The influence of moisture content on dust generation in falling curtains of sugarcane bagasse fiber

Sheehan, M., Antunes, E., Seligmann, B., and Weight, C. (2022) The influence of moisture content on dust generation in falling curtains of sugarcane bagasse fiber. Powder Technology, 397. 117001.

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Bagasse fiber, typically containing 50% moisture, is burned to generate electricity and steam. Pre-combustion drying of fiber increases boiler energy efficiency and steam production, and has been demonstrated to reduce environmental impacts. However, uncertainty surrounding dust explosions are limiting its uptake and bagasse dust has potentially harmful health impacts. Here we propose new methods to assist in assessing dust liberation in bagasse fiber drying. Quantification of liberated combustible dust from bagasse fiber across a typical range of post-drying moisture contents (30 to 45 wt%) was undertaken. Laser diffraction and sieving techniques were used to characterise bagasse fiber and dust particle size distributions, as well as quantify the mass fraction of dust liberated during cascading drying operations. Moisture content was found to significantly influence the liberation of combustible dust, defined as particles in the sub-425 μm range. Drying from 45 to 30% moisture led to a 260% increase in liberated dust particles. Image analysis of dust clouds in falling fiber curtains were used to qualitatively assess and confirm the observations from the dust liberation sieving method. Scanning electron microscope imaging and dust particle specific surface area analysis provide further valuable insights into bagasse material properties that contribute to increased risk during drying.

Item ID: 74224
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-328X
Keywords: Dust, Particle curtain, Image analysis, Bagasse pith, Particle size, Sugar cane fiber
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 07:31
FoR Codes: 40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400406 Powder and particle technology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 17 ENERGY > 1708 Renewable energy > 170801 Biofuel energy @ 80%
26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2606 Industrial crops > 260607 Sugar @ 20%
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