A baghouse is an air pollution control device that uses long cylindrical felt tubes as a filler medium. The polluted air enters the baghouse through hoppers; inside the scrubber the gases move through fabric tubes that collect dust and particulate matter on their surface. Once a layer of dust has built up on the tubes and the air can no longer pass through, the cleaning process begins.
The dust and particulate matter collection happens through the following mechanisms: inertial collection, interception, Brownian movement, electrostatic forces. These mechanisms result in a dust cake on a surface of a filter.
Baghouse air scrubbers differ in the cleaning method implemented. In a mechanical-shaker baghouse, the fabric tubes are fastened onto a horizontal plate at the bottom of the baghouse scrubber. The cleaning of the filter is done through shaking the plate from which the tubes are suspended.
Reverse-air baghouse air scrubbers clean the filters by injecting clean air in a reverse direction. The cleaning happens after the filtering process is stopped and the polluted air has already been scrubbed.
In reverse-jet baghouses the dust cakes are broken and removed by a burst of compressed air injected over the fabric bags. In order to reinforce the bags and protect them from breaking during cleaning, metal cages are placed into the air scrubber.
Despite being highly effective at particulate matter collection, the baghouse air scrubber is not devoid of drawbacks. The main drawback of the baghouse is a need to replace the fabric bags frequently to ensure effective air scrubbing and prolong the baghouse lifetime. Different types of baghouse scrubbers have their own disadvantages. For example, mechanical-shaker baghouse is not suitable for high temperatures and require a frequent replacement of bags. Reverse-air baghouse scrubbers require additional cleaning since the flow of reverse air creates a gentle cleaning action; residual dust buildup has no effective way of cleaning. Reverse-jet baghouse air scrubbers can not be used in high temperatures and in humid environments.
Some of these concerns and problems may be alleviated by using specialized fabrics for filter tubes, etc. However, some of these problems are innate to the baghouse air scrubbers and cannot be avoided.
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