Customized Nuisance Dust Collection and Control in Pneumatic Conveying Systems

Customized Nuisance Dust Collection and Control in Pneumatic Conveying Systems

The story goes that a fire marshal performed a live demonstration to show how dangerous dust is in a cornstarch factory. He poked a hole in the bottom of a five-gallon bucket, added a teaspoon of cornstarch, closed the lid and shook it. He struck a fireplace match and held the flame to the hole. That teaspoon of dust was so explosive that it blew the lid off the bucket and hurtled it through the room’s ceiling tiles.

Dust is a fact of life, as ever-present as the air we breathe. Dust control is just as essential as breathing to most manufacturers, regardless of the material conveyed through their facilities or the end product those facilities produce. On the low-worry end of the scale, dust is problematic because it can contribute to infestations for food producers. All manufacturers are concerned with dust-accelerating wear and tear on pneumatic conveying equipment. As the fire marshal proved with his ceiling destruction, dust is hazardous when not properly collected and contained. Take the combustible dust explosion and fire northwest of Savannah, Georgia, at the Imperial Sugar plant in 2008. The massive explosion and fire killed 14 and injured 38.

Dust isn’t a mere annoyance. It’s a problem with consequences ranging from innocuous to lethal. It is so deadly that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) established strict rules regarding explosion protection, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has combustible dust standards by which manufacturers in specific industries must abide.

Decades of Experience Are Behind Our Customized Nuisance Dust Collection and Control Solutions

It takes decades of real-world experience to know when canned systems could meet your production and budget goals and when customizing a dry bulk material conveying or weighing/filling system solution will save time, money and resources for the desired results. Magnum Systems applies our expertise to customizing nuisance dust collection and control solutions as part of designing new pneumatic conveying systems or upgrading or retrofitting existing ones.

Of course, the ultimate goal with your dust collection and control solution is a clean operation that is healthy and safe for employees and the facility, plus increases equipment longevity. Reaching that goal takes a close evaluation of many aspects.

From where is the dust coming? This is where we start, pinpointing dust emission points.

What dust collector should be used? The density of the dust, the velocity at which it travels through ductwork, and how far the dust must travel determines the type of dust collector and its horsepower.

Which inlet is appropriate? The type of inlet used depends on the dust’s characteristics and properties. Material testing is essential since the same material can differ based on the supplier. Plus, mixing along the conveying line can change the dust’s qualities.

The filter media depends on whether the dust is fine, coarse, sticky, etc. Other questions to be answered regarding air-to-cloth ratio and keeping the filter clean, a reverse air pull system if the dust is suspended (stays in the air), or if it simply needs to run 24 hours a day and change the filter once a year.

Now, what should be done with the dust? If the product dust is 100% salvageable, it can be blended back into the product, meaning no wasted material. If comingled dust cannot be returned to the product and collected along the line, it can be disposed of.

Of course, this is a high-level overview of what goes into customizing a nuisance dust collection component in pneumatic conveying. Magnum Systems has designed pneumatic conveying systems for dry bulk materials in industries, including food and ingredients, industrial minerals and bulk solids, agriculture feed and seed, and chemicals and plastic. Our experts can solve nuisance dust collection challenges, both those you know and those you might not. If your facility needs a customized nuisance dust collection and control solution as part of your pneumatic conveying system, contact us to discuss your needs.