Clear Edge’s Azurtex™2.0 Significantly Improves Operational Efficiency At Large TiO2 Producer

At a major TiO2 producer, the focus was on improving cycle time and service life to make their production process more efficient. TiO2, or Titanium Dioxide, is a white mineral used in many industries as a pigment. It’s expensive to produce and the industry is very competitive. So, it’s important to explain the benefits of a new product to customers.

We introduced our Azurtex™2.0 high retention filter media to this TiO2 producer. The primary objectives of this trial were to address filtrate solids, thereby reducing cycle time, and to enhance the service life of the media. We are proud to report that we not only met these targets but also significantly improved productivity and plant efficiency, resulting in substantial cost savings.

The Challenge

Producing TiO2 comes with its own set of challenges. The solids that need to be separated are the final product, so any filtrate solids in the waste stream can greatly affect productivity and cost a lot of money. The moisture content of the cake also affects energy consumption. The more moisture in the cake, the longer it takes to dry the final product. So, it’s important to address all performance characteristics that can impact the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The particle size in TiO2 production is very small, around 1-5 microns. This means that conventional woven filter media can’t capture all the particles before cake formation begins. This leads to the need to recycle the filtrate, which increases cycle time and running costs.

There aren’t many options to solve this problem for end users, unless you have a product with a unique selling point (USP). Azurtex™2.0 is a special filter media that uses chemical treatments to improve capture efficiency while maintaining good flow rates.

We were able to explain to the TiO2 producer how Azurtex™2.0 could bring immediate cost savings and productivity improvements. By using our product, they could achieve better filtration efficiency, clearer filtrate, and longer service life. This means they would save money on filter bag consumption, have fewer changeovers, and increase machine availability. It would also save labor and improve safety on site.

The Solution

We worked closely with the site production manager and operators to understand their objectives for the trial. After favorable lab testing, we planned the trial on one of their TiO2 white end Moore leaf filter baths. At the site, there were four baths, each equipped with a total of 44 frames, with a single bag on each frame. Clear Edge would be installing our Azurtex™2.0 Polypropylene variant. At the time of testing, the incumbent supplier’s filter bags had a typical lifespan of 6-8 weeks. The conditions were not too aggressive, with a constant temperature of 60°C and a neutral pH of 7. The particle size was the main challenge, as it was below 5 microns.

During the trial, we monitored the clarity of the filtrate and the thickness of the cake. The main focus was on keeping the filtrate solids as low as possible. We also made sure that the bag seams were tight to prevent leakage. Clear Edge’s fabrication facilities have a long-standing history of working in markets that demand zero leakage of very fine products. As a result, we have developed techniques and bag designs that eliminate the possibility of solids losses through seams, while also facilitating easy fitting, and reducing labour.

In addition to monitoring filtrate clarity, we also regularly measured the thickness of the cake. Typically, during the cake build-up phase, the thickness would range between 20-25 mm. However, by enhancing particle capture with Azurtex™2.0, it was possible to maintain the same throughput levels while potentially increasing the cake thickness. This would result in higher productivity, especially when combined with a reduced cycle time.

We were able to reduce cycle times by eliminating the need for filtrate recycling. With Azurtex™2.0, we successfully demonstrated the ability to achieve nearly 100% filtrate clarity. This achievement allowed us to streamline the process and improve overall efficiency.

The Result

It was evident that the customer could eliminate the filtrate recycling phase, resulting in a significant cycle time saving of 20 minutes on the single filter used in the test. Prior to the trial, the typical frequency of bag change ranged from 6 to 8 weeks. However, after the trial’s success, the long-term supply arrangement extended the ordering frequency to every 2 years, depending on production demand.

Furthermore, the reduction of filtrate solids to near zero or achieving a 100% capture rate led to an increase in cake thickness from 20-25 mm to 30 mm. This improvement resulted in a higher yield per cycle, enhancing overall productivity.

Clear Edge effectively demonstrated to the customer that they could substantially reduce their filtration time while enjoying an extended service life, ultimately leading to increased efficiency in their processes. The comprehensive trial, involving 44 bags, was deemed a tremendous success. Consequently, the end user promptly transitioned all 4 baths to Clear Edge’s supply of Azurtex™2.0 media.