Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.88, No.2A, 146-154, 2010
Scale-up and design of a continuous microwave treatment system for the processing of oil-contaminated drill cuttings
A continuous microwave treatment system has been developed for the remediation of contaminated drill cuttings at pilot scale. Using the mechanisms of oil removal as a basis, a design was produced using electromagnetic simulations to find the optimum microwave applicator geometry which yielded the most favourable power density distribution. Bulk materials handling and process engineering principles were systematically integrated with the electromagnetic design to produce a system capable of treating 500 kg/h of material. The effects of the key design parameters are simulated, and a number of the simulations are verified with experimental data. it is shown that the environmental discharge threshold of 1% oil can be achieved in continuous operation, and the sensitivity of the system to changing feedstock properties is also highlighted. The parity between the simulations and experimental results in this paper highlights the necessity of electromagnetic modelling in the design and scale-up microwave processing equipment. (C) 2009 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.