Critical Uses of Dust Collection Systems in Cement Manufacturing

The cement industry is one of the most vibrant and critical industry in the world.  As it is said, friendship is the cement that holds the world together. The industry supply building materials used in almost all type of constructions. To highlight its importance, no commercial, residential, airports, rail terminus and marine ports can exist without this product. Globally, the annual production in 2014 was 4180 million metric tons.  Primarily, the product is made in large manufacturing plants.

Despite its importance to the national and global economy, its manufacturing poses a significant risk to human health and safety as well as cause environmental pollution. These factories produce cement kiln dust (CKD).  During the manufacturing of clinker, this dirt is usually produced. It is usually comprised of ash, particulate from clinker, calcium carbonates, halides, volatile chemicals, alkalis, sulphates among other constituents.

Impacts on health and environment

The powder produced in these factories is dangerous to human health. It causes respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and coughing. It also results to cancer in the long run. The dust also causes serious environmental pollution such as air and water pollution. 

Issues with current collection methods

Current industries have many issues in controlling fine particulates emitted from the clinker. First and foremost, most of these systems are not able to recover all the dirt and remove particulate free air.

Another issue is that the chemical composition of this material corrodes the collectors and this affects their operation. The emission of sulphur results to increased acidity which corrodes metallic parts. Alkalis also attack the collectors reducing their life span and efficiency.
If these equipments are not well sized, dirt and moisture clog the equipment and this reduces their operation efficiency. Lack of controlled air flow also affects their performance.

Solutions to collection issues in cement industry

To circumvent these problems, the particulates must be captured and recycled back to the production process. First and foremost, it is imperative to select the best type of dust collection system to maximize the gathering process.

Before selecting and installing a dust collector, the plant must be examined to detail. The sizing of the waste removal equipment must be based on the size of the particulates, the properties of these wastes, temperature, flow rate of these particles and the moisture content.

When inertial separators are used, it must be ensured that the applied force is enough to collect most of the waste materials. These separators use centrifugal, inertial and gravity. For settling chamber type, the particulate must be provided with adequate space to settle and distil. For cyclone separators, the centrifugal force must provide enough energy to remove all wastes.

For wet scrubber systems, a large area must be provided to ensure that water and dust mix so as to effectively remove most of the particulates. In addition, other modern collectors such as electrostatic precipitators, fabric filters or a combination of different system can be used to ensure a safe and dust free environment in these industries.