CCS Cloud Chamber System,
or Fabric Filters / Baghouses?
Considerations and Comparisons
Method of Operation
Fabric filters – baghouses – remove particles by simple filtration. High efficiencies can
sometimes be obtained with special fabrics. The basic technology of fabric filters has been in
use for several hundred years.
CCS technology is an entirely new approach to fine particle collection. It works by passing
the dirty gas stream through a chamber that contains a “scrubbing cloud” of high-density,
charged water droplets.
Inside the Cloud Chamber Scrubber (CCS), billions of charged droplets rapidly interact with the
particle-bearing process stream. When a particle and a droplet pass within 20 microns,
electrical forces cause mutual attraction and the particle (being less massive by orders of
magnitude) is pulled into the droplet. Each individual water droplet becomes a particle collector.
The droplets collect particles as they interact with the gas stream, then collect into a sump at the
bottom of the system. Captured particles agglomerate within the sump, and are removed as
a low volume slurry. WATCH: Cloud Chamber Scrubber animation
Fabric Filters – baghouses – in general cannot remove gases or condensables.
Heavy bag caking can be associated with low efficiency gas removal, but even this low
efficiency is always associated with a significant pressure drop penalty. In many cases,
an additional scrubber is placed in tandem with the baghouse – yet another capital
equipment cost, plus a significant operating and maintenance cost. This also makes
process control and waste disposal more complicated.
The inability to remove condensable particulate is often a serious limitation for a baghouse
in today’s regulatory environment.
In contrast, CCS is effective against all particulate, from submicron through coarse particles,
as well as a broad range of industrial gases, including HCl, HF, H2SO4, HNO3, S02, Cl2, H2S,
and NH3 and all other soluble gases. Condensable hydrocarbons, combustion byproducts, diesel
emissions and many other pollutants are also collected very efficiently using CCS technology.
Fan Energy Use
Fabric Filters – Baghouses – use high levels of static pressure to force the polluted
airstream through a filter, generally in the range of 8 to 10” w.g for more difficult applications.
In the end, effectiveness depends on the characteristics of the particulate, its particulate
packing and caking properties, and particle size distribution. A baghouse may appear to be a
simple device but the properties of fine particles less than 1 micron often create complications.
CCS uses new discoveries and patented innovations in electrofluidics to charge droplets and
capture particles. Packing and caking are not issues applicable to CCS operation. CCS system
pressure drop is less than 1.5” w.g. This is not the final consideration however, as far as fan energy.
Because the air flow is taken to saturation in the first stage of the CCS, the total air flow volume is less
than would be entering a baghouse or fabric filter system, further reducing fan-related energy loss.
Conversely, there is internal water recirculation in a CCS system that requires pump energy,
something not found in baghouse systems. In the CCS, this energy is primarily related to gas
removal and in “growing” ultrafine particles (less than 0.1 micron) to a size that facilitates capture.
This is a wet system advantage that cannot be put to use with baghouses. Therefore, an accurate
comparison of systems that use fabric filters vs. CCS total system energy usage requires
knowledge of the specific design objectives for a given application.
Maintenance and Safety
Fabric Filters – Baghouses – must be protected from blinding during operation.
The coating layer of cake must be maintained within limits and a way to remove excess provided.
Sticky and wet particulate are difficult challenges for baghouses because they can blind the fabric,
destroying its effectiveness and necessitating costly fabric replacement.
Hydroscopic particulate and substances that tend to agglomerate on fabric materials are a problem.
Chlorine and acid content, as well as sulfur, pose special design problems. In the best case, there
are periodic bag replacement costs. For some processes there is also a fire hazard. Baghouse
fires are a common feature of industrial “horror stories.” In contrast, CCS can accept gas flows at
CCS does not use high-maintenance components such as fabric filters. Sticky and wet or
acidic particulate does not present difficulties for CCS technology, since the water droplets
inside the CCS are the collectors. Maintenance of a CCS system is simpler and less expensive.
Baghouses are notorious for high maintenance. Often the cost of lost production for regular
servicing of the baghouse, plus frustrating unscheduled downtime, more than justifies the capital
cost of more advanced CCS technology.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the CCS for your application,
Tri-Mer conducts an active Pilot Plant Program.
Have a potential application for fabric filters?
Tell Us About It . . .
We Can Help You with Some Guidelines.
For more information contact:
Kevin Moss (801) 294-5422
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Phone: (989) 723-7838
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