Air Quality Control in Asphalt Manufacturing Process

Nowadays asphalt is typically processed from petroleum: oil wells supply petroleum to oil refineries, where it is separated into various factions, one of which is asphalt. Them asphalt may be modified in a variety of ways. Asphalt for paving goes through a mixing process in either a drum mix plant, where is a large-output and continuously operating a facility, or a batch plant, which is a smaller-output plant that mixes in batches.

Concrete is an extremely important part of the infrastructure of modern life and its production is a growing sector of industrial production. Asphalt concrete is used in many different applications, most commonly in the construction of highways and roads. A variety of mixtures can be used to manufacture asphalt concrete, some of which include hot mix, cold mix, cut-back, mastic. The main components of asphalt concrete are sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, rock dust, powder or asphalt binder. The production process of asphalt concrete include heating and drying the aggregate, heating of the binder, heating of the mixture and its application, which results in a lot of dust, as the aggregate is often composed of natural rock, fly ash, bottom ash, steel slag, crumb rubber, etc. The components used in asphalt concrete production often turn into dust during the mixing part of the manufacturing process.

The respirable dust produced during concrete contains large amounts of respirable quartz dust as crystalline silica in the form of quartz is a major component of concrete. Workers at concrete production facilities are exposed to a silicosis hazard which is a fatal lung disease that is caused by breathing in small particles of crystalline silica. Moreover, the dust produced by the process may disrupt the manufacturing process, cause premature equipment aging and failure, etc.

Dust and pollution control at asphalt concrete production facilities is essential to prevent dangerous conditions that are detrimental to worker’s health and premature equipment failure. Dry dust collectors are the most common way of dust removal of concrete plants; however, this method has significant drawbacks. One of the most significant ones is their inability to operate at high temperatures that often occur during asphalt production. Dry dust collectors can be easily clogged by moisture present in a gas stream. Wet air scrubbers can operate in all these conditions without being clogged or losing the effectiveness of air scrubbing.

Wet air scrubbers are often not at the forefront of the engineers’ list of equipment for emission control due to the reluctance to change from the well-known dust collection methods. However, the upgrade will result in significant improvement of dust control, higher treatment quality, and improved operational costs.

Being a new type of wet air scrubber, multi-vortex wet air scrubber provides improved air treatment quality and can be used for both particles matter and gas collection. The treatment quality of multi-vortex wet air scrubber is generally 99.95-99.99% for both types of pollutants. Besides high efficiency, multi-vortex wet air scrubber possesses a number of advantages over conventional wet scrubbers – multi-vortex wet air scrubber is compact, omnivorous, eco-friendly, economical, and low-maintenance.

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