One of the main challenges in industries handling biomass is the consequence of the particle breakage of pelletised biomass in smaller fractions which can lead to fine particles smaller 500 ¿m that can form dust clouds in the handling and storing equipment. These dust clouds present potential health and safety hazards as well as dust explosion hazards to plant operators because the airborne dust can occur in high concentrations close to the dust explosion limits of the biomass material, during the filling process of storage silos. Preventing dust explosions and the damage of plant infrastructures requires a profound understanding of the particle/air dynamics in the dust cloud circulating in the storage silo. The limited access to the storage facilities as well as the silo size requires a detailed study of the particle/air dynamics at different scales. Lab scale experiments were conducted as a first step to establishing a new optical method for measuring particle concentrations. A small scale experimental rig was fed centrally with different sized wood pellets and a single camera and a laser was utilised to capture the dust concentration in different areas of the silo. According to the experimental results, a higher mass concentration of dust was observed near the silo wall as well as near the main particle jet. However, the mass concentrations were below the explosive limits at the area in between main particle jet and silo wall. These experimental results were then feeding into a 2D CFD simulation representing the particle dynamics in the laser sheet (2D plane). Qualitative findings show a good agreement of the particle/air dynamics between experiments and simulations.
Available for download on Wednesday, November 22, 2017