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Air pollution with particulate matter. Burning of fossil fuels.

Methods for elimination of particulate matter from residual gases.
Introduction Particulates are tiny subdivisions of solid matter suspended in a fluid. Air pollution can take the form of solid particulate matter. Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes also generate significant amounts of particulates. Coal combustion in developing countries is the primary method for heating homes and supplying energy. Because salt spray over the oceans is the overwhelmingly most common form of particulate in the atmosphere, anthropogenic aerosols—those made by human activities—currently account for about 10 percent of the total amount of aerosols in our atmosphere. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function and lung cancer. Composition Based on the size of their aerodynamic diameter particles can be classified as PM10 (coarse and fine particles), PM2.5(fine particles) or PM0.1 (ultrafine particles). Coarse particles are produced by the mechanical break-up of larger solid particles. The coarse fractioncan include dust from roads, agricultural processes, uncovered soil or mining operations, as well as non-combustible materials released when burning fossil fuels. Pollen grains, mould spores, and plant and insect parts can also contribute to the coarse fraction. Finally, evaporation of sea spray can produce large particles near coasts. Fine particles are largely formed from gases. Ultrafine particles (up to 0.1 µm) are formed bynucleation, which is the initial stage in which gas becomes a particle. These particles can grow up to a size of 1 µm either through condensation, when additional gas condensates on the particles, or through coagulation, when two or more particles combine to form a larger particle. Particles produced by the intermediate reactions of gases in the atmosphere are called secondary particles. Secondary particles derive from the oxidation of primary gases such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides into sulfuric acid(liquid) and nitric acid(gaseous). The precursors for these aerosols—i.e. the gases from which they originate—may have an anthropogenic origin (from fossil fuel or coalcombustion) and a natural biogeni corigin. In the presence of ammonia, secondary aerosols often take the form of ammoniumsalts; i.e.ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate(both can be dry or in aqueous solution); in the absence of ammonia, secondary compounds take an acidic form as sulfuric acid (liquid aerosol droplets) and nitric acid (atmospheric gas). Secondary sulfate and nitrate aerosols are strong light-scatterers.This is mainly because the presence of sulfate and nitrate causes the aerosols to increase to a size that scatters light effectively. The composition of aerosols and particles depends on their source. Wind-blown mineral dust tends to be made of mineral oxides and other material blown from the Earth's crust; this particulate is light-absorbing. Sea salt is considered the second-largest contributor in the global aerosol budget, and consists mainly of sodium chloride originated from sea spray; other constituents of atmospheric sea salt reflect the composition ofsea water, and thus include magnesium, sulfate, calcium, potassium, etc. In addition, sea spray aerosols may contain organic compounds, which influence their chemistry. Sea salt does not absorb. Organic matter (OM) can be either primary or secondary, the latter part deriving from the oxidation of VOCs; organic material in the atmosphere may either be biogenic or anthropogenic. Organic matter influences the atmospheric radiation field by both scattering and absorption. Another important aerosol type is constitute of elemental carbon (EC, also known as black carbon, BC): this aerosol type includes strongly light-absorbing material and is thought to yield large positive radiative forcing. Organic matter and elemental carbon together constitute the carbonaceous fraction of aerosols.

Electrostatic Precipitator An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) is a particle control device that uses electrical forces to move the particles out of the flowing gas stream and onto collector plates. Some precipitators remove the particles by intermittent or continuous washing with water. the most common variety. The particles are given an electrical charge by forcing them to pass through a corona. and (5) the two-stage precipitator. The particulate matter is separated from the gas stream by retention on the collection electrode. One of the most common device used is the electrostatic precipitator. Once the particles are collected on the plates. which may have any of the previous mechanical configurations. (3) the tubular precipitator. allowing the collected layer of particles to slide down into a hopper from which they are evacuated. a discharge electrode and a collection electrode. so it consists of the incombustible materials that are found in the coal. (2) the flat plate precipitator. The negatively charged particles then migrate toward the positively charged collection electrodes. but secondary sulfate and nitrate also comprise a major portion of the particulate matter from coal-fired plants. they must be removed from the plates without reentraining them into the gas stream. The types that will be described here are (1) the plate-wire precipitator. The dominant form of particulate matter from coal-fired plants is coal fly ash. as show in the figure on this page. also known as fabric . is related to production of particulate matter. Baghouses Another way of removing particulates from air or gas is the baghouse. In an ESP. Power plants and other processes that produce gases with particulates must remove particulate matter from the gas before releasing it into the atmosphere. especially coal combustion. depending on the chemical composition and size. Studies have shown that exposure to particulate matter is related to an increase of respiratory and cardiac mortality. (4) the wet precipitator. ESPs are configured in several ways. Some of these configurations have been developed for special control action. There are different types of particulate matter. electric fields are established by applying a direct-current voltage across a pair of electrodes. and others have evolved for economic reasons. Coal fly ash is what remains after the coal has been combusted. Particulate matter suspended in the gas stream is electrically charged by passing through the electric field around each discharge electrode (the negatively charged electrode).Combustion Fossil fuel combustion. The electrical field that forces the charged particles to the walls comes from electrodes maintained at high voltage in the center of the flow lane. a region in which gaseous ions flow. Power plants remove particulates from the flue gas with the use of a bag house or electrostatic precipitator. This is usually accomplished by knocking them loose from the plates.

This is an air pollution control device that removes particulates out of air or gas released from commercial processes or combustion for electricity generation. Interception . A combination of these mechanisms results in formation of the dust cake on the filter. Wet scrubbers remove pollutant gases by dissolving or absorbing them into the liquid. Scrubbers can be designed to collect particulate matter and/or gaseous pollutants. by spraying it with the liquid. the cleaning process begins. Baghouses are very efficient particulate collectors because of the dust cake formed on the surface of the bags. Power plants.The presence of an electrostatic charge on the particles and the filter can increase dust capture. The filter must be cleaned periodically. cylindrical bags (or tubes) made of woven or felted fabric as a filter medium. or by some other contact method. so as to remove the pollutants. food manufactures. Most baghouses use long. chemical producers and other industrial companies often use baghouses to control emission of air pollutants.) ust-laden gas or air enters the baghouse through hoppers (large funnel-shaped containers used for storing and dispensing particulate) and is directed into the baghouse compartment.Dust particles strike the fibers placed perpendicular to the gas-flow direction instead of changing direction with the gas stream.Submicrometre particles are diffused. pharmaceutical producers. The design of wet scrubbers or any air pollution control device depends on the industrial process conditions and the nature of the air pollutants involved. When the compartment is clean. Wet scrubbers remove dust particles by capturing them in liquid droplets. increasing the probability of contact between the particles and collecting surfaces. steel mills. the resultant scrubbing liquid must be treated prior to any ultimate discharge or being reused in the plant.Particles that do not cross the fluid streamlines come in contact with fibers because of the fiber size. When sufficient pressure drop occurs.filter. where performance can vary significantly depending on process and electrical conditions. The fabric provides a surface on which dust collects through the following four mechanisms: Inertial collection . Cleaning can take place while the baghouse is online (filtering) or is offline (in isolation). and a layer of dust accumulates on the filter media surface until air can no longer move through it. pleated. The gas is drawn through the bags. either on the inside or the outside depending on cleaning method. which eventually increases the resistance to gas flow. Electrostatic forces . functioning baghouses typically have a particulate collection efficiency of 99% or better. even when particle size is very small. normal filtering resumes. Brownian movement . Wet scrubber The term wet scrubber describes a variety of devices that remove pollutants from a furnace flue gas or from other gas streams. . the polluted gas stream is brought into contact with the scrubbing liquid. In a wet scrubber. (For applications where there is relatively low dust loading and gas temperatures are 120°C or less. Any droplets that are in the scrubber inlet gas must be separated from the outlet gas stream by means of another device referred to as amist eliminator or entrainment separator (these terms are interchangeable). Unlike electrostatic precipitators. Inlet gas characteristics and dust properties (if particles are present) are of primary importance. Also. nonwoven cartridges are sometimes used as filtering media instead of bags. by forci ng it through a pool of liquid.

Dewatering and drying of scrubber sludge make recovery of any dust for reuse very expensive and difficult. Settling ponds or sludge clarifiers may be needed to meet waste-water regulations. Wet scrubbers that remove gaseous pollutants are referred to as absorbers. it cannot escape from hoppers or during transport. with the packed tower and the platetower being the most common. Good gas-to-liquid contact is essential to obtain high removal efficiencies in absorbers. all designed to provide good contact between the liquid and polluted gas stream. . including fans and ducts downstream. To obtain high efficiency removal of 1 micrometer (or less) particles generally requires high energy devices such as venturi scrubbers or augmented devices such as condensation scrubbers. A wet scrubber's ability to collect small particles is often directly proportional to the power input into the scrubber. Minimal fire and explosion hazards are minimized. Handles hightemperature. Smaller sizes result in lower capital costs and more flexibility in site location of the scrubber. Also. Some dusts are highly flammable and the use of water in the scrubber design elimintates the danger of explosion or fire. in many cases. Additionally. a properly designed and operated entrainment separator or mist eliminator is important to achieve high removal efficiencies. If the gas stream contains both particle matter and gases. The greater the number of liquid droplets that are not captured by the mist eliminator the higher the potential emission levels. wet scrubbers are generally the only single air pollution control device that can remove both pollutants. the best operating conditions for particles collection are the poorest for gas removal. Comparison between wet scrubbers. Therefore. vessel sizes. Water and dissolved pollutants can form highly corrosive acid solutions so this creates a corrosion problem. However. Low energy devices such as spray towers are used to collect particles larger than 5 micrometers. A number of wet scrubber designs are used to remove gaseous pollutants. so there are high operating costs. in some instances. Proper construction materials are very important. Wet scrubbers can achieve high removal efficiencies for either particles or gases and. High collection efficiencies for particulate matter are attainable only at high pressure drops.There are numerous configurations of scrubbers and scrubbing systems. ESP. Another advantage is the ability to collect both gases and particulate matter. resulting in high energy requirements for operation. are smaller than those of other control devices. can achieve a high removal efficiency for both pollutants in the same system. high-humidity gas streams. and baghouses Scrubbers reduce the temperature and volume of the unsaturated exhaust stream. Once particulate matter is collected. No temperature limits or condensation problems can occur as in baghouses or ESPs. unlikely ESP and baghouses which cannot always handle high temperature because of their designs. wet-dry interface areas can result in corrosion.

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