD 3000. The cost associated with purchasing and installing new piping for the atomizing air and steam was estimated at USD 5000.

Therefore, the total capital cost of this project was approximately USD 50,000.

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All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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