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Air vs. Steam Atomization Part 11 – Project Justification

Posted on December 4th, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence


Previous posts systematically described the process and modifications necessary to substitute compressed air in place of steam to atomize liquid wastes in a hazardous waste incinerator. Subsequent posts quantified the economic ramifications of these changes.

The operational benefits of replacing steam with atomizing air include:

  • Better destruction of waste
  • Fewer particulates in the stack
  • Increased capacity to destroy waste

Economic benefits include:

  • Stack losses were reduced by USD 9200
  • Plant air production cost was reduced by USD 20,000
  • Atomizing gas costs were reduced by USD 136,500 by substituting air in place of steam

The capital cost associated with implementing this project is approximately USD 50,000, so the simple payback for this project would be approximately 3-4 months. I seem to recall that the real project (with actual process parameters and more detailed calculations) had a simple payback of about 5 months. Either way, this project was deemed β€œtoo good to be true” so my supervisor had another engineer check my calculations. Needless to say the calculations were OK.

For the record, the project was quickly approved and returned with a note asking how fast it could be implemented.

See previous posts:

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

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