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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #295311

Title: Novel cyclone empirical pressure drop and emissions with heterogeneous particulate

item Funk, Paul
item Holt, Gregory
item Whitelock, Derek

Submitted to: Journal of Aerosol Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/4/2014
Publication Date: 5/7/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Funk, P.A., Holt, G.A., Whitelock, D.P. 2014. Novel cyclone empirical pressure drop and emissions with heterogeneous particulate. Journal of Aerosol Science. 74:26-35.

Interpretive Summary: Cyclones are the abatement device of choice to control particulate emissions from agricultural processing facilities. Reducing the pressure drop of cyclones reduces the electrical energy required to operate them. Since electricity generation results in particulate and other emissions, this reduction is potentially favorable to the environment and the health of the public as well as to the rural economy. Published computer simulations suggested a particular novel cyclone design would have lower pressure drop for a given air volume. The novel design was built and tested at the USDA-ARS-Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory in Mesilla Park, New Mexico. Emissions captured on filters were analyzed at the USDA-ARS-Cotton Production and Processing Research unit in Lubbock, TX. The results were promising – reduced energy consumption and very little change in particle emissions. For regulatory acceptance, results must be duplicated at full scale.

Technical Abstract: New cyclone designs equally effective at controlling emissions that have smaller pressure losses would reduce both the financial and the environmental cost of procuring electricity. Tests were conducted with novel and industry standard 30.5 cm diameter cyclones at inlet velocities from 8 to 18 m s-1 using cotton gin trash as a test material at loadings from 3 to 75 g m-3. Cyclone exhaust was passed through filters. Laser diffraction particle size distribution analysis was used to estimate PM10 and PM2.5 emissions. Response surface models were used to compare the PM10 and PM2.5 emissions and cyclone pressure losses of the two designs. Emissions data variability was substantial; PM10 emissions appeared to be higher for the experimental cyclone, but PM2.5 emissions did not. Pressure losses were clearly less with the experimental cyclone; 89% of the standard with equal inlet velocities and 62% of the standard with equal diameter and volumetric flow rate. This substantial potential savings in energy justifies additional research. Highlights Laboratory tests of a new cyclone design discovered through mathematical and numerical simulations confirmed a negligible increase in PM2.5 emissions and a significant potential for energy savings.