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DustNot Syn Reduces Pellet Dust by 90%

As the world looks for cleaner, more eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to produce energy, the interest in using biomass as an alternative to coal and lignite has seen an increase.  While using biomass pellets, particularly torrefied pellets, provides many advantages, facilities using them still face the dust, spontaneous combustion, and other handling issues associated with conventional solid fossil fuels.

MinTech chemists have conducted extensive tests to see if using our DustNot Syn product is as effective at curing the biomass pellet ails as it is the coal.  Spoiler Alert: It is.

Before and After images of pellet dust at vibratory feeder

Biomass pellet dust at vibratory feeder – before and after treatment

Here are the four common issues faced by biomass pellets:

  1. The dried material is inherently dusty due to its organic powder/fiber composition
  2. Angularity and high coefficient of friction (sCoF) causes abrasive and erosive material flow
  3. Supply chain of biomass pellets has multiple transfers, each creating more and more dust
  4. Biomass pellets are extremely absorbent, gaining moisture from the air, rain, snow, etc.
    • Reduction in caloric heat value (btu)
    • Degradation of pellet strength (most biomass binders are water-soluble)
    • Increased weight increases shipping costs

Watch the video below for a look at how much dust was generated at one transfer point in our field study prior to the application of DustNot Syn.  Keep this in mind because you’ll see the results at the bottom of this post.

MinTech set out to address each of these issues, first in the lab and then in the field, using DustNot Syn.  DustNot Syn is a synthetic, petroleum-free, food-grade dust control agent, made with proprietary technology.  The benefits of the product are numerous:

  • Provides residual dust control for up to 180 days
  • Operating temperature from -40°C to +60°C (-40°F to +140°F)
  • Designed for water-sensitive materials like lignin, cellulose, wood, and fertilizer
  • Environmentally responsible
    • Petroleum-free, metal-free,
    • No VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
    • Non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-flammable
    • Odorless, colorless, food-grade, and allergen-free
    • No phosphates, chlorides, EDTA, APE, or NPE compounds
  • Non-leaching, and provides a clear, water-resistant coating to pellets
  • Non-filming, non-crusting, and never dries out
  • No ash or emission concerns at power stations – has been used to treat coal, limestone, pet coke, and other fuels
  • High BTU value of 140,000 Btu/gallon (142,425 kJ)
  • Provides lubricity to pellets, reducing friction, improving flow, and reducing degradation

Our preliminary lab tests showed that DustNot Syn reduced dust by 95%.

Photo of third-party preliminary lab test results.

Photo of third-party preliminary lab test results.

We then took the product to the field and tested six different application methods to determine the optimum process to achieve the highest, most consistent level of control.  The results are in:

  • DustNot Syn provides a 90% reduction in dust
    • Degree of control dependent upon treatment rate and application technique
  • DustNot Syn protects biomass pellets from moisture ingression
    • Untreated biomass pellets absorbed 5X more water than treated pellets
  • DustNot Syn’s performance improves with multiple transfers of pellets
  • DustNot Syn controls dust for at least 45 days

Now watch this video of just how much dust was abated by the use of DustNot Syn at transfer.  That’s what I call results!

To download the full study, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about how MinTech can help you with your biomass process, please contact us.

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