Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Advanced industrial air cleaning technology

Industrial environments produce a lot of dust that can be detrimental to both machinery and personal health. A new air cleaning system that removes nano-scale particles and prevents build-up of explosive dust will tap large global markets.
Advanced industrial air cleaning technology
Scientists developed an improved industrial-scale air cleaning system with EU support of the project 'Atex deduster for small particles' (ATEXDEDUST). The ATEXDEDUST system is compatible with the European Commission's Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) Directive. It is also aligned with standard applications in a variety of industrial production lines. Software tools to model the spatial and temporal separation dynamics given internal dust concentration for a variety of complex scenarios supported the effort. The tools also enable evaluation of components and reliability.

One of the most important innovations spurring project success was splitting the deduster housing into two compartments. The first cleans the high-volume, low-pollutant concentration air stream. As filter cake builds up, it is periodically removed with suction to minimise accumulation of explosive dust. The filter cake is transferred to the second compartment and subjected to low suction. Division into two compartments and use of ignition source and spark monitoring significantly reduces the risk of explosion.

The filter itself is a conventional drum filter, but it employs a novel fibrous textile material. The drum filter enables more controlled filter regeneration (removal of build-up via suction) and very low pressure loss. Its pleated design supports dust separation down to the nano scale. The specialised textile material supports very high filtration rates. The pleated filter drum design and filtering process are completely novel and have resulted in a patent application.

Design and construction of the first ATEXDEDUST demonstration unit was approved by the Notified Body tasked with assessing conformity of a manufacturer's air cleaning device with essential requirements regarding safety and avoidance of explosion risk. The demonstrator was employed for a four-month duration on a factory floor.

Its conformity with regulations will eliminate the need for explosion-proof instrumentation, significantly reducing costs for manufacturers. Mobility, reduced energy consumption and the ability to filter nano-scale particles will make it even more competitive in the huge global market exploiting nanomaterials. ATEXDEDUST technology with its broad marketability is expected to significantly enhance the competitive position of the associated small and medium-sized enterprises.

Related information

Keywords

Air cleaning, industrial environments, dust, small particles, explosive atmospheres
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