Rail-Veyor Bulk Material Transport System
The phosphate industry has traditionally used slurry pipelines to move phosphate matrix from the mine site to the processing plant. As phosphate matrix grade decreases and transport distances increase, the transport cost per ton of product has significantly increased. These increased costs are forcing alternative matrix transport methods to be evaluated.
The Rail-Veyor represents a possible replacement for slurry pipelines by combining the best features of a railroad and overland conveyor without the high capital cost requirements. The Rail-Veyor system can move phosphate matrix at a much higher percent solids than pipelines in a static, rather than dynamic, environment.
The demonstration Rail-Veyor system operated successfully as it was able to load, transport, and dump phosphate debris is a very efficient manner. The system was able to operate continuously, with only the stationary drive units in physical contract with the 42-car 168-foot open trough train in operation at any time. The system operated at about 588 feet/minute (FPM), with energy required to move the train and load of about 0.3 KWH per ton-mile.
The Rail-Veyor met the objectives of the project and offers potential as a cost-effective, environmentally attractive bulk material transport system.