Effective BLDS Monitoring of Mining/Mineral Processing Plants

Posted by Justin Dechene on Apr 25, 2015 11:30:00 AM

"Effective BLDS Monitoring of Particulate Emissions to Control Fugitive Dust at Frac Sand Plants and other Mining/Mineral Processing Plants”



The mining/mineral processing industry constantly faces the challenges of handling tons of material in a variety of processes such as: crushing, milling, drying, belt transfer, and loadout. These processes result in the production of high volumes of dust. A variety of dust detection equipment and collection equipment is needed to properly manage these emissions to remain compliant with robust air quality and safety requirements. Dust monitoring and bag leak detection can provide ways to: reduce air pollutants, make work environments safer, and remain compliant with EPA, MSHA and OSHA requirements.


There are several approaches to monitoring particulate emissions from dust collection equipment. These can include visual inspections, differential pressure gauges, or bag leak detection systems. Bag leak detection (BLDS) and monitoring systems can be optical, light based, or electrostatic/triboelectric.


Recent developments have advanced the efficiency and reliability of electrostatic/triboelectric style monitors. New technological improvements have been developed that are based upon the principal of unifying DC (impaction) and AC (induction) signals and incorporating other proprietary circuit innovations. This higher signal resolution technology results in a more robust and stable measurement for detecting the presence of particulate in a dust collector emission duct or a flow process pipe.


Siting an example of using the DC/AC electrostatic technology in a Frac Sand Plant:

The Problem

The increase in demand for proppant sand used in hydraulic fracking has led to an increase in the number of sand and silica processing plants being built. These plants, (also known as Frac Sand plants), process tons of sand and are faced with the challenge of containing and controlling the dust around the facility. Fine silica particulates are a major concern in these facilities. Many of these plants use vibratory fluid bed dryers in the processing of the silica. These systems are equipped with fabric filter dust collectors and need to be monitored to satisfy state and local air permit requirements.  


The Search for a Solution

DC/AC electrostatic (TRIBO) technology was selected to be installed as the bag leak detection system (BLDS) to monitor the sand dryer baghouse emissions. TRIBO technology is best suited for these applications because of the varying temperatures and moisture conditions found in these processes. By using a technology that truly unifies the DC/AC components of the signal, it provides the user the capability to handle all process conditions. This reliability not only satisfies the regulatory component, but provides the reliable early warning needed to be proactive with collector maintenance.


The analog signals or relay contacts from the monitors are taken to the main control room with other operating parameters from the process. The BLDS provides a comprehensive analysis and better understanding of baghouse performance, which enables the customer to diagnose process problems and pinpoint equipment failures. The wide dynamic range and stable, repeatable signals of the DC/AC technology allowed this manufacturer of proppant sand to monitor dust collector performance at differing air flows, moisture levels, and temperatures, while still assuring environmental compliance.



DC/AC electrostatic particulate measurement technology is proven as the most reliable and cost-effective technology for monitoring challenging dust/particulate emissions found in the mining/mineral processing industry.

For more information on how to select the appropriate Bag Leak Detection System for your plant check out:

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