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Electrostatic Charge Generation in Pneumatic Conveying Process: Effect of Particle Properties

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: One of the main concerns in particle pneumatic conveying process is the possibility of hazards for operation safety due to the electrostatic charge generation as a result of collisions between particles and the equipment wall. Indeed, the electrostatic discharge can occur in the equipment leading to fire or explosion. Simulation of these kinds of processes plays an important role in understanding the various aspects of the system in order to production loss prevention. This paper deals with the simulation of particle pneumatic conveying process inside an inclined tube using a particular method. In this method, the electrification of particles inside the tube is influenced by the vertical collision velocity against the tube wall. Simulation of the particle movements inside the tube, generation of electrostatic charges over the particle surfaces as well as the possibility of fire as a result of discharging the electrostatic energy are investigated. The possibility of fire is investigated by comparing the amount of electrostatic energy with minimum ignition energy (MIE) of the particles. The effect of particle properties including the size and mechanical ones in the simulation is studied. Finally, several solutions are proposed to manage the risk of fire and explosion. As results, the electrostatic energy (E) is beyond the MIE, and the electrostatic discharge can occur leading to explosion for the diameters more than 2 mm and also for elasticity constants lower than 140 MPa. Eventually, there is no hazard of fire and explosion, since all calculated electrostatic energy for the change of Particle Poisson’s ratio varying from 0.1 to 0.9 is less than the MIE value for the air flow rate of 10 m3 h.

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