Product protection is a top priority for coal producers, and it’s the reason many companies embrace the dome model for their coal storage.
Better product protection was the main reason agricultural origination and processing company ADM chose a dome for its coal cogeneration plant in Clinton, Iowa, USA. According to ADM Clinton Cogeneration plant manager Kevin Duffy, ADM has always stored coal inside some sort of structure to manage dust, but selecting a dome from Dome Technology was an improved means of maintaining coal quality. The dome’s seamless construction protects coal since “you don’t get rain, (and) you don’t pick up the other moisture from weather events,” Duffy said.
The dome’s capacity was also advantageous in supplying a way to achieve desired throughput from a single storage structure rather than requiring multiple silos, he said.
Dome Technology competed for the project against a company providing aluminum or steel domes. In the end ADM chose a steel-reinforced concrete dome from Dome Technology because “we were quite a bit less expensive,” said Dome Technology sales manager Lane Roberts.
Managing dust inside and out was another selling point. ADM liked the dome option because it didn’t have any beams for dust to collect on, Roberts said. Not only does this ensure safer operations within the dome, but it allows ADM to be a better neighbor to nearby communities. Domes contain dust and help businesses meet local regulations while fostering good relationships with the community.
The dome was fixed with a circular stacker reclaimer that provides even filling for coal, and the greatest advantage is the ability to inventory stored product by age. Companies can better control where they’re stacking and reclaiming from the pile, making it easier to draw oldest product first.
The project’s success led to Dome Technology securing another ADM project in Columbus, Nebraska, USA, for a dome of similar size storing the same type of coal.
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