In this issue, Process Heating includes articles with practical, put-it-to-use-now advice on heat-protective gloves, biomass drying and meeting NOX emissions limits with low temperature burners.

In “6 Q&A About Heat-Resistant Gloves,” Matt Burtney of Superior Glove explains how to select heat-resistant gloves for personal protective equipment (PPE). The most important step is to first measure the temperature of the item or surface from which you are looking to protect yourself, Burtney says. Taking an actual reading using an infrared thermometer will allow you to determine which level of protection is needed and whether a terry knit or synthetic material is needed. Keep in mind the characteristics of the thermal exposure as well: Steam or moisture renders terry gloves that would otherwise be effective less effective. (A lesson I've learned often in my kitchen.)

In “How to Solve Common Rotary Biomass Dryer Problems,” Becky Long of Thompson Dryers identifies the three most common problems with rotary biomass dryers and offers solutions for each. Thompson notes that heavy biomass may fall out of the gas stream in the dryer, setting the stage for the trapped product to wear away the dryer shell as the dryer rotates. Possible solutions include rock-retrieval systems and dryer flighting modifications. If ignored, trapped product can do so much damage that air and moisture infiltration affect dryer operation and product moisture-level uniformity.

“Meeting Increasingly Strict NOX Emissions Standards” is the focus of an article from Honeywell’s Jessica Irons. Effective NOX control takes a two-pronged approach, Irons notes. First, it is important to choose a burner design that ensures complete combustion to help minimize the formation of thermal NOX. To help ensure that the burner operates optimally, Irons recommends an effect burner control scheme. Options include pulse firing, a mass-flow control or staged combustion.

In “The Impact of Thermal Oxidizer Sizing on Melt-System Capacity”, Brian Wendt of Epcon Industrial Systems LP explains how aluminum parts producers can optimize metals-recovery operations with effective pollution control equipment. Though the article focuses on aluminum parts producers, Wendt outlines a systematic approach to identifying the rate-limiting factors to the process. Many industrial processes could benefit from such a systematic approach.

Elsewhere in this issue, two case histories demonstrate how thermal processing equipment was put to use. “Automotive Components Maker Saves on Boiler Fuel Costs After Retrofit” explains how a boiler from the 1980s was replaced with a four-pass wetback boiler with custom combustion control. The change allowed one automotive seals maker to save significantly on their natural gas fuel costs. In “Pelletizing Systems Rely on Circular Fluid-Bed Dryers,” fluid-bed drying is put to use to dry bulk solids materials in pelletizing operations.