Draft Tube Baffle Crystallizers

Swenson draft tube crystallizers (DTB) provide superior control over crystal size and characteristics. For superior control over particle size when excessive fine crystals are present, the Swenson draft tube baffle (DTB) crystallizer has been proven highly effective. This type of crystallizer is used in the production of a variety of large-size crystalline materials such as ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride and diammonium phosphate.

Benefits of Swenson DTB Crystallizers:

  • Produces a narrow crystal size distribution for easier drying and less caking
  • Capable of producing large singular crystals
  • Product size varies only slightly with large changes in production
  • Low operating costs
  • Can be easily instrument controlled
  • Simple operation, start-up, and shutdown
  • Minimal space requirements, single support elevation
  • Adaptable to most corrosion resistant materials of construction

How the DTB Crystallizer Works

The DTB crystallizer is built in both the adiabatic cooling and evaporative types and consists of a body in which growing crystals are circulated from the lower portion to the boiling surface by means of a large, slow-moving propeller circulator. Surrounding the suspended magma is an annular settling zone from which a stream of mother liquor bearing fine crystals can be removed. These fines are separated from the growing suspension of crystals by gravitational settling in the annular baffle zone.

Fines leaving the baffle zone are sent to a following stage, settler, or heat exchanger in the case of an evaporative DTB crystallizer. The mother liquor is returned to the suction of the propeller circulator after the fines have been destroyed by heating or mixing with dilute feed or water, depending on the flowsheet.

Basic Principles of the Swenson DTB Crystallizer:

  • Growing crystals are brought to the boiling surface where supersaturation is most intense, and growth is most rapid.
  • The baffle permits separation of unwanted fine crystals from the suspension of growing crystals, thereby affecting control of the product size.
  • Sufficient seed surface is maintained at the boiling surface to minimize harmful salt deposits on the equipment surfaces.
  • Low head loss in the internal circulation paths makes large flows at low power requirements feasible.

Low temperature rise at low power input

In the case of adiabatic cooling or evaporative crystallizers, the temperature rise in the circulated magma caused by the mixing of the incoming feed or heated mother liquor at the eye of the propeller is approximately 1 °F and thereby limits the supersaturation rate to very low values. The boiling action is concentrated in the center of the vessel and is well distributed across the surface by means of the vertical draft tube inlet.

Crystallizers of this type typically operate with a suspension of solids ranging from 25-50% apparent settled volume. The low temperature drop at the boiling surface and the uniform distribution of boiling created by the circulation pattern minimizes crystallization buildup on the walls of the unit and extends the operating cycle. There are no close clearances where salt buildup can produce a large reduction in the rate of circulation as in other crystallizer designs.


Baffling allows slurry density control

Swenson DTB crystallizers are especially useful in multiple stage cooling crystallizer applications where cooling of the feed solution in each stage limits the natural slurry density to a few percent. By means of the baffled zone, the operating slurry density within the crystallizer can be regulated at any desired value by controlling the slurry underflow rate and removing the remaining mother liquor from the baffle section.

Organic and inorganic chemicals produced by the Swenson draft tube baffle crystallizer include hypochlorite, lithium carbonate, Epsom salt, potassium sulfate, monosodium glutamate, borax, sodium carbonate decahydrate, trisodium phosphate, sodium chlorate, boric acid, MAP, urea, YPS, etc.