While pneumatic conveying is a common method of transferring powders, granules, and other dry bulk materials, understanding this conveying technology can be a challenge. The upcoming weeks we are going to address pneumatic conveying questions which are frequently asked by dry bulk materials system operators/users.
Whether your ship, rig, plant, terminal or port currently uses pneumatic conveying or not, there are many questions asked about this transfer technology. We start with the first answer to the common question; what is a pneumatic conveying system?.
A pneumatic conveying system or bulk material handling system transfers powders, granules, and other dry bulk materials through an enclosed pipeline. The motive force for this transfer comes from a combination of pressure differential and the flow of a gas, such as air or nitrogen. (for simplicity, we’ll call the gas “air” in this article.) The system’s basic elements include a motive air source (also called an air compressor, air source, such as a fan or blower), a conveying line, a storage facility or tank (such as a pressure tank and atmospheric hoppers), a dust collection system (ultra-clean filter tanks, Cyclone Dust Collectors or other de-dust receivers and if necessary a feeder or similar material-introduction device to control the feeding process into the conveying line.
While some of the most common materials transferred by pneumatic conveying systems are flour, cement, sand, and plastic pellets, any of hundreds of chemicals, food products, and minerals can be pneumatically conveyed. These materials are usually fairly dry; materials in slurry or paste form typically aren’t suited to pneumatic conveying.
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