Vynova Wilhelmshaven’s location on the western edge of the North Sea bay and with direct access to Germany’s only deep-sea harbour is ideal. Here, the long-established company produces suspension PVC (S-PVC), a high-quality material that is widely used and installed in the processing industry. It also produces vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), a key component in the manufacture of PVC.

Steam boilers are also used in the complex production process. Steam boilers are operated under high pressure and high temperatures throughout the day. The composition of the water feeding the boiler is of great importance here. If the chemical balance is not right, damage to the boiler and equipment can occur and mineral deposits can have an aggressive effect on the pipework and fittings. As with drinking water treatment, an ammonia solution, for example, is used to regulate the hardness of the water and the pH value. The disadvantage of this chemical is that ammonium hydroxide is a volatile medium and must be continuously added to the system. Depending on the higher-level system, a 0.5…1% solution is usually added. For commercial reasons, a concentrate of 15…24% is usually procured and the consumable solution is produced on site using plant components. Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are the preferred method for delivering the concentrate.

Complete emptying of the IBCs thanks to the sera IBC emptying station

For the supply of chemicals, an IBC emptying station was specially customised for the customer Vynova. The station offers a storage area for the IBC and an intermediate tank with level monitoring. The advantage of this installation concept is that the IBC can be emptied completely without any residual quantity. In this case, the level monitoring is designed as a continuous radar measurement. A diaphragm pump from sera reliably supplies the downstream system components with concentrated chemical. The pulsating flow of the pump is optimally smoothed in the pressure line with a pulsation damper and optically monitored with a flow meter.

Explosion protection concept due to ammonium hydroxide solutions

During the design phase of the project, the system was inspected by an expert. As highly concentrated ammonium hydroxide solutions result in the formation of explosion zones, an explosion protection concept was drawn up and the system technology was designed accordingly. All electrical equipment such as the fill level measurement, leakage monitoring and the dosing pump were designed in accordance with the zone categorisation of the concept. The plastic frame, the drip tray, the intermediate tank and the storage area for the IBC are made of conductive plastic. The associated control system ensures that the dosing pump is protected against running dry. The pump is also equipped with a diaphragm monitor. The associated electrical circuits are designed as intrinsically safe circuits in accordance with the explosion protection concept.

The entire system with connected IBC is designed to be gas-tight. The gases produced during operation are reliably neutralised with a chemical vapour lock. The outlet of the vapour lock is routed to the outside via a deflagration flame arrester, so that ignition of any potentially explosive atmosphere from the outside is prevented.

With its products, sera ensures the safe and sustainable production of S-PVC at Vynova Wilhelmshaven.

IBC emptying stations from sera

  • Complete emptying
  • Economical and sustainable
  • Customised implementation possible