Dust collection systems are often overlooked when it comes to plant improvements due to the often high capital costs involved. We here at Baghouse.com have prepared this small list of improvements that can be made to your dust collection system with minimal investment. 

October 26th 2011 | Baghouse.com – Corporate executives are looking for any conceivable way to lower operating costs in our struggling economy, plant operators are being pushed by the corporate brass to find someway of doing more with less, and maintenance managers are trying to make sure all of these cutbacks do not compromise process operation. One area that many industrial plants can easily increase efficiency, and therefore lower operating costs is to look to their pulse jet baghouse dust collection systems.

Here are three small tweaks for your pulse jet dust collection system to increase operating efficiency without a major overhaul or great expense.

1. Ensure Filter Bags Are Installed Correctly
2. Install a Clean-On-Demand System
3. Integrate All System Controls (Clean-on-Demand, timer boards, manometers, etc.)

1. Correctly Install Filter Bags

Filter Bags are the heart and soul of a baghouse. If they are not installed correctly the entire system will suffer, efficiency will go down, filters will fail prematurely, system downtime will ensue and affect the entire process. Check that filters with flanges and cuff are folded over and smooth and not wrinkled around the cage to prevent leakage, and premature failure due to bag abrasion. Bottom-loading filters should be installed with seams 180° from the cage collar gap.

Snapband for dust collection systems

An example of how a snapband filter bag should be installed to maximize your dust collection system efficiency.

Additionally, there are several specific issues to watch out for depending on the exact design of filter bags being used. For snapband construction, check that the seams are set properly in the tubesheet. This can be done running your fingers along the edge of each bag during installation/maintenance checking that each one is smooth, with no wrinkles, gaps, or binds in the snapband. For designs with gaskets or rubber o-rings make sure these are not pinched by the clamps in a way that will allow leaks, or cause accelerated wear.

Additionally, with all bag types, all seams should be at a 45° angle from the aisle to minimize fraying due to increased can velocity, all clamps should be set 90° from the seams, and all filters need to be set properly in the cage groves.*

*Additional Tip: Have everything as uniform (clamps, seams, etc. all set in the same direction) as possible to make it easier to diagnose and remedy problems.

2. Clean-On-Demand System

Manually having a technician initiate the cleaning cycle for your dust collection systems can consume a large amount of time, and lead to less than desirable results such as over/under cleaning, operating at higher differential pressure (raising system resistance, and fan load), and lower collection efficiency. Simplify the process and remove the need to be a industrial filtration expert out of the equation by installing a clean-on-demand system.

Dust Collection Systems Timer Boards

Using a clean-on-demand timer board for your baghouse will simplify the cleaning process, and result in more effective cleaning of your dust collection system.

These systems are comprised of a differential pressure gauge, and a control board. The DP gauge monitors the difference in pressure between the clean-air and dirty-air sections of the baghouse (thus giving you the pressure drop over the filters at any given time). DP gauge is connected to the control board, which has a high and low pressure setting which serve as the start and stop markers for the system. When the DP in the baghouse rises past your high setting (indicating the bags need to be cleaned), the controller starts the pulse-jet cleaning cycle, once the pressure reaches the preset low, the pulse-jet system is disengaged.

For a relatively small capital investment clean-on-demand systems can dramatically improve your system efficiency by ensuring the minimum amount of cleaning cycles necessary are initiated, which in turn leads to lower compressed air usage, lower operating differential pressures, and less filter wear. These benefits will lower system operating maintenance costs, while seeing improvement in collection efficiency, and extended filter bag life.

3. Integrate Dust Collection System Controls

Maintaining the correct amount of dustcake on your filters is essential to achieve the maximum collection potential of your filter bags. In fact it is the dustcake itself that does the filtering in a baghouse, not the filter bags! * When the pulse-jet cleaning system engages, it removes the excess dust from the filter surface. Essentially what this does is rearrange the dustcake on the filters, removing a portion of it, and leaving behind the minimum amount needed to reform the dustcake for optimum efficiency. When cleaning cycles are carried out, if each row is pulsed one after another in sequential order, high internal air velocities between the filters (can velocity) can cause the recently dislodged dust to be redeposited on the recently cleaned bags in the previous rows. Since the dust is carried at higher than normal velocities, it can penetrate the fabric (instead of settling on top and forming part of the dustcake) and embed itself therein. This will eventually lead to filter blinding, and a reduction of filter service life.

Installing a sequential controller can help you avoid this problem. This device controls the order in which the bags are cleaned, staggering the cleaning pulse pattern between non-adjacent rows. For example, in a baghouse with 10 rows of bags, you can set the cleaning pattern to first clean rows 1,4,7,10 then 2,5,8, and finally, 3,6,9. You can also set the controller to only fire when the pressure in the compressed air header is at full, providing a consistent pulse force that will properly clean the bags every time. Additionally, to further promote longer filter life, see that each pulse duration is set as short as possible, generally around 0.1 sec.

If you do not currently have a DP clean-on-demand system, an alternative is to use a timer control to regulate system cleaning. When using a timer board setup, it is vital to set the intervals to match your system parameters, ensuring that the filters are neither over, or under cleaned. Maintaining a sufficient level of dustcake is vital to achieving a high system efficiency.

Finally, it is possible to integrate all of these different systems into one unified control panel for operator convenience. You can have all of your controllers relayed to a central LED controller, which then is connected to an external PLC controller or computer for remote monitoring, and recording of all system activity. From here it is then possible to configure all control parameters e.g. timer settings, clean-on-demand DP points, pulse-jet firing order, etc. Additionally, having all operating data in one convenient location will allow for quickly pinpointing problems before they become major issues.

*This does not apply to filter bags with membrane such as ePTFE. In that case, the membrane itself acts as a sort of permeant filter cake while surface dust provides no additional filtering.

Save Money By Increasing Dust Collection System Efficiency

These three tips are just a few of the many ways to increase the operating efficiency of your baghouse dust collection systems with only limited investment of time, material, and capital. Without a doubt, these improvements will pay for themselves many times over throughout the life of the system. At a time when new environmental regulations are requiring pollution control equipment to function at higher and higher efficiencies, not only will turing your attention to improving your dust collection systems lower your operating expenses, but it will also ensure that facilities stay in compliance and avoid costly fines and forced closures.


About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

October 17, 2011, Baghouse.com News – A California recycling company has been accessed millions in fines by the EPA for failing to install and maintain baghouses at several of its plants. SA Recycling LLC was primarily fined for failure to repair/reinstall a baghouse dust collector at its Terminal Island, California, plant after a dust explosion there destroyed the original collector in 2007. The company continued to operate the facility, which includes industrial smelters used to recycle metals such as steel, aluminum, and lead from junkyard cars,  without a baghouse after the 2007 explosion.

Upon further investigation, the EPA ordered the company to install additional baghouses and other air pollution controls at several of its locations throughout California. All together the settlement will cost the company over $3 million, $2.9 million to upgrade the various facilities, and over $690,000 for fines and other costs.

For more information, see the article here: http://eponline.com/Blogs/Environmental-Protection-Blog/2011/10/Air-Pollution-Control-Technology-or-EPA-Fines-You-Decide.aspx



About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

Performing any kind of work on a baghouse can be hazardous work. Often set in industrial locations, dealing with baghouse systems can present a number of dangers to personnel. Thankfully, these maintenance tasks can be accomplished safety if proper safety precautions are followed.

A new article authored by Baghouse.com that has been published on a leading environmental and safety magazine EHSToday.com that offers 5 often overlooked baghouse safety proceedures for performing any type of work on dust collection systems. You can read the article here: 5 Essential Baghouse Maintenance Safety Precautions I encourage all of our readers to take a moment and read this article and consider how well are you doing regarding baghouse safety.

Direct URL: http://ehstoday.com/industrial_hygiene/news/baghouse-safety-precautions/


About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

At a time when most power plants are worried about meeting new EPA regulations, one Colorado coal-fired power plant that boasts about being top ten lowest emissions in the nation due to modern dust collection systems (or baghouse) looks to improve even more; claims other plants give coal a bad name.

Baghouse.com – September 31st, 2011, Forth Colins, Colorado – Rawhide Energy Station located 26 miles north of Fort Collins, CO is held in high esteem as an example of what a 21st century coal-fired power plants should be. The plant that is owned by four local municipalities through the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA), currently ranks in the top ten in the country for lowest emissions despite being a 280 megawatt facility.

What has led enabled Rawhide Energy Station to stand out among its fellow coal-fired plants by maintaining such high environmental standards, while still proving to be a profitable enterprise? Plant staff believe its the dedication they take to environmental responsibility that is echoed throughout the entire operation.

“The whole coal industry gets a bad name when there’s a big difference between a facility like this and a facility that doesn’t even spray or have a bag house,” stated plant manager Jason Frisbie. “These are existing technologies that would make all these plants much cleaner than they are right now. Proven.” The plant staff count a history of always investing in new technologies to attain even lower emissions than required by current regulations.

Rawhide Energy Station’s Extensive Pollution Control Systems

Rawhide Energy Station currently averages SO2 emissions of .081 pounds per million BTUs (British Thermal Units), about one tenth of the average of .765 PPM. The plant currently operates several pollution control systems concurrently too handle the various pollutates generated by the coal combustion process. The most extensive of these is the boiler itself which, is a Combustion Engineering (now Alstom Power) tangentially fired (T-fired) boiler equipped with a new low-NOx burner system in fall of 2005. For additional NOx collection, the plant operates a dry spray absorber. For SO collection the plant uses a Joy Niro dry scrubber system, and an activated carbon injection system for mercury (Hg) control. Two bag houses with approximately 6,500 PTFE membrane 34 foot filter bags are used to achieve particulate matter (PM2.5) collection efficiencies. The bag house collectors also assist in the collection of excess dry scrubbing product from the scrubbers, and are integral in the operation of the activated carbon injection system used for mercury (Hg) collection.

The plant uses a lot of coal – about 1.25 million tons a year -brought in by rail from Wyoming.They also maintain a 60 day reserve in case supply is ever interrupted. The main type of coal used to operate the plant’s main boiler is Powder River Basin (PRB) coal, a sub-bituminous type of coal that is mined from large deposits in Wyoming and Montana. This type of coal, while producing less BTUs per ton than other types, is highly valued due its substantially low sulfur content, which aids in keeping SO2 emissions low.

However, there is a trade off with using low sulfur coal. Sub-bituminous coal leads to increased difficulty in collecting mercury emissions, which recently have become regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The  PRPA has taken steps to reach compliance with these new regulations even before they come into effect, by installing a activated carbon injection system for mercury control. The system works by injecting activated carbon, which absorbs the hard to collect  elemental forms of mercury (Whereas bituminous coal creates mainly oxidized forms that are easier to collect). The mercury-ladden carbon is then collected in the bag house on the surface of the ePTFE (Teflon) membrane filter bags, which in turn when cleaned allows for the collection and disposal of the mercury along with other collected particles such as fly-ash. This technology represents the newest environmental focus of the industry with the new EPA regulations coming into effect in the near future. However as we can see, the Rawhide Energy Station already prepared well in advance for the coming regulations, in line with the plants self-motivated philosophy of striving to operate more environmentally-friendly.

WIth all of these APC (air pollution control) technology, surely, the plant must suffer from extensive downtime for system install and additional maintenance. However is that the case?

“We Focus on Preventive…and Predicted Maintenance “

By placing a high value on preventive maintenance, the plant has been able to achieve a relatively high average capacity factor (how much the plant puts out compared its full potential). The plant currently have a lifetime equivalent availability factor of around 98%with its capacity factor about 88.8%. “A lot of plants manage about 70 percent,” say Doug Adair maintenance manager for the plant. This has not come about without a lot of forethought and planning. The plant usually plans for a full-scale shut down ever three to five years. This enables the plant to prevent small problems (such as replacing filters in the bag house) from becoming larger ones (damage to plant systems from higher emissions due to lower bag house performance).

In addition to the main coal-fired boiler, the plant also fields four GE Frame 7EA natural gas-fired turbines totaling 260 MW (three installed in 2002 and a fourth added in 2004). These are used to provide additional power during peak hours.

“We focus a lot on preventive maintenance and predicted maintenance,”

– Doug Adair Maintenance Manager

Company Mindset Contributes to Stellar Record

It all starts with the people and a teamwork culture that shares ownership of the facility. Jason Frisbie, the division manager of Power Production at Rawhide, noted that, “while the operating statistics and utilization of technology continues to pay off, the primary reason for Rawhide’s success can be attributed directly to the dedicated and professional staff at the station.”Here is an example of Rawhide’s unique management culture. Each employee, including the plant manager, is assigned a cleaning area that requires that person’s attention for an hour a week. Individuals feel a sense of accomplishment when they’re done, and everyone has a facility that all are proud of. Another benefit of a good clean, safe work environment is that it’s easier to spot problems with the equipment and easier to fix those problems as well.

Despite seeing demand drop substantially from its peak two years ago, during which time the plant ran all its gas turbine units in addition to the coal-fired unit, the plant continues to provide plenty of work for over one hundred full-time employees.

The peak position may be the control room — no one gets in there until they’ve had at least 15 years experience. Many have 25, almost as long as the plant’s been up and running.”So Homer Simpson couldn’t work here,” City Councilwoman Sarah Levison joked during a recent plant tour.”You are correct,” Adair said. “Homer Simpson couldn’t work here.”

“Homer Simpson couldn’t work here.”

– Maintenance Manager Doug Adair commenting on the level of experience required of the plant’s operators

Unique Environmental View Leads to Unconventional Success

Following the pattern of the unique environmental philosophy, the plant in addition to its extensive pollution control equipment, also takes a more symbolic approach to build its environmentally-friendly image. In the early days of the area now know as Fort Collins, thousands of wild Bison roamed this area, and called it home. According to Albert Hamilton, Platte River Power Authority’s first general manager, “Bison should be returned to the grasslands to symbolize the ruggedness of the American West and to demonstrate that power plants can coexist in harmony with native plants and wildlife.”

The plant established a program called “Adopt-a-Buffalo” in 1983 to bring back some of that sense of oneness with nature to the plant. From the first twenty bison, the herd has produced numerous award winning animals. Profits from sales offset the cost of the program. Plant staff help take care of the herd, providing water and feed for the herd.

The program’s success is satisfying proof for plant management that they efforts to protect the environment are working. “Any corporation, any company, doesn’t have to destroy what’s around them to be successful,” says spokeswoman Rae Todd.


More About The Rawhide Energy station:

In 1973, the cities of Longmont, Fort Collins, Loveland and Estes Park joined to create Platte River Power Authority. The PRPA operates the Rawhide Energy Station north of Fort Collins provides for all the previously mentioned municipalities. Each municipality sets the rates for its own jurisdiction.





About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

Golden Stack Testing Nuggets: The EPA Admits Error in Proposed Mercury MACT Rule. Calculation used to determine emissions limits for mercury and other toxic air substances was off by nearly 1,000. 

Here is an interesting article about the EPA’s new mercury standards from our good friend Ron McCulloch the “blue collar MBA” with Golden Specialty Inc. Ron and his firm are among the most trusted names in stack testing services in the nation.

This posts comments on a recently discovered error in the EPA Mercury MACT rule. After initially being discovered by the non-profit trade organization Utility Air Regulation Group (UARG), the EPA has finally admitted the there was indeed an error in the way they calculated the limits for the MACT (maximum achievable control technology) floor for both the mercury and air toxics standards (MATS) rules.

An EPA official admitted that the error was indeed present. But she claimed that it had not had a substantial effect on the final rule. She further stated that the EPA had corrected the mistake and apologized for the error.

The error deals with the formula used for converting measurements reported in terms of lb/GWh to lb/MWh is “incorrect by a factor of 1,000” claims the UARG.


About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

September 2nd, 2011 | Baghouse.com – Bowing to pressure from all directions, President Obama announced Friday that he was ordering the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to scrap plans to tighten the federal clean air regulations regarding ozone and smog. The controversial proposal has long been singled out as an unnecessary “job killer” by opposition republican law makers, and a wide range of industry groups.

In the prepared statement issued on Friday after a federal report on private sector employment show virtually no growth for August. The President said that after considering the the burdens that governmental regulations place on business, he had decided to withdraw the proposed new ozone limits. “At the same time, I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time. Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered,” Obama said.

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA’s proposed tighter ground-level ozone standards were deemed to burdensome by Pres. Obama and overruled.

The proposed new standards would have lower the the acceptable amount of ground-level ozone in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) from the current 75 ppb (parts per billion) to between 60 – 70 ppb. The new standards were projected to have cost between $19 billion to $90 billion in compliance costs depending how strict the amendments would be.

The announcement was applauded by many who stood in opposition to the proposed changes. “The president’s decision is good news for the economy and Americans looking for work. EPA’s proposal would have prevented the very job creation that President Obama has identified as his top priority,” said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said, “Manufacturers have made it very clear that this discretionary action by the EPA to revise the ozone standard would harm the economy and threaten job creation. Today the Administration took yet another step in delaying the standard and manufacturers hope this is a sign that the Administration is hearing our concerns.”

The decision to revise the standards came after years of legal challenges to the existing levels for ozone. President Bush had previously followed the same course when he overruled EPA suggestions and set the standard to the current limit of 75 ppb, stricter than the previous levels set in 1997 but below EPA scientists recommendations to protect public health.

Despite the proposed enormous costs of implementing the new regulations, the EPA says that is worth the cost, since the ground-level ozone standard is the environmental regulation most closely linked to public health. Ozone is the main contributing ingredient to smog, which is a powerful lung irritant that cause periodic public health warnings due to its role in causing and/or aggravating asthma and other lung conditions. Supporters say this would despite huge costs to industry, create billions in savings in health care, lost productivity, and other areas.

Ground-level Ozone pollution contributes to the creation of smog, a powerful lung irritant and asthma trigger

The decision while looked upon as a cop-out by many environmentalists, does not spell doom for the regulations. Currently, the standards are set to be reviewed by the EPA in 2013. The EPA when issuing standards is bound by the Clean Air Act (the federal statute that established the EPA in 1970) to not consider the cost of implementation when formulating standards. Additionally, the American Lung Association has a pending lawsuit against the EPA over the regulations that it says are contrary to scientific findings on the matter. President Obama’s recent review of the standards was given as a solution to the lawsuit. However with those plans scrapped for now, the ALA is ready to continue their legal battle to get the regulations tightened. EPA administrator Jackson had said in July that the standard would not survive a legal challenge because it did not follow the recommendations of the agency’s scientific advisers.

However, resistance to the proposed regulations continues to run deep despite calls for its passage from health groups. “We ask the President and his Administration to abandon their current reconsideration efforts until a review is required in 2013 and to carefully consider the drastic consequences this standard will have on job growth and the struggling economy,” Timmons said.

Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs with the American Petroleum Institute, said in August, “A Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI study found that EPA’s ozone proposal could result in 7.3 million U.S. jobs lost by 2020 and could add $1 trillion in new regulatory costs per year between 2020 and 2030.”

“The discretionary proposed ozone regulation is not workable and would impose a severe burden on manufacturers and the entire American economy at a time when workers and businesses are really struggling,” Feldman said.

“Existing emission controls have led to significant improvements in air quality and will continue to produce cleaner air,” said Feldman. “We need to allow existing regulations to work before we consider adding new ones.”

And what does this mean for U.S. industry in general? While the administration’s decision to hold of on tightening the NAAQS for now will result in lower compliance costs in the short term, facilities should not assume this means that these standards will not return in the near future. Environmental regulation most certainly will continue to increase in the near future, and companies would be wise to invest in sufficient Air Pollution Control (APC) technology in anticipation.


About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

A lead smelting facility has been ordered by the EPA to upgrade its existing pollution control technology, including its dust collection systems, and review operational procedures regarding environmental issues. 

Arecibo, Puerto Rico – A lead smelting facility in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been served with an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce air and water pollution caused by its operations. The Battery Recycling Company, Inc. from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is being forced to upgrade its existing facilities’ pollution control technologies, including a dust collection system used for the collection of highly toxic lead dust.

The Battery Recycling Company, a secondary lead smelter, recycles used motor vehicle batteries and produces approximately 60 tons of lead per day.

Inspectors found fault with reporting policies, and operation and maintenance of the facilities dust collection system. After stressing that the company needs to improve its handling of the toxic substances it processes to protect  workers, their families, and the surrounding area, EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck said: “The EPA legal action requires the Battery Recycling Company to improve its operations to protect people’s health and the environment. Our work is not done. EPA’s evaluation of the company’s compliance with federal environmental laws is active and ongoing.”

The plant which is regulated by both the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB), and the EPA, has been ordered to improve monitoring and reporting operations in addition to taking preventative actions and making operational improvements. The company was cited by the EPA and the EQB for having installed and tested new pollution control equipment on two of its furnaces in both 2007 and 2010 without notification. These points are significant because operational and physical changes occurred which increased the amount of pollution the facility generates. In addition, the inspectors found that the leak detection system in place to alert plant personnel of a of potentially devastating fugitive lead emissions was not fully operational. The inspectors also that the main rotary air lock on one of the dust collection system was not functioning at full capacity and was allowing lead dust to escape into the atmosphere.

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to a child’s ability to learn and a range of health damage in adults.  Lead exposure can have serious, long-term health consequences in adults and children. Even at low levels, lead in children can cause I.Q. deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity and other behavior problems. Lead exposure can also cause health problems in pregnant women and harm fetuses.

The company has been ordered to ensure the proper operation of its leak detection system at all times to prevent fugitive lead dust emissions. Daily particulate readings must take place at each of the dust collection system’s Baghouses, and be recorded to ensure the facility is complying with all applicable air regulations concerning lead and other substances released into the air. Additionally, they must provide results from 2010 performance tests conducted to assess the efficiency of the facility’s pollution control systems on two of its furnaces to the EPA, and update its existing pollution control models and send these for review with the EPA.


About the Author

| Dominick DalSanto is an Author & Environmental Technologies Expert, specializing in Dust Collection Systems. With nearly a decade of hands-on working experience in the industry, Dominick’s knowledge of the industry goes beyond a mere classroom education. He is currently serving as Online Marketing Director & Content Manager at Baghouse.com. His articles have been published not only on Baghouse.com , but also on other industry related blogs and sites. In his spare time, Dominick writes about travel and life abroad for various travel sites and blogs.

Filter Bags

Leak testing being performed in a Baghouse

By Dominick DalSanto
Environmental Technologies Expert & Author

Why Periodic Leak Testing of Filter Bags is Vital

Operating a dust collection system with leaking filter bags defeats its sole intended purpose. A few leaking filter bags or even one within a collector/system can result in a substantial emissions increase. Leak testing of your Baghouse filter bags needs to be a regular part of any maintenance program to ensure system efficiency, and maintain compliance with emissions/safety regulations and avoid the fines and/or safety hazards that come with it.

All filter bags will eventually wear all out and need to be replaced. Baghouse maintenance programs should include periodic leak testing to ensure a few or even one faulty bag does not reduce the operating efficiency of the entire system. On occasion, a defective filter will fail early and need to be replaced. In other instances there may be a temporary or unanticipated event that can cause of premature failure of Baghouse filter bags. Once identified these should be investigated to ensure the incident does not occur again, and determine the extent of the damage done to the system. Examples may include: abrasion, thermal durability, and chemical attack.

  • Abrasion from several different sources often leads to excessive wear (and therefore premature failure) of the filter bags. The most obvious is caused by excessive particulate loads in the gas stream. This may have been caused by the unexpected failure, or shutdown/maintenance of a pre-filter (such as a cyclone, or air scrubber for NOx and SOx). Poor design may also lead to particulate laden air striking the filters in certain spots more than others such as near the cuff, or dirty-air inlet. Other sources of abrasion damage include: improperly installed filters that rub against each other, and excessive cleaning cycles.
  • Degradation of the filter bags’ Thermal Durability may also be a potential cause of early failure. When operating temperatures that rise above the designed limits of the fabric, whether for short or long term, filters will begin to degrade and eventually fail. Changes in the plant process, fuel source, maintenance shutdowns of other systems, etc…may result in temperature spikes that will irreparably damage Baghouse filters.
  • Chemical attacks can also result in bag failure. These can occur when gas stream characteristics are not taken into consideration when selecting the filter fabric and/or treatments/finishes. Other times unexpected changes occur in the gas stream that cause changes in the composition of the gas. Operating temperatures may also fluctuate,  dropping below the dew point allowing condensation of the chemicals on the fabric.

Filter Bag Leak Testing – How it is Done

To perform a standard leak test several things need to be done before the actual test can take place. First, since testing requires temporary isolation from the facility process, and shutdown, you must determine the best time for each unit and/or compartment to be tested. Second, safety measures for plant personnel must be taken into account when estimating total down time. Units must be given sufficient time for cooling, atmospheric testing to check for harmful gases, and personnel assigned to perform both the test and fulfill any and all safety regulations regarding confined space entry (both OSHA, and In-house). Once the preliminary steps have been taken, the actual testing can begin.

Filter Bags - Leak Testing

A vital part of any Baghouse system maintenance plan is regular leak testing of the filter bags.

First, florescent leak detection powder is added upstream of the unit such as at a maintenance access in the ductwork. Then after sufficient time has past for the powder to work its way through the system, the unit is shutdown. Once it is possible, a technician will enter into the unit with a UV light source i.e. a black light to examine the filter bags for leaks. The powder fluoresces under the UV light, thereby making it easy for the technician to see even the smallest of holes. The technician makes note of any faulty filters, which can then be replaced.

Regular Maintenance is Key to Getting the Highest Efficiency from Your Baghouse

Baghouse systems are the most efficient, and cost effective solution for particulate matter control in industrial settings – but only if they are maintained properly. A vital part of any Baghouse system maintenance program is regular leak testing of the filter bags. By conducting this and other maintenance tasks, your Baghouse system will operate smoothly, and provide the best of results.

Looking for Leak Testing Services?

Baghouse.com has the expertize to locate and remedy leaks in not only your filters, but also duct work, collector housing, and more. To learn more about Baghouse.com leak testing services and leak testing supplies or receive a free quote on Baghouse leak testing please contact us for a free quote.



Dust Collection BagsTired of endlessly searching the internet for the right dust collection bags for your Baghouse only to be frustrated at a lack of results? Looking for someone who can help you make sense of the near endless filter bag options available for your dust collector? If so, then you have finally arrived at your final destination. Baghouse.com is the only place you need for your dust collection products and services.

Better Dust Collection Bags & Better Services with Baghouse.com

Firstly, we can source any kind of bags for your dust collection system that you may need. Secondly, our sales staff backed up by our team of trained engineers has the expertize needed to provide you not with “possibilities” but with real solutions to your dust collection needs. Thirdly, Baghouse.com maintains one of the industry’s finest field support teams. These trained and experienced construction professionals are able to handle anything from consulting and routine maintenance, to full turn-key installation and troubleshooting of your dust collection system. And finally, since Baghouse.com offers total solutions to dust collection needs, we are able to offer all of these services and products at highly competitive rates compared to many other firms.

How to Receive a Free Quote For Dust Collection Bags or Services

To receive a free Baghouse.com quote for dust collection bags, dust collector accessories, or dust collector services is easy. For a quote on dust collector bags we will need you to provide us with some information about your bags. First, what kind of bags you are looking for, such as cartridges, bags, or pleated. Second, we need to know the dimensions you need, flat width, diameter, length. Third, tell us what material you need, (e.g. polyester, PTFE, etc…) any finish (or treatment) and any special construction such as support rings, top and bottom construction, etc. Finally, tell us how many you need, and when they need to be delivered by, and we will begin working on your quote right away.

If you are not sure about the details, you can always mail us a sample bag from your plant. Once we receive it we can figure out all the specs we need to give you a quote.

Perhaps you know what kind of bags you have in your Baghouse, but you think there might be advantages to switching to a different kind. We can also make recommendations for you based on the exact process you are running. Once we know the characteristics of your process, temperature, moisture, acidity/alkalinity, dust load, and CFM we will be able to make recommendations to you for the best filter for your dust collection system.

Here is a list of some of our most popular dust collection bag fabrics and finishes/treatments and Baghouse services. For more information please contact us by email, or call us at 800 351 6200.

Dust Collection Filter Bags & Cartridges

Filters Fabrics

  • Aramid
  • Acrylic
  • Conex®
  • Fiberglass
  • Gortex®
  • Huyglass®
  • Nomex®
  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • P-84
  • Remedia®
  • Ryton®
  • Teflon®

*Other Specialty Fabric Available

Filter Treatments

  • Acrylic Coating
  • Flame Retardant
  • Fibertaxis®
  • Glazed
  • Oleophobic
  • Portex®
  • ePTFE Membrane (Teflon®)
  • Silicon
  • Singed
  • Tetratex®


Dust Collector Repairs

Pulse-Jet Conversions

Tubesheet/Cell Plate Repairs

Filter Replacement

Maintenance Programs

System Installation

Technical Advisor

Leak Testing

Dust Filter

By Dominick DalSanto
Environmental Technologies Expert & Author

Electrostatic precipitators, wet/dry-air scrubbers, and Baghouse technologies all vie for the title of the best available dust filter technology. Some people will say that depending on who you ask, you will hear a wide range of different answers. But the truth remains that in most cases, Baghouse technology is the best solution for dust collection needs on several different levels, initial investment, reliability, efficiency, and operating costs/benefits. Yes, Baghouse with its filter bags can rightly be called the ultimate dust filter.

Don’t take our word for it, see what other industry experts have to say about the advantages of Baghouse technology vs. ESP technology:

“In my practice I tend to use ESP’s primarily for smaller (under 10,000 CFM) smoke and oil mist applications. Baghouse dust collector filters are much less expensive and simpler to operate and maintain for large applications. They are also very versatile because of the wide variety of filter media available…ESP can only hold a relatively small amount of collected particulate on it’s plates before it becomes inefficient or even inoperative…” – Sales & Customer Service Professional for a Major APC Firm

“Both control devices have their merits and shortfalls. If the air stream contains a sticky substance, i.e. that seen in some OSB mills and fiberglass manufacturing facilities, then a wet ESP is the preferred control device. The same can be said if the exhaust stream temperature is greater than 600-deg F. On the down-side, although a wet ESP can handle challenging applications, dealing with the effluent can be a real challenge, both from both a practical and an environmental standpoint. Baghouses are easier to maintain and operate than a wet or dry ESP. If the production process can accommodate it, a bag allows for easy reuse/recycling of the captured particulate (compared to a wet ESP). – VP of Field Services Division of a Industrial Steel Fabrication Company Specializing in Pollution Controls Technology

“We service both devices on a daily basis. Keep in mind that the esp parts, (cells,ionizers) are VERY expensive. And from my experience, not very durable.” – Environmental Services Professional with a Industrial Environmental Technology and Maintenance Firm

Only in a limited applications are there potential benefits to using an ESP over a fabric collector. Add to that the generally higher cost of EPS maintenance and installation, and we have plenty of reasons to  give the award of the ultimate dust filter to the Baghouse over the electrostatic precipitator.