Mass flowmeter optimized for biofuels applications

Growing numbers of biogas and methane recovery sites can monitor collection systems with FCI mass flowmeter. See photo. Link to product research.


This design can be calibrated to the user
Fluid Components International
(FCI) has released its new ST51 mass flowmeter designed for biogas production and methane capture and recovery systems. The explosion-proof configuration features easy installation and low maintenance.

“This flow meter is designed specifically to solve the unique challenges to flow metering in bioprocess generated methane,” says Randy Brown, marketing manager for FCI. “It features a no-moving-parts design that’s non-clogging and operates over a wide flow range with low-flow sensitivity. It’s packaged in an explosion-proof transmitter, and the calibration is matched to the user’s actual gas composition and installation conditions.”

Measuring flow of wet, dirty biogas generated by an anaerobic digester is difficult. Typically, it’s a dangerous mixture comprising methane (CH 4 ), carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), and water vapor with smaller percentages of hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) and other gases. The wetness, H 2 S and other particulates create a corrosive condensate on pipe walls and instruments. The gas flow varies widely based on fluctuating plant process demands and seasonal variations in temperature and humidity.

A thermal mass, insertion-style flow element gives the ST51 flow accuracy toin wastewater treatment. It operates at temperatures from 0 to 250 °F (-18 to 121 °C) and withstands pressures up to 500 psi.

How little maintenance?
FCI says the flow sensing element has no moving parts and no orifices to clog or foul. This helps provide virtually maintenance-free service in this problem application. The transmitter includes built-in temperature compensation circuitry for accurate, repeatable measurements year-round as temperatures rise and fall seasonally.

The flow element is constructed with a 316L stainless steel body and Hastelloy C-22 thermowell sensors to resist corrosion. It has broad approvals for use in hazardous environments. The ST51’s optional integral digital display features a two-line, 16-character LCD screen that is easy to read and can be rotated for optimum viewing and installation flexibility. The LCD screen’s top line shows flow rate, and the bottom line is user assignable for temperature readings or totalized flow.

In recent product research , survey respondents identified reliability, accuracy, and calibration ease as very important in flowmeter selection.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, ,
Control Engineering Process Instrumentation & Sensors Monthly
Register here to select your choice of free eNewsletters .

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.