The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas on September 22, 1968 · Page 96
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The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas · Page 96

Freeport, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 22, 1968
Page 96
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•NOW DIVISION OF IMC- Hrazospofl Industrial section. The Brazospoft Facts. Freepoft. Texas, Sunday. Sept», 122. 106* PAOK 13 La vino triples output, . sees promising markets In tho night ycnrs since It went on stream, La vino has nioro than tripled Us production, doubled Its work force, and Is approaching some now |K>sslbllltles for marketable products. And wltli Its-new ownership, the nraswsport plant (nay Create new markets In a highly competitive Mel d lor Its • original product. Originally, this plant was a part of HIB i.'. J. l.nvliio Co.of 1'hlladolphla. Last year It was purchased by the International Minerals and Chemical Corp. (IMC). No'*, thw <i|>era(loiis tiuro are called the I.avlnoDIvlslon A>f IMC. A unique IMC capability led lo tin.* change In ownership, says Wllllain W. Johnson, plant manager, and is a key feature lorihi;plant's lutiiro. K Involves tin? nature "f the product, which Is perlclaso — also called niagnesllt*, or magnesium carbonate. This Is tlm material, or one of the ^materials, In brick that is h I K h 1 ; reslslam to li I i: ti temperatures. Because of this, It Is used in metals manufacture, and chiefly In thf two principal inuihMta of making steel. There has Iwen ki'encomi*?- tltlon among the producers, l.avlno has twen the company w«lth the Inside track, nil steel companies using tlie open- hearth proc"ss, which w a s most "f the huslries.',. ethers had the edge In the other Steel process. But In recent )uars. sa>s Johnson, the trend was the other way. The lilast furnace was the "In" process for mak HU: steel. <>pe n - lie a T th 0j>rwluctlon declined. About thw lime this became evident lo the K. J. l.avlno Co., It •* us time fur IMC to lake over (!«• |«ri- clasn manufacture. "This Is our field," the IMC management said In recount xl up. a ii e c d for I h e company's strength In marketing. Tho firm's salesmen are go-gell<?rs In the o|x*ning of n e w fields, Johnson s a I d. Whore ( h <• marketing difficulties might have discouraged others, (or IMC It's a case of ''we do Ihls all tho time." II Involves a lechnlqi/e thai Is also used with pride a nd success l)> neighboring Nalco Chemical, II means a sales force with strong technical abilities. These approach a market by a thorough study of a particular market—to the jxilnl of sometimes knowing c e r t a I n needs of a customer better than he does. Johnson sees other' possibilities for growth. Some of these, uslni: the same basic p r o c e s s and t h e same components, might |os.sibly mean total Sales of double the present 50,000-ton capacity. At the moment, the Lavlno product Is virtually the same as the first batch turned out In Oclolwr, lf/00. This Involves buying from Dow a 35','; magnesium hydroxide slurry (almost Identical to the medical ''milk of magnesia"), drying II, and converting It lo magnesium carbonate. The plant started '•'. llh one calclner '.a dryer that makes substances chemically dry), and tv.o have since been added. There was originally one press; now there are 12. An initial shaft kiln was supplemented with three others, and because of the superior design of the new ones, the original w'as lorn down. Altogether, tills has at least tripled production, Johnson said. There Is one remaining bug in the process. That's the amount of dust that escapes from the process, Is wasted Into the air, and rains down on the remainder of Brazos- port. About tv.o years ago the management felt the air pollution problem was licked, with the Installation of a bag collector. Technical men still find it hard to believe this device doesn't work, Johnson said, because H has succeeded In s I m i 1 a r circumstances elsewhere. But I! iias failed here, he said. It v. ,15 a ••'• rong choice, not an economical one, he said. The cost of this system Is about the same as the electrostatic precipltators he plans to install next, along with a wet scrubber. T h e request lor capital funds (nearly a half-million dollars) has been made to the company's Chicago headquarters. He exjx.'C':,- these to be Ill- Stalled hy ;< i'.'.-ir from nm, he said. At the start, all of the Lavlno operating lorce was contract labor. Nov., nil membersof the v, o r k force are IMC employees, The total complement is atxjut 00 persons, Including plant and of lice employees, Johnson s'.iid. IMC'S LAVINO DIVISION, first ol the riistomer-induMrio.s- Dow attracted to Hrazosport. enters its i-i(:l,'li ;.ear with twice the work force and triple the prodii'-tion of 1000. The plant lies west of Uow Plant A and ; east of the north approach to the Harbor Bridge. As a division uf IMC. Lavino will make use of IMC's top-qualit> salf- ivsteni to crash the steel industry's blast furnace market. Center to seek durable building materials fHKU'OKT - The desire for better materials of construction has led the Department of I tie Interior to establish a materials test center In conjunction •••Ith the Office of Saline \Vater Conversion Test Bed facilities in i ree- port. The $3Cr,,000 materials test center will consist o! an administration and lalxiratory buildlnt; and a '* • tier treating plant that will condition water in .such a manner that it duplicates the highly corrosive situations found in operating desalting plants. The wai«r will then be furnished to research groups which V.IH test various building materials In order to find those that are the most efficient and durable. Six such test loops are being designed for Initial operation at the test center. These are being designed under contract for the Aluminum Association, the Copper Development Association, the Stainless Steel Producers Association and the Vnlle/J Slates Office o! Saline Water. Kxpanslon to provide more loops as they are needed Is planned for the future. The materials test center Is being built by mount Brothers of Houston. Design and management of the center is under the direction of the Contract Research Department o! the I;ov. Chemical Co. The . .,t'.-r treating plant and office bulldinr, should be co iii pie ted in early lOCO. fnl'vl >i.•.'•:< H-.'Mdelit i.ngi- neer Charles Grua lias said. Kslablish.Tient of the test center lollov.e(! a conceptual design of a five-year materials test program done by Dow uji- der contract to the Olflce of Saline Water. Staffing of the center, Grua said, has already begun and v. ill continue through its completion in 1009. Set up on a five-year basis, the material test program will bring the employment at the Saline Water Plant to 20 full time and four or five part time employees. "We are sure," Grua stated in regard to the material test center, "that we will find out we know enough to know some more." The desalting plant itseU has been operated since 1901 by steams-Roger Corporation, under contract to the United States Department of the Interior. J. P. Lennox !•; the Steams-Hoofer plant superintendent. In 1907 a major addition to the Saline Water lest Bed Facility itself increased the size o' the plant and ol its efficiency in operation. The original constrtictionof the plant v. as such that each evaporator and each heat exchange had a separate vessel requiring Interconnectin., piping, controls and other equipment. Modular techniques v.ere employed in the plant expansion so that live additional ef- fects could be added in a single vessel, greatly simplifying the interconnecting piping. The new -nodeular design also greatly reduced maintenance costs due to the smaller areas required for insulation and painting. "After seven years," Grus r id, "we are still trying to improve the basic process and achieve additional savings in the materials phase." "The entire reason for the Saline Water Plants existence," he continued, "Is to find the .ost economical method by v.!. :h w ater can be produced." In 1951 10 pounds of product water were able to be produced by one pound of steam energy. In the re-designed plant 14 pounds of product water is produced by each pound of steam. Water costs in effect in the beginning were SI. 25 per thousand gallons. The cos' has been lowered to 90 cents per thousand gallons. The City ol Freeport, now receives 400.000 gallons of desalted water per day. But Grua says that water "is really a by-product to the collection of information and data." The Spotligh IS ON an PROMISE Free Iron and Metal C SCRAP IRON • METALS WRECKING AND DISMANTLING MACHINERY Jam is R, lysttr Owntr P.O. Boi 788 423 Racetrack,Clute

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