For power plants handling millions of tons of coal a year, minimizing coal dust as a high priority. A wide range of technologies is used to manage, control and prevent coal dust in and around coal-fired power plants. Coal-fired plants are turning to high-tech dust suppression systems to control fine airborne coal particles known as fugitive coal dust. From high-powered fans that emit a fine mist of water over large areas to programs that use a combination of antioxidants, binders, and foaming agents, the technologies vary in scale and cost.
Airborne coal dust is a byproduct of coal production, and it presents a danger of spontaneous explosion and a respirable dust health hazard. Coal dust consists of small particles, smaller than 75 µm in size, and can easily deposit throughout mine entries and propagate explosions that had been initially fueled by methane gas. As the coal dust present in the air poses multiple threats and is disruptive to the working process, multiple ways of controlling and reducing coal dust presence have been developed, one of which is coal dust wet air scrubbing. The most effective way to reduce the risks that come with coal dust present in the air is to significantly reduce the hazard by removing float coal dust from the airstream before it has the opportunity to deposit on the mine’s surfaces.
There have been multiple disasters at coal mine facilities that have been caused by float coal dust. Explosions that happen at underground coal mines often cause death or significant injuries of the personnel, partial destruction of the facility and damage to the equipment. Due to this, government regulations have been put in place, and government-funded research programs have been implemented to investigate methods and technologies to reduce the potential for secondary coal dust explosions by the purposeful capture and/or suppression of float coal dust prior to its deposition on the mine roof, rib, and floor. One of the most promising technologies for coal dust control and capture is coal dust wet air scrubbing. The reduction of longwall and belt airway float coal dust is the main aim of these projects and programs.
Among the wet air scrubbers that have been tested in underground coal mining operations, flooded-bed scrubbers are considered to be the best among other wet air scrubber types. Flooded-bed scrubbers have been shown to be effective at reducing coal dust by as much as 91 percent.
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.