Dust to Dust...or what you can't see can hurt you

The dangers of microscopic particles

We met an industrial customer the other day who schedules a maintenance check to look for dust in the air. The main reason why people do this is public perception. The local community is rightly sensitive to certain things coming out of industrial plants, such as odors and plumes of gas. There are a lot of things that can harm you that you will never see, or worse, you don’t know if you have ingested them.

Products of a combustion process can include ultra-fine particulate. In the case of an internal combustion engine, some particle size emissions are typically below 20 nanometers. The human hair is about 40 micrometers or approximately 2,000 times the size of a combustion particle. Ultra-fines can enter the human body without being breathed in. Other larger particles are respirable, that is, they enter the human circulation via the lungs. These particles can be filtered using HEPA filters.

So looking for smoke and dust might not be the whole story when looking for contaminants. Use a particle detector in the exhaust stream of a filter/dust collector or detect particulate inside the baghouse to identify broken filter bags. Get the information real-time to your mobile device to reduce the risk of contamination to people, planet and production.

Author: Alan Traylor - VP IoT and Marketing for Nederman Process Technology Division