How to Handle the Fire’s Feed

Effective Utilization of Alternative Fuels

How to Handle the Fire’s Feed

During the most recent decades the utilization of (otherwise) waste materials and biomass as alternative fuels in the cement industry and power plants showed great growth figures. However, the low heat values of alternative fuels require larger handling and storage systems that are more flexible. This article shows, how these materials can be handled.
(ed. wgeisler - 21/2/2017)
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This project proved just how important the material assessment is. From Table 3, one can see that the material as described by two of the owner’s engineers seems reasonably benign. Based upon this, the decision to provide a blade-type reclaimer was taken. Commissioning issues quickly led to a further and more complete investigation into the true nature of the material, which revealed that the material being received at the plant contained a much as 32% clay. The clay tended to be non-flowing, highly compactable and exhibited angles of repose between 75º and 90°. The clay prohibited the coal from flowing from the secondary “pusher” boom to the primary reclaim boom. In addition, the compact clay forced the reclaim blades in to a more aggressive digging-mode, which exerted additional stresses and ultimately caused cracking in the blades.

Pal-P portal reclaimer from Bedeschi, similar to the one to be installed at the Virginia City hybrid energy center

Ultimately, Bedeschi proposed a fix for the blades and the customer has more proactively managed their fuel resources. Given a proper evaluation of the materials, our equipment choice would have been a bucket-type reclaimer, and these issues would not have arisen. Bedeschi America’s scope includes:

  • Dual Stacker with Tripper: STK 31/1200
  • Dual Portal Reclaimers: PAL P 260/22+12
  • Cabin with Control Panel
  • Electrical, automation and controls



Today’s environment for earth-friendly fuels and raw materials requires overcoming ever-increasing challenges in the field of material handling. For over 100 years, Bedeschi has been handling sticky and high moisture clays for the tile and brick industries and continues to invest in product development to increase efficiency and enhance our product line for our world-wide customers. The global needs for common fuels of today and the anticipated fuels for tomorrow require an ever diligent company like Bedeschi to keep abreast of difficult material handling issues. We look forward to the challenges that will face us in the next centuries.


[1] Peray, K.E.: The Rotary Cement Kiln, Second Edition (1986), Chemical Publishing, pp 38, 57-58.
[2] Azad Rahman, M.G. Rasul, M.M.K Khan, S. Sharma: Impact of alternative fuels on the cement manufacturing plant performance: an overview. 5th BSME International Conference on Thermal Engineering (2013).
[3] Leidos, Inc.: Website Pages
[4] Energy Justice Network: Website Pages
[5] Bristol Herald Courier: Gobco mining coal waste piles _ turning gob into cash. Website, posted March 7, 2010

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