Economic Conveying and Non-Thermal Drying of Granular Solids


Note: SpiroFlo uses the trade names Ecotech Systems and EcoVeyor for solids conveying and non-thermal drying applications. Contact us about these applications at (303) 761-7010 or at solids (at) spiroflo (dot) com. For more information, toggle a drop-down section below..

The Ecotech System is used for the conveying of granular solids (including coal, potash, and soda ash) and the cost-effective non-thermal drying in numerous markets—including biosolids, coal, dairy waste, and sugar beets—at less than a tenth the cost of conventional thermal drying methods. The patented EcoVeyor has no moving parts, meaning there’s nothing to wear out, nothing to maintain.


The Ecotech system is used in a number of industries, including minerals processing, agricultural, recycling, ecological, and energy markets. Ecotech is developing applications both directly and through strategic alliances with industry partners and licensors. Systems are currently installed in the U.S. and Canada. 


In granular solids conveying applications, the EcoVeyorTM develops an organized and shaped flow to travel in a “boundary layer” of the pipe. This cushions the product, thereby reducing line wear while maintaining product integrity (instead of having it tumble, break down, and/or stick along the pipeline wall). In addition, material is separated by density (on discharge) and operational costs are kept low, with smaller blowers and lower energy costs than traditional pneumatic conveying systems. 


In drying applications, the EcoVeyorTM mechanically dewaters solids by coupling the oscillating spiral of its proprietary flow with either no or low-grade heat (150° F—typically found on-site). This non-thermal drying method is a mechanical (not thermal process) and uses significantly less energy than thermal drying methods, coming in at less than one-tenth the cost. In all applications, the Ecotech System operates at low pressures and reduces friction while increasing velocities.



(Bullet point summary list of conveying examples here.)


If you’d like SpiroFlo took look at your materials conveying application, please contact us.


(Bullet point list of drying examples here.)


If you’d like SpiroFlo took look at your mechanical drying application, please contact us.


The Ecotech Process is the result of over 20 years and millions of dollars in research, development and testing. Using the patented EcoVeyor flow processor, turbulent air is shaped by the proprietary mixing chamber into an organized airflow, reducing turbulence and cushioning the pipe resulting in minimal pressure loss, reduced product attrition, minimal pipe line wear, lower energy costs and lower maintenance down-time.


The EcoVeyor is simple and cost-effective to install, operate, and maintain. Ecotech offers its customers, turnkey systems designed to meet their needs, retrofits of existing pneumatic conveying systems, or the EcoVeyor processor as a stand-alone product.


The patented Ecotech technology, the EcoVeyor™ flow processor, organizes and shapes the airflow to provide significant operational benefits:


Lower product attrition = increased value

Lower pipe wear = longer production life

Lower energy and less maintenance = lower cost and less downtime

Long-distance and high-angle conveying = lower transportation costs

Positive environmental benefits through closed-loop design = good stewardship

Separation of particulates by mass = increased product value

Non-thermal moisture removal = lower energy costs

Modular system design = low impact on space and lower start-up costs


The addition of the EcoVeyor to an existing low-pressure blower system will provide an immediate efficiency gain in the operation, with modest new capital investment. Once installed, the EcoVeyor will reduce costs by increasing longevity of system components through lower line and component wear as well as increased product yields through lower product attrition rates.


For a schematic of the Ecotech System, see here.




EcoVeyor Brochure: This brochure is a starting point that summarizes the benefits of the Ecotech System. PDF

Ecotech System Schematic: This image shows the optimal layout of the Ecotech System. VIEW PAGE

Stone and Webster Engineering Report: This summary shows the benefits confirmed by the Massachusetts-based engineering firm (a subsidiary of Technip). The full report is available upon request. VIEW PAGE

Conveying Granular Sand and Gravel: This summary shows the benefits of the Ecotech System in sand and gravel conveying and separation. Case studies are available upon request. VIEW PAGE

System Benefits: Vertical Coal Conveyor: This summary page covers a vertical coal conveying application. Note that during this study, the pipe broke into two parts, yet the organized flow set up by the EcoVeyor passed through the break, with minimal product loss. VIEW PAGE




Distillery Grain Conveyance: This video shows the spiraling flow of the EcoVeyor conveying distillery grains (DSGs) through clear pipe (at only 5 RPM). As the spiraling flow progresses, you can see the grain travel in the center of the pipe.


embedded video from YouTube goes here. VIDEO


How does the Ecotech System separate materials?


Materials of different mass separate as the Ecotech organized flow develops. Imagine taking buckshot and peanuts and firing them from a catapult. As you might expect, the buckshot, although much smaller, has more mass and will go further than the peanuts. The Ecotech System works on a similar principle: because the particles separate in the organized flow, products of different mass are separate on discharge based on momentum and the organized flow. For more information on separation applications, see this sand & gravel report.


How does the Ecotech System dry materials?


One of the key benefits of the process is the atomization and mechanical separation of surface moisture.


The initial stages of the EcoVeyor’s organized flow create an oscillating spiral. Any moisture in the product is sheared off and travels close to the pipe wall. Much of the moisture is atomized and dried during the transportation phase and any residual moisture is discharged through the cyclone. As a result, the Ecotech System can remove surface moisture in granular products with either no heat or low-grade heat typically found on site (150° F).


What are the ideal conditions for the Ecotech System to dry materials?


As the Ecotech System dries the surface moisture of material, interstitial moisture levels remain unaffected. As a result, smaller pieces allow for greater surface moisture removal, so grinding of particles before treatment is beneficial. These factors should be taken into consideration when designing and measuring point drying goals from the Ecotech System. Some use the Ecotech System as a cost-effective stage in their drying process.


What are comparable drying options?


Widely accepted options include thermal drying (natural gas, electric), belt presses, centrifuge as well as chemical treatments (including lime), aerobic and anaerobic digesters. Costs can vary between $85-250 a dry ton* with wide variances in time-until-dry-point (generally, the faster the process, the more expensive it is).    


*As of this writing.


How small or large of an Ecotech System can be built?


While the Ecotech System scales to any size, with product value, energy consumption, space requirements, etc., the economic value of each project can vary. Please contact us to discuss the value and feasibility of your project.


Why upgrade my current system?


The Ecotech System is a significant advance in materials handling. Environmental standards are changing, both in individuals and corporations. With a proven technology, the Ecotech System is able to meet the standards of your company in an environmentally conscious world, getting your granular solids where they need to be. Quicker. Drier. Cost effectively.


The Ecotech System is essentially traffic signals for materials. By placing a cruise control speed on the merging lanes of the mixing chamber, the EcoVeyor creates an organized highway of airflow that rapidly transports materials over long distances, even through 90-degree angles and high elevations. With the twist and speed of the organized airflow, the product arrives separated by mass, at a lower moisture level, and at a higher quality than conventional conveying methods. Pipes stay cleaner with less wear, too.


Less maintenance, better product. The Ecotech System is a total materials-handling solution.


If you have any other questions, please contact us.



Contact us about Ecotech System applications at (303) 761-7010 or at solids (at) spiroflo (dot) com.