This proposal is prepared with the help of an Exploratory Award which included an Economic Impact Assessment and a Research Feasibility Study. It outlines a work programme which will develop an innovative spray nozzle design ( AQUATURB ) to maximise its utility in industrial applications. AQUATURB nozzles present an entirely new concept in the atomisation of liquid into fine sprays. The atomisation is achieved via an innovative turbine like spray head which rotates at up to 10,000 rpm under pressure from the liquid feed pump. The rotating head is composed of a large series of blades which collide with the liquid which is ejected into their path via a system of jet orifices. The collision of the liquid with the blades produces the atomising effect. Opportunities for the exploitation of the technology will be found across a wide range of industrial applications if the project is successful. The range of applications of the nozzle will depend upon the success of the project. The AQUATURB nozzle is presently patented by the Prime Proposer and won a major Scottish national award for product innovation in 1997. Lack of understanding of the atomising process in the nozzle and lack of information concerning its operation and spray specification have prevented it from being successfully employed prior to this project. The consortium believe that by improving the mechanical design of the nozzle a valuable and perhaps revolutionary new range of atomising nozzles can be produced. The results of the feasibility study indicate that the AQUATURB nozzle is currently capable of producing a fine mist at large liquid flow rates. However the reliability of the design and the uniformity of the spray plume require to be improved to maximise its potential to industrial applications. Competing commercially available atomising nozzles such as the Delavan Ltd. Swirl Air series require an air compressor to achieve a droplet distribution of similar size and volume flow. AQUATURB does not require an air compressor and produces a finer spray at the same rate of liquid flow. If the AQUATURB turbine atomiser can be made to operate at water pressures below 15 Bar the resulting savings to end users will considerable. In addition the decreased average droplet diameter results in a larger surface area to volume ratio for the liquid forming the spray which may improve the absorption rate of gases and / or particulate matter thus reducing the required contact time. In addition the amount of chemicals required to be sprayed in a scrubber system may be reduced if the surface area to volume ration is larger than for conventional spray plumes. The nozzle will be redesigned to improve the uniformity of the rotational speed of the turbine head and the maximum rotational speed attainable. In addition the materials used will be varied to produce a nozzle which is more resistant to corrosion and erosion whilst in use. The redesigned nozzle will then be rigorously tested in a series of intermittent tests followed by a series of prolonged tests to assess the operational lifetime and performance of the nozzle. The droplet distribution will be monitored to assess changes in the spray during the lifetime of the nozzle. The project partners will develop the AQUATURB nozzle into a reliable industrial spray head . To this end the consortium will choose an industrial application to assess the performance efficiency of the nozzle in a harsh operating environment. If the nozzle performance is suitable the application will be to Flue Gas Scrubbing. If the consortium believe that a different industrial process would be best suited as a first application the field trials will be altered accordingly. The project partners will also attempt to identify new market areas for the application of AQUATURB as its potential is investigated during the project. A full database of the performance of the nozzle in various operating conditions will be produced and the results published at the conclusion of the project. A web page will be produced to help disseminate the results of the project.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
WA8 0RJ Widnes
CM8 2DY Witham
EH14 4AS Edinburgh