Proper baghouse system design, installation, and maintenance are critical for minimizing plant downtime and maximizing system efficiency and longevity. In this article we outline the important design considerations and address some of the most commonly asked questions about baghouse systems.
Table of Contents
- Why do you need to install a baghouse dust collector system?
- What type of particulate are you looking to filter?
- What size of baghouse dust collector system do you need?
- Baghouse Filter Bag Media
- How much do baghouse dust collector systems
- How do you remove dust collected by the baghouse system?
- How do you enter a baghouse dust collection system for further cleaning?
- Baghouse Dust Collector Systems from U.S. Air Filtration
Baghouse dust collectors are highly efficient systems used in industrial applications that remove dirt, dust, and debris from the air. Baghouses improve worker health and safety, protect the mechanics of industrial equipment, and maintain compliance with environmental and workplace safety regulations.
Proper baghouse system design, installation, and maintenance are critical for minimizing plant downtime and maximizing system efficiency and longevity. Important design considerations, such as the airflow and square footage required for your system, will depend on your facility’s workspace and dust collection needs. Once a system is designed and installed, performing regular maintenance is vital for keeping it operating as efficiently as possible. Here, we address some of the most commonly asked questions about these critical systems.
Why do you need to install a baghouse dust collector system?
The primary reason for installing a baghouse dust collector system is to improve air quality by removing potentially harmful airborne particles, gas fumes, and other contaminants generated during manufacturing processes. Depending on the industry and the types of debris being produced, installing a dust collection system may be required in order to comply with air emission guidelines or workplace safety standards. OSHA, for example, requires industrial plants to meet certain indoor air quality standards to prevent dust-related health issues. Before designing a baghouse dust collector system, it is important to research what types of safety and air quality regulations might be applicable to your facility.
Baghouse dust collection systems may also be installed to upgrade, improve, or enhance a facility’s existing dust control strategies. Regardless of your specific reasons for installation, it is important to implement a preventative maintenance program in order to prevent future problems and keep the system operating at optimal efficiency. General steps may include:
- Making sure the system operates within acceptable levels by monitoring differential pressure, timing controls for pulse valves, compressed air pressure, etc.
- Regularly emptying drums and hoppers to prevent dust build-up
- Frequently inspecting valves, hoses, gaskets, filters, and other components and replacing them when necessary
What type of particulate are you looking to filter?
The type of dust being generated in your facility will influence the type of dust collector that should be used. Common types of industrial dust include:
- Wood dust. Fine wood particles generated during woodworking processes can linger in the air, causing health issues for workers.
- Pharmaceutical dust. The manufacturing of drugs, vitamins, and minerals generates fine powders that can be highly toxic if inhaled.
- Food particulates. High levels of dust can be created during the processing of spices, flour, sugar, cornstarch, grains, and other dry food products.
- Metalworking dust. Metalworking processes can create a harmful mixture of fumes and fine dust ranging from 0.01 micrometer to 1 millimeter in diameter.
Particle size will help you determine the number of filters required and the best type of filter media for your system. While standard filters are usually sufficient for collecting moderate-to-large particles, pleated filters may be necessary to effectively capture very fine particles and fumes. It is also important to select a filter with the appropriate air-to-cloth ratio as this will influence the system’s ability to adequately protect workers from dust and contaminants.
Low filtration efficiency will expose workers to more particles and can increase the risk of explosions. In some cases, coating the filters with a porous particulate layer, known as a precoating, can enhance filtration and improve baghouse system performance.
What size of baghouse dust collector system do you need?
Baghouses tend to be larger than other dust collector systems and are typically used for high-volume and high-temperature applications. These systems employ cylindrical fabric filter bags to capture and separate dust particles from the air. The three most common baghouse designs are:
- Pulse jet. Pulse jet baghouses are self-cleaning filtration systems that use pulses of compressed air to clean the bags. Cleaning occurs while the system is online.
- Reverse air. Reverse air baghouses feature a compartmentalized design that allows for the cleaning of individual sections without shutting the entire system down.
- Shaker baghouses clean bags by mechanically shaking the dust out of them. These are simple to operate and have a low initial investment cost. However, cleaning is performed while the system is offline.
With their versatile and universal design, baghouses can meet a wide variety of industrial dust collection requirements. Common applications range from food production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, woodworking, and metalworking to energy utilities, chemicals, mining, and more. For optimal performance, your baghouse dust collector should be sized and designed to accommodate your facility’s air purification requirements as well as any spatial restrictions. Design considerations should include:
- Anticipated cost
- Type of dust being produced and expected dust volume
- Size of area needing ventilation
- Collector system size and required flow volume
- Filter material
Baghouse Filter Bag Media
One of the most important decisions when designing a baghouse system includes selecting the right filter media. There are a wide range of filter medias available to accommodate a variety of dust characteristics. Temperature, dust properties such as moisture and abrasion will determine which filter media will provide the best performance and efficiency at your operation. Here is an overview of the most common filter medias available.
- Polyester – Polyester’s maximum continuous operating temperature is 275 degrees Fahrenheit and has good overall qualities to resist abrasion and performs well with dry temperatures.
- PPS – PPS, also otherwise known by the proprietary name Ryton© or Procon©, is a filter bag media that is commonly used in dust collection applications where excellent resistance to acids and alkaline is required.
- P84 – The stability of P84 filter media is a benefit to a wide variety of applications lime kilns, smelting, incinerators, coal fired boilers, and glass and ceramic industries. It can be utilized in operating conditions of a maximum 500 degrees Fahrenheit and offers a good resistance to mineral acids.
- PTFE/Teflon – Generally used for severe environments operating at high temperatures. Industries that use PTFE filter media range from cement, steel foundries, and energy.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass filter media has been a leading industry standard for air filtration and applications where high temperatures are prevalent.
- Aramid – Aramid, also known as Nomex©, is widely used in high-temperature applications because of its excellent resistance to abrasion and ability to perform at maximum continuous operating temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
How much do baghouse dust collector systems cost?
Baghouses are custom designed for each unique application and often require advanced engineering to integrate the baghouse system into the overall plant operation. As such, baghouse units typically start at $50,000 to $1 million or more.
To get the best value from your dust collector, it is important to size the system appropriately during the design phase. This will ensure the system captures dust efficiently while reducing energy consumption.
How do you remove dust collected by the baghouse system?
Knowing how to properly dispose of dust once it enters the baghouse system’s hopper is essential for preventing airflow blockages, fire hazards, and other issues. The most common dust removal strategies are:
- Enclosed box. Dust is funneled into an enclosed box under the hopper that is emptied once capacity is reached.
- Drum/bag. Dust is collected into a detachable drum or bag, allowing for convenient disposal.
- Rotary valve. Rotary valves allow materials to be manually or automatically moved from the collector to a disposal drum or bin.
- Screw conveyor. In large baghouse systems, screw conveyors remove dust by transporting it from the collector to a disposal area.
Most baghouse systems employ rotary valves or screw conveyers for automatic removal of dust.
Baghouses have automated cleaning options with control panels that can be programmed to clean the bags anytime the differential pressure reaches an upper threshold. This enables an ongoing cycle of cleaning that occurs automatically during dust collector operation.
Filters, filter media, and other baghouse components should also be inspected at regular intervals and replaced when necessary. Routine inspections are an essential part of preventing future problems and maintaining optimal efficiency.
How do you enter a baghouse dust collection system for further cleaning?
When entering the baghouse system for cleaning or maintenance, the following measures should be implemented to ensure employee safety:
- Secure the system by powering down and shutting off valves, blowers, compressed air, etc.
- Communicate the details of the operation to all employees
- Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Have additional crew available to assist if needed
- Thoroughly purge the system of combustible dust before performing any hot work (welding, grinding, etc.)
- Establish an emergency plan for escape/retrieval
Baghouse Dust Collector Systems from U.S. Air Filtration
Baghouse dust collection systems provide a versatile and efficient solution for capturing particles that are released into the air during industrial activities. At U.S. Air Filtration, we design and manufacture baghouse dust collection systems to accommodate a range of operating conditions and filtration needs. Our solutions are expertly designed and constructed to optimize your facility’s productivity while minimizing maintenance and energy costs.