SAMSON : Environmentally respectful import of dry bulk

With the increase of punitive measures for operations that have a negative environmental impact and the significant pressure on companies to increase efficiencies, port operators need to find new and innovative ways to ensure that they remain competitive, writes Jon Parker, sales manager, SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd.

Mobile SAMSON Eco Hoppers provide a flexible mobile solution to busy ports enabling the rapid import of dry bulk cargoes, while minimising the risks associated with fugitive dust.  Mounted on rails or wheels, the Eco Hopper is transportable across the operational area and can be manoeuvred off the berth when not in operation. This portability means that it can be deployed where required and allows port operators to be responsive to changing market demands.

While many operators around the world employ all types of hoppers to receive bulk materials, it is only those operators that handle very dusty materials that suffer in the conditions which fugitive dust creates.

The idea of an Eco Hopper to combat fugitive dust is nothing new but, what SAMSON has done is to incorporate a new generation of filter units within a package of enhanced features to ensure that the SAMSON Eco Hopper is a new generation eco hopper.

SAMSON has looked at every aspect of the Eco Hopper design to ensure that not only does it combat fugitive dust effectively, it does so in the most energy efficient way.

Rail mounted SAMSON Eco Hoppers

Bulk materials are discharged into the Eco Hopper directly from vessel mounted or shore based grabs.  At the point of discharge, the grab is protected from cross winds in transfer by an inlet shroud.

A series of carefully integrated filter units are employed on two, three or foursides of the SAMSON Eco Hopper (dependant on hopper size). The filter units create a reduction in air pressure within the hopper which draws any fugitive dust generated during the grab unloading process back insideAny dust captured by the filter units is dislodged with a high-pressure jet of compressed air which returns material back to the main material stream.

It is the careful design and selection of the filter units which has enabled SAMSON to offer an Eco Hopper which offers customers real benefits. SAMSON has taken care to choose the right filter medium, filter shape and filter spacing to match the properties of the materials being received. This avoids the problems of filter clogging and the resulting high maintenance costs that have traditionally plagued eco hoppers of the past.

Dust emissions from the low energy main fans are kept within 10 Nmg/m³.

A Flex-Flap provides the next defence against further dust emissions and is the final feature to ensure that any air in the hopper is not displaced back into the atmosphere with the potential to carry fugitive dust with it. A fabricated steel section with vertical flexible rubber flaps configuration uses a simple but effective principle to reduce air contamination acting as a one-way valve to trap air and dust within the hopper.

All SAMSON Eco Hoppers can easily be integrated into the client’s plant process. They can discharge to trucks, rail cars or onto a transfer belt conveyor via ancillary feeder. Materials with poor material flow characteristics, such as pellets and certain ores, can benefit from discharging onto a SAMSON Material Feeder as this can maintain the onward flow rate. 

SAMSON Eco Hoppers can be used with virtually any dry bulk material and can provide an effective peak output rate from 600 tph through a telescopic loading chute up to 1500 tph to an auxiliary conveyor.

The SAMSON Eco Hopper is fabricated in a robust steel structure to resist structural overload and minimise the effects of grab impact.  Quality components are designed to prolong the life of the equipment and minimise maintenance costs. 

SAMSON Eco Hoppers are employed in ports worldwide and are configured to suit the particular operation and material.

Twin rail-mounted SAMSON Eco Hoppers have recently been installed at Holcim Philippines.  These 6x6m hoppers have been designed to handle cement clinker, limestone, natural gypsum and blast furnace slag from 10m³ capacity grabs at a peak unloading rate of 600m³ per hour.