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Managing dust in wood pellet plants

February 19, 2021

When it comes to pellet plant operations, safety always needs to be top of mind. And when it comes to safety in a pellet plant, nothing is more important than dust management. It’s always one of the most pressing topics for biomass producers around the world, and for good reason. The wood dust generated in the production of wood pellets has the potential to lead to fires and explosions that can cause damage and destroy equipment, severely disrupt operations and may indeed be fatal. Excessive dust can also lead to an unhealthy work environment. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to absolutely minimize dust exposure. Here are a few ways that UniTrak’s TipTrak can assist maintenance staff with dust containment and management.

Gentle handling

Every producer wants gentle handing when it comes to the production of wood pellets. After all, broken pellets alter the rate of how they burn and can lead to frustrated consumers. However, that’s not the only issue. Those broken wood pellets also lead to increased wood dust build-up inside production facilities, increasing the potential for fires and explosions.

Fortunately, the TipTrak from UniTrak offers wood pellet producers a simple solution for helping keep dust build-up at a minimum. The bucket elevator’s interlocking bucket design runs horizontally and vertically without any transfer points; ensuring there is no spillage from the infeed to the discharge area. The buckets also offer a gentle cascading affect at the discharge area, reducing the possibility of wood pellets being broken, generating excess wood dust.

Enclosed design options

Managing dust in a wood pellet plant can be extremely time consuming, depending on the type of equipment being used in the production process.

For wood pellet applications, an enclosed TipTrak is the best choice. An enclosed TipTrak will contain the dust, and therefore the  P.E.C. and Monocoque designs offer producers options in terms of the degree of dust management (or containment) required.

Construction can be from carbon steel or stainless steel.

P.E.C. construction

P.E.C. construction TipTraks feature a dust containment system and offer producers:

  • Fast delivery
  • Operator protection
  • They can be customized with options to fit your application requirements, including dust connection connections (to feed “in-house” dust collection system), covered infeed hoppers, speed switches and discharge assist devices
  • Bolted access covers are provided.

Monocoque construction

If you’re dealing with an extremely dusty environment, then the monocoque design may be better for your application. Monocoque TipTraks offer producers:

  • Heavier gauge sheet metal construction
  • A smooth, clean interior
  • Free of obstructions that can catch and hold products
  • Quick access doors for cleaning and regular maintenance checks
  • Gasketing around access doors and between sections to eliminate fugitive dust

Ease of maintenance

Sawdust can be quite abrasive, depending on the species and level of silica in them. This abrasive material can place significant strain on production equipment, leading to increased downtime and early replacements being required. The TipTrak is designed with few moving parts, which increases reliability and reduces the number of potential “pain points” for maintenance staff.

Whether you’re looking for a simple, off-the-shelf conveyor or a fully customized solution, UniTrak experts are here to help. Click here to get in touch with our dedicated team to learn more.

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