Acetylene cylinder filling plants are used in the production of acetylene. Low and medium pressure systems can be used for the gas generation process. The process will be chosen depending on the required yield of acetylene. Several provisions are in place for the correct methods and principles to be adopted for the production of acetylene. Manufacturers utilize these guidelines and standards for safe production of high quality acetylene.
Importance of Pressure in an Acetylene Plant
When acetylene is being transported, no matter how short the distance, the pressure needs to be optimal. This is important because the gas has a tendency to explode. Thus, the pressure to be maintained in acetylene cylinder filling plants should be decided upon with great care. The pressure used in acetylene gas generation plants also has a direct effect on the yield of acetylene.
Two Main Types of Acetylene Cylinder Filling Plants
Acetylene cylinder filling plants can be divided into two main categories based on the pressure used during the cylinder filling process:
Low Pressure Acetylene Cylinder Filling Plants
This type of acetylene cylinder filling plant is used in small-scale acetylene production.
- They produce acetylene at 3 lbs. sq. inch.
- They utilize the carbide to water technique for production of acetylene. The resultant reaction is exothermic in nature releasing very large amounts of heat. This makes the entire process risky.
- Another cause for concern is the continued production of acetylene much after the equipment has been switched off. Caused by the high levels of heat, the continued production of acetylene is a high risk factor.
Medium Pressure Acetylene Cylinder Filling Plants
These systems are more effective than the low-pressure plants. The yield is almost 11% higher than that of the low-pressure plants.
- The rate of flow of carbide used to manufacture acetylene is the main factor in determining the speed of the output. These acetylene plants have quick carbide refilling and processing speeds making them extremely productive.
- These generators have been constructed with heavy duty material and processes generally followed for the construction of pressure vessels. They are built in accordance with the ASME Code reserved for pressure vessel fabrication.
- These systems are designed for continuous operation, hence producing acetylene in consistent quantities. This regularity helps in proper planning and streamlining of the entire process, and plant as a whole.
- The systems are equipped with automatic lubricators that provide lubrication to all the parts before, and during start-up. This reduces the wear and tear of the components of the machine.
- The construction processes and standards in place for the construction of these machines provide a high level of security in an otherwise risky set-up.
Based on the information collated above, we can conclude that medium pressure acetylene cylinder filling plants prove to be the better choice. Medium pressure acetylene cylinder filling plants provide higher yield, are safer, and in the long run will provide higher return on investment.
Pressure Considerations When Designing & Using Acetylene Cylinder Filling Plants
When designing acetylene cylinder filling plants, the pressure needs to be maintained in the following manner:
- Working Pressure
- Design Pressure
- Test Pressure
The acetylene generator will be in operation at this pressure. This is the maximum pressure for the acetylene plant to function in a safe manner. During the service life of the plant, this pressure should never be exceeded.
The acetylene generator is designed at this pressure. For safety purposes, the design pressure is maintained at 110% of the working pressure. The extra percentage helps provide a buffer pressure for human error or oversight.
The acetylene generators are put through multiple tests to ensure that they work without any hiccups. These tests are performed to check the functioning in terms of efficiency and safe operation. The test pressure is 200% of the design pressure. The pressure is so high to ensure that the acetylene generator doesn’t explode even under extreme levels of duress.
Adherence to these pressure outlines helps manufacturers ensure that the apparatus can be used for maximum safety and efficiency.
Since acetylene is a highly explosive gas, it is necessary that all precautions and safety practices be in place. This is especially important of the pressure maintained in the various application processes of the production apparatus. For instance, the pressures of the acetylene generator, hopper, driers, etc. need to be maintained at all times. This is important not just from the production but also from the safety point of view.