Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2013
Publication Date: 7/24/2013
Citation: Funk, P.A., Holt, G.A., Whitelock, D.P. 2013. Cyclone energy: impact of inlet velocity and outlet evase designs. ASABE Annual International Meeting. July 21-24, 2013,Kansas City, MO. Paper no. 131594897.
Interpretive Summary: Emissions regulations are becoming increasingly stringent as jurisdictions strive to improve ambient air quality to protect public health. Cotton gins rely on cyclones to economically separate and contain particles from exhaust air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in 1987, 1997, 2006 and 2012; states are required to draft State Implementation Plans by 2013 detailing measures to reduce regional fine particulate (PM2.5) levels by curtailing anthropogenic emissions. The operation of every gin in the U.S. is contingent upon satisfying air emissions permit requirements which vary from state to state. Dust cyclones reduce particulate emissions but their operation consumes electrical energy. Reducing the electrical energy consumed by abatement devices reduces emissions at power plants. Cyclones of a design typical to the cotton ginning industry were operated with outlet diffusers, over a range of inlet velocities. While some outlet diffuser designs reduced energy requirements slightly, greater savings could be realized by lowering inlet velocity. Particle size distribution analysis by laser diffraction was used to determine PM10 and PM2.5 emissions. Prior published research on total suspended particulate indicated little change in emissions over a range of inlet velocities. Preliminary results with fine particulate emissions are in agreement. Considering impact to the whole airshed, slight reductions in inlet velocity appear to have the potential to make the greatest contribution to better air quality. Increasing regulatory flexibility may contribute to a cleaner environment and a healthier public by reducing emissions at the power plant as well as at rural post-harvest processing facilities.
Technical Abstract: Because electricity generation produces emissions, reducing cyclone pressure drop has the potential to benefit the environment. Enhanced 1D3D cyclones common in the cotton ginning industry were tested with various évasés, over a range of inlet velocities. With évasés it was possible to reduce the cyclone portion of energy consumption by 5%. It was possible to reduce the cyclone portion of energy consumption by 50% by reducing inlet velocity 28%. Particle size distribution analysis of cyclone emissions showed little change in PM10 and PM2.5 over this range of inlet velocities. If emissions at power generating facilities were balanced against emissions at rural agricultural processing facilities, then it is probable that increasing regulatory flexibility would benefit the environment more than more stringent regulations.