Grain dust dangers and scrubbing solutions

Grain dust is not a harmonious collection of particles; in fact, it included different types and sizes of particles. The dust components vary depending on the type of grain that is being handled, however, grain dust typically consists of grain particles, soil particles including silica, plant material, fungi, bacteria, fertilizer and agricultural chemical residues, insect waste, small rodents, and birds, endotoxins. There are multiple conditions that have an effect on the composition of grain dust; for example, grain storage conditions, grain growing conditions, harvesting method, storage methods, etc. Grains that have been exposed to excessive amounts of water may contain elevated amounts of dust and bacteria due to the rotting processes.

The presence of grain dust in grain handling facilities poses significant risks to the health of workers and presents a threat of an explosion. The levels of grain dust must be observed and controlled, and the amount of dust needs to be lowered with the use of wet air scrubbers.

Inhaled grain dust causes mild throat irritation in most cases, however, prolonged exposure to grain dust which often happens at grain handling facilities and storage facilities can cause bigger health problems, like severe allergic reactions to endotoxins and other grain dust components, fever, muscle aches, headaches, etc. People exposed to grain dust remain sick hours after, some may experience side effects for days after the exposure. Some individuals are affected by Farmer’s Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, which is a delayed allergic reaction caused when sensitive people inhale dust causing their bodies to produce antibodies. Another type of a reaction to grain dust present in the air is Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome. In view of the aforementioned reasons, grain dust control methods are an essential part of any grain handling facilities. Wet air scrubbers are among the most effective ways to reduce the amount of grain dust in the air and dispose of it properly.

Dry dust collectors are often used instead of wet air scrubbers due to the initials costs being closer. However, dry dust collectors are less than ideas as they create a perfect environment for an explosion – enclosed space, high dust concentrations, oxygen. Moreover, dry dust collectors are easily clogged and are hard to clean. High concentrations of dust often clog them and cause breakdowns. Wet air scrubbers perform much better in comparison as they significantly reduce the risk of a spontaneous combustion. Most wet air scrubbers, however, clog with a dough-like substance that occurs after grain dust comes in contact with water.

To solve this issue, Optromix proposes Multi-vortex wet air scrubber – a new type of wet air scrubber that is able to collect the grain dust efficiently without getting clogged. Multi-vortex wet air scrubber produces the cleaning mist differently from other scrubber systems, which results in running costs that are much lower than for a common wet air scrubber. Polluted gas passes through the dispersing grille upwards to produce a spatial field of multiple gas microturbulence vortices. Cleaning liquid falls free over this gas field. Microturbulence disperses liquid to the “fluidized bed” which forms a highly effective cleaning mist.
If you are interested in Multi-vortex wet air scrubber, please contact us at

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