Pilot and Industrial-Scale Experimental Investigation of Numerically Optimized Cyclones

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A new geometry of reverse-flow gas cyclones obtained by numerical optimization was shown at the laboratory scale to be significantly more efficient than other high-efficiency designs. However, it is usually recognized that experimental results obtained with laboratory-scale or sampling cyclones cannot be extrapolated to pilot or industrial scales. The present paper confirms, at these larger scales, the significantly larger collection efficiencies obtained with the numerically optimized design compared to a competing high-efficiency design available on the marketplace for the capture of fine sulfanilic acid (median volume diameter of 17 µm) at a Portuguese chemical manufacturer. A partial recirculation system within a collector-first arrangement further reduces emissions without an appreciable increase in pressure drop. The experimentally verified efficiencies at the industrial scale varied between 99.58 and 99.64 % for sulfanilic acid with pressure drops around 2.5 kPa. The numerically optimized cyclones, when coupled with a partial recirculation system, extend the applicability of these simple devices to the fine particle collection that is typical of more expensive devices, such as venturis and online pulse jet bag filters.

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