The sustainability of plant equipment takes centre stage: Rembe presents the new Q-Box for flameless pressure relief
3/4/2024 Insights Article

The sustainability of plant equipment takes centre stage: Rembe presents the new Q-Box for flameless pressure relief

When designing pressure relief devices for fire and explosion protection in systems, the protection objective has top priority. However, Rembe has impressively demonstrated that the sustainability of these system components can also be significantly increased as part of its redesign of the Q-Box.

Dr Johannes Lottermann, Chief Business Development Officer Explosion Safety at Rembe at the trade fair booth at POWTECH 2023 with the Q-Box R3leaf Dr Johannes Lottermann, Chief Business Development Officer Explosion Safety at Rembe: "It was important to us to make a contribution to sustainability“
If gases and dusts explode in plants, pressure relief devices protect the plant from the destructive forces caused by these events. For many years, containers and plant components in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries, as well as in woodworking and wood processing, have been equipped with the Q-Box for this purpose. In contrast to conventional systems such as rupture discs, the pressure relief device does not release any flames into the environment, thus minimising the risk of fire.

The device is based on a special, closed pressure relief system. In the event of overpressure in the system, the hot combustion gases resulting from an explosion are channelled into the Q-Box. There they are expanded and cooled in a special filter medium before being safely released into the environment. In this way, the Q-Box also protects system components with a low pressure shock resistance via its large pressure relief surfaces. Compared to other pressure relief systems, the Q-Box is an economical option because no complex blow-off ducts need to be installed and there are no external maintenance costs.
Q-Box R3leaf in the warehouse on Euro pallet Thanks to the new design of the Q-Box R3-leaf, the use of paints and chemicals as well as the transport volume can be reduced by 90 per cent.

With the R3leaf series, the manufacturer Rembe has now further developed the original Q-Box. The Q-Box R3leaf is also designed for applications at risk of dust explosion with low design strength and the need for large relief areas and is therefore predestined for use on filters, dryers, separators, elevators or silos. However, the pressure-relief device has been optimised in terms of performance and sustainability. "Through systematic development, we were able to significantly improve the deaeration efficiency, the maximum protected volume and the KSt value," explains Dr Johannes Lottermann, Chief Business Development Officer at Rembe, in an interview with Industry Insights. The improved "inner values" ensure that fewer flameless explosion vents are required for larger containers. In addition, the transport volume is significantly lower and, last but not least, the use of chemicals and paints in production has been reduced by 90%. All of this helps to significantly reduce CO2 emissions during the production of pressure relief devices. In an interview with Industry Insights, Johannes Lottermann explains the background to the development.

"Even small improvements can make a big difference!

What was the background to the development of the Q-Box R3leaf?

As the inventor of flameless pressure relief, we naturally asked ourselves the question: How can the status quo be further improved with flameless pressure relief?

Of course we can try to achieve even higher KSt values. But it was important to us to make a truly valuable and sustainable contribution. The Q-Box R3leaf already bears this in its name. R3leaf stands for relief on the one hand and for product improvement in terms of sustainability on the other.


In what way is the new Q-Box more sustainable?

In future, we will no longer use paints and varnishes and have been able to reduce the use of chemicals by 90%. 90% is also the measure of how much we reduced the transport volume and thus the logistics costs. The Q-Box no longer consists of welded components, but of riveted individual elements. These are assembled in our assembly hubs around the world. To give you an idea: In the past, we could pack around 50 Q-Boxes into a freight container - today it's 500: a quantum leap!


How are things looking in terms of pressure relief performance?

"The new design of the Q-Box has enabled us to increase the pressure relief efficiency by up to 90 %, so that we are now able to protect a container with significantly fewer flameless pressure relief devices. This is a significant advantage that we are very proud of - and it also shows that we SMEs can achieve more. This is also our message to all other players in the bulk solids industry: ask yourselves what you can do. Because even small improvements can have a big impact!"


Armin Scheuermann

Armin Scheuermann

Chemical engineer and freelance specialised journalist