Many options exist for monitoring various types of dust emissions including nuisance emissions, ambient/fugitive dust levels or emissions from a pollution control device such as an air scrubber or fabric filter dust collector.
With ever more stringent regulations and the need for high performance from industrial processes in order to compete in a global marketplace, many facilities can no longer afford to install, operate and/or maintain outdated systems. The need for the best cannot be overlooked when considering operational and compliance issues for your facility.
3 Reasons Why Accuracy Matters
Accuracy matters because accurate dust collection monitoring provides operators with the needed insight to operate, optimize and maintain these systems. Trying to operate a dust collector without accurate dust emissions data is like flying an airplane without an altimeter or driving a race car without a tachometer. Lack of data means poorer decision making and degraded performance.Read More
The "Alphabet Soup" of Industrial Dust Detection
Continuous Opacity Monitoring Systems (COMS) for dust detection form an integral part of many facilities’ environmental control systems. While we don't sell COMS dust detection systems, we field a lot of questions from engineering and maintenance teams about how they compare to other solutions. This article will answer a few of the common questions.
In many facilities, COMS systems were required by early permits to monitor particulate matter emitted from the facility. They were the "go to" CPMS (Continuous Parameter Monitoring System) for several years until USEPA first amended the MACT standards to incorporate triboelectric instruments.
Most COMS dust detection systems are placed after the emissions control system(s) such as a fabric filter dust collector to monitor its operation and efficiency at all times. They were an early technology, however, and in recent years, the limitations and inherent drawbacks of COMS for dust emissions detection have led some to investigate new technologies. One such technology mentioned is PEMS or Predictive Emissions Monitoring System.Read More
Invention born of a mishap
Often we discuss the advantages of triboelectric dust monitoring technology over other particulate emissions monitoring methods for plants covered under MACT standards. For the most part, the majority of these advantages come from the much greater detection range and sensitivity of triboelectric technology. Triboelectric detectors can register changes in dust concentration down to 0.000002 g/dscf or 0.005 mg/m3. The next most sensitive detection device (opacity meters and other optical based monitors) can only reach down to 5 -10% opacity, which in most applications equates to about 10 - 20 times less sensitive. Even so, many industries continue to use opacity based systems despite this and other shortcomings of opacity monitoring solutions compared to triboelectric technology.Read More
Air Permit Compliance is Confusing
Often facilities have a difficult time identifying exactly what local, state and federal regulators require of them regarding their dust collection systems. This is not unreasonable as the myriad of overlapping environmental, and health and safety requirements that affect dust collection systems can be quite the twisted knot to untangle. And stack monitoring requirements are just one more confusing twist in the knot. Many wonder if these monitoring requirements apply to them since their dust collection system is relatively simple and small scale.Read More
Understanding What's Happening Inside Your Cyclone Dust Collector
Cyclone dust collectors find use in many industrial applications with high volumes of product flow. Unlike other types of dust collectors, such as fabric filter collectors, cyclones can handle very high dust levels without sacrificing efficiency or sustaining damage. This is precisely why cyclones are often used as prefilters, removing the majority of the material from the airstream before it enters into a final “polishing” unit, such as a baghouse or cartridge collector. In other applications, cyclones are used for particle sorting or bulk material transport.
Even though cyclones do not have a high enough collection efficiency to be used by themselves, they do play a large role in many applications, for emissions as well as process applications. In process applications, many have asked if triboelectric monitoring can control product flows through the cyclone. The answer is yes!Read More
From Opacity Hassles to Operational Value
With such a disjointed set of strategies and devices used for environmental compliance today many wonder how things ended up like this. Let's explore the history of environmental compliance monitoring technologies and see how we ended up where we are today.
And then, given today's capabilities, explore how some companies turn the traditional regulatory headache into an opportunity for legitimate operational value creation.
Early Days - Visual ObservationsRead More
For many, differential pressure has been the only operation data they have ever monitored on their dust collection system. For decades, DP has been the go to for monitoring performance, used as an indicator of total emissions and for diagnosing maintenance issues. Even though monitoring technology has advanced significantly since the 1970s when these regulations were first put forth, many plants continue operating under their older requirements. "That's what we've always done," and "That's what my permit calls for us to do," usually lead the way. Even today where superior monitoring methods are available, it is common to find plants that feel there is no need to monitor anything more than their DP to achieve compliance.Read More
Planning for recirculating from a dust collector
NFPA 654 Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids provides general guidelines for combustible dust control in industry. The NFPA also has two standards that cover specific guidelines for explosion protection systems (NFPA 68) and explosion prevention systems (NFPA 69). There are also three other standards for specific industries that require slightly different (usually stricter) regulation. These include NFPA 61 that concerns agricultural facilities, NFPA 484 covering combustible metals and NFPA 664 covering woodworking facilities.Read More
New solutions for air permit monitoring
For generations opacity monitoring was essentially the only monitoring option for dust collector operators across all industries. Many plants continue to operate that way, allowing older air permits to just renew without any changes if possible. Because of this, opacity monitoring still forms a key part of their compliance monitoring, even though there may be better methods of monitoring available. But when it comes to opacity monitoring what kind of options are available?
Stack Monitoring for Air Permits
The basic idea of a stack observation of opacity is to try to quantify how much particulate is emitted from the stack by determining how much light it blocks from passing through the plume. This measurement of the plumes light blocking power is called opacity. The more dust in the air the more light is scattered/blocked. Prior to 1974 all emissions monitoring was based on the Ringelmann system first developed in the late 19 century to monitoring coal emissions. This system outlined a set of procedures on how an observer could take a visual reading of opacity by viewing the emission source (e.g. stack) from a distance during daytime. In 1974, the EPA revised the test into the current EPA opacity observation standard methods in an attempt to make the test more reliable and less prone to observer bias. These methods or instructions for conducting the test are known as EPA Methods 9 and 22.Read More