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U.S. Environmental Legislation has come under attack from many different groups recently

Editorial By Dominick DalSanto
Environmental Technologies Expert & Author
Baghouse.com

With recent battles on Capital Hill in Washington D.C. regarding the EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) increasing impact on the nation’s economy, many questions are being raised as to the effectiveness of governments having a active role in environmental affairs.

One particularly interesting, and controversial question that has been raised by some is: What would our world’s air quality be without governmental environmental regulation?

Opponents of tougher emissions regulations, and environmental regulations in general, are beginning to question whether government agencies like the EPA are really needed at all.

Conservatives Weigh in on EPA Claims

Recently a conservative think tank organization named the Heritage Foundation, released a report claiming that had the U.S. Clean Air Act never been passed by the U.S. Congress in 1970, industry itself would eventually have taken steps to correct the nation’s growing environmental problems, in part due to technological advancements, and corporate ethics.

A direct quote from the report states:

It is simply preposterous to assume that air quality would worsen unabated over the course of 30 years in the absence of a particular statute. History has proven otherwise, of course. Long before the original CAA [Clean Air Act] was enacted in 1963, industrial emissions were declining as a result of technological advances and efficiency improvements. And both factors, as well as others, will continue to drive environmental improvements regardless of regulation

The paper also claims that by 1970, emissions were already declining on their own, before the first governmental clean air legislation came into effect. This they claim proves that the EPA and similar governmental regulatory bodies similar to it, are not necessary. They claim they only hurt industry and therefore the economies of their respective nations, by requiring new technologies to be installed, and issuing fines for violations.

Additionally, the Heritage Foundation claims that the estimates found in the EPA’s report to Congress are grossly inaccurate, lack any reasonable way to verify its claims, and even admits that its statistics and figures cannot be verified.

The EPA report states that in 2010 the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 resulted in approximately $1.3 trillion in public health and environmental benefits, for a cost of only $50 billion. That’s a value worth more than 9% of GDP, for a cost of only .4% of GDP. And that in 2020  that figure will increase to approximately $2 trillion in benefits, at a cost of $65 billion. That’s a value worth more than 14% of today’s GDP, for an expenditure of only .46%. The ratio of benefits to cost is more than 30 to 1.

 

Environmentalists Strike Back

Air Pollution Trends and rates over the course of the last hundred years

Proponents of the Clean Air Act, and similar environmental regulations, point to air pollution rates such as shown here, to prove that the CCA has succeeded in reducing air pollution since then 1970s.

In short order, dozens of environmentalist organizations, and activists have attacked the conclusions of the Heritage Foundations report. One such article from Switchboard.nrdc.org which is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading environmental activist organization, alleges that the Heritage Foundations accusations are completely baseless. They counter that the conclusions of the Heritage Foundation are contradictory in nature, and the product of the industrial sector and right-wing political agenda.

For example the Heritage Foundation article comments that it believes that the EPA estimates are incorrect because the claims made in the report allegedly can not be corroborated. The NRDC article counters that the EPA report is in fact the product of extensive peer-review, and that the Heritage Foundation article’s only source is “a report from one non peer-reviewed study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free market think tank that, according to IRS data, is funded almost exclusively by corporate and conservative foundations (e.g. oil giants ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers). When asked by Detroit’s Metro Times in 1996 on funding sources, the Center’s President Lawrence Reed said: “Our funding sources are primarily foundations … with the rest coming from corporations and individuals,” but that “… revealing our contributors would be a tremendous diversion…”

Are Emissions Regulations Really Required?

The facts are undeniable that with stricter environmental/emissions standards has come cleaner air for all. To try and say that these regulations are not needed, and that companies, and industry in general will act to reduce the environmental damage they are inflicting on our earth is simply willful blindness. That conclusion ignores a fundamental truth about business and human nature in general; namely that profits come first, every time.

This is not meant to imply that seeking profits first is inherently unethical in some way. In fact the point of any business venture is to gain profit. Nor does this mean that there are not companies that do place a high value on environmental responsibility. Neither does it mean that governmental regulation and legislation are without flaws, or that they are only force that is working towards reducing pollution. However, even in today’s world with increasing attention being given to environmental issues by the public at large, the largest motivating factor for industry in general to reduce its environmental footprint remains the financial benefit.

For us in the dust collection industry, this means that sales efforts always need to remain focused on presenting how our dust collectors, Baghouses, and other pollution control technologies will result in savings/increased profits for the customer.

 

Sources:

http://www.heritage.org/government-regulation/report/coming-clean-regulatory-costs-and-benefits#_ftn1

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ljohnson/the_heritage_foundations_criti_1.html

 

What Do You Think?

We would love to hear your comments on this subject. Please leave your comments below, and share in the discussion.

 

 
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.

Often our customers find it difficult to determine exactly what kind of Filter Media they require for their specific Dust collection system. Other times they know the particular type of filter media they need, but are unable to determine the exact size they need for their Baghouse.

To assist our customers, we at Baghouse.com have prepared this article to help you select the right filter media to match your specific needs.

If you would like to speak directly with one of our dust collection experts for additional help in selecting your Filter Media, or if you would like to receive a free Baghouse Filters quote, please call us at  800 351 6200 or Contact Us using our online form.

 

Step 1 – Filter Media Selection

Choose the media from which your filter bags will be constructed of based on the type of application they will be used for. Take the following things into consideration prior to selecting your filter media:

•    Temperature – Do your bags need to withstand extreme temperatures?
•    Material – What is the filter being used for?
•    Chemistry – Can your filter withstand the chemical makeup of the dust particles
•    Resistance- Is the filter media able to resist the abrasion of the dust particles

Choosing the correct filter media is an important and sometimes difficult process. To assist you in the identification of the right media for your bags, keep the following in mind: Filter bag performance is directly related to how well it can tolerate the environment in which it is being used. How efficiently it can remove the dust particles from its fabric and its ability to be cleaned by the dust collector is also important. You must first learn to identify the type of filter media currently used in your application. Below you will find a list of typical construction methods:

•    Woven felts
•    Non-woven felts
•    Natural fibers
•    Synthetics (Thermoset or Thermoplastics such as Polypropylene “PPRO” – Polyphenylene sulfide “PPS” – Polyester “PE”)

For additional information on media types please examine our Filter Fabrics Chart below. A simple test to determine if a material is a thermoplastic is to take a small swatch and put a flame to it. A thermoplastic material will begin to melt when exposed to direct heat. The selection criterion eliminates materials based on temperature and chemical characteristics. The first cut is usually made based on temperature. Then the chemical characteristics of the gas stream are considered to further refine the search. Next, the efficiency of the material further dictates the construction of the material such as the weight, oz/sq. ft., fiber and surface treatments/membranes. Last but not least, if there are still two or more candidates it comes down to a price versus performance trade off.

Dust Collector Filter Fabrics

 

Popular Materials

 

Polyester FeltPolyester Felt - Baghouse Filter Fabric

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 275°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature: 300°F
Supports combustion: Yes
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): No Effect
Resistance to alkalis: Fair
Resistance to mineral acids: Fair+
Resistance to organic acids: Fair
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Good
Resistance to organic solvents: Good
Available weights: 10 oz. – 22 oz.

Polypropylene Felt - Dust Collector Filter Fabric

Polypropylene Felt

Polypropylene Felt

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 190°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature: 210°F
Supports combustion: Yes
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): Excellent
Resistance to alkalis: Excellent
Resistance to mineral acids: Excellent
Resistance to organic acids: Excellent
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Good
Resistance to organic solvents: Excellent
Available weights: 12 oz. – 18 oz

 

High Temperature Materials

 

Conex® / Nomex® Felt (Aramid) - Dust Collector Filter Fabric

Conex® / Nomex® Felt (Aramid)

Conex® / Nomex® Felt (Aramid)

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 400°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature: 425°F
Supports combustion: No
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): No Effect
Resistance to alkalis: Good
Resistance to mineral acids: Fair
Resistance to organic acids: Fair+
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Poor
Resistance to organic solvents: Good
Available weights: 10 oz. – 22 oz.

P84® Felt Polyimide - Dust Collector Filter Fabric

P84® Felt Polyimide

P84® Felt Polyimide

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 475°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature:500°F
Supports combustion: No
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): No Effect
Resistance to alkalis: Fair
Resistance to mineral acids: Good+
Resistance to organic acids: Good+
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Good+
Resistance to organic solvents: Excellent
Available weights: 14 oz. – 18 oz.

Ryton® Felt / PPS - Dust Collector Filter Fabric

Ryton® Felt / PPS

Ryton® Felt / PPS

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 375°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature: 400°F
Supports combustion: No
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): No Effect
Resistance to alkalis: Excellent
Resistance to mineral acids: Excellent
Resistance to organic acids: Excellent
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Fair
Resistance to organic solvents: Excellent
Available weights: 16 oz. – 18 oz.

Dust Collector Filter Specialty Materials

 

Homopolymer Acrylic Felt - Dust Collector Filter Fabric

Homopolymer Acrylic Felt

Homopolymer Acrylic Felt

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 250°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature: 275°F
Supports combustion: Yes
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): Good+
Resistance to alkalis: Fair
Resistance to mineral acids: Good+
Resistance to organic acids: Excellent
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Good
Resistance to organic solvents: Good+
Available weights: 15 oz. – 18 oz.

Epitropic Felt Antistatic - Dust Collector Filter Fabric

Epitropic Felt Antistatic

Epitropic Felt Antistatic

Recommended continuous operation temperature: 275°F
Maximum (short time) operation temperature: 300°F
Supports combustion: Yes
Biological resistance (bacteria, mildew): No Effect
Resistance to alkalis: Fair
Resistance to mineral acids: Fair+
Resistance to organic acids: Fair
Resistance to oxidizing agents: Good
Resistance to organic solvents: Good
Available weights: 14 oz. – 16 oz.

Step 2 – Dust Collector Filter Measurements

Accurate measurements lead to the best fit. It’s likely that your dust collector has been modified over the years due to permitting issues or changes in your process which called for a reconfiguration of the Baghouse. In this case OEM configurations will not fit and you will need to obtain accurate measurements for your filters before ordering replacement filter bags. If you currently have filter bags installed that are functioning properly, you can remove one of these bags to get the proper measurements for your replacement order. A spare bag that has not been used yet can also be measured if available. However, be sure to verify the bag measured is the same as the bags currently being used in the dust collector. If you are removing a used bag to measure, please be sure to use all necessary precautionary measures set in place prior to removal i.e. gloves, protective garments and respiratory equipment if needed. It is best not to rely only on the numbers off the unit of OEM filter specifications because of possible changes to the configurations. Of course the best solution is to mail the manufacturer a new or used bag that can be used a guide sample.

Flat Width: Place the filter on a flat surface such as a large table or cement floor. With the filter stretched out, press down on the side. Using a measuring tape, very accurately record the width. Be sure to hold the filter down firmly on an even surface when taking this measurement.

Diameter: When measuring the tube sheet hole of a pulse jet style dust collector, first make sure the hole has not been damaged or warped in any way. Clean the surface thoroughly with a wire brush then using a micrometer, measure the hole in both directions. If the measurements are at all different locate another hold and repeat this process.

Length: Remove the filter from the unit. Preferably with the assistance of another person, stretch the filter out. While maintaining tension on the filter record the length from the longest point at each end using a measuring tape. Do not include and straps, metal caps or other hanging hardware in the measurement, just the length of the filter itself.

Step 3 – Top & Bottom Construction

The top and bottom construction of a filter bag involves a variety of possible configurations. Identifying the type of cleaning process used by your dust collector will help to determine which configuration is needed. The most common types of dust collectors are “Pulse-Jet” “Shaker” “Reverse Air”. The chart below can help you identify which type of dust collector filter you are using.

Filter Configuration Chart

Pulse-Jet Dust Collectors (Reverse jet) – Found in almost every industrial environment. They are the most popular design and are seen in nearly all industry segments. Pulse-Jet Units can be divided into two major groups Top load or bottom load units sometime called top entry (walk-in plenum) or bottom entry (common in bin vents) because of the point of entry used to change out the filters.

Typical filter configuration for a top load unit:
Snap Band Top (double-beaded ring)
Disk Bottom (w/o wear strip)

Typical filter configuration for a bottom load unit:
Raw End Top
Disk Bottom (w/o wear strip)

Shaker Dust Collectors (Mechanical Cleaning) – Usually found in older applications where unscheduled down time is not a major concern.

Typical filter Top Configurations
Loop Top
Grommet Top
Strap or Tail Top
Metal Hanger or Cap

Typical Filter Bottom Configurations
Corded Cuff with Clamp
Snap Band
(Double-Beaded Ring)

Reverse-Air Dust Collectors – Usually found in very large air handling environments such as power generation and cement plants although they do have uses in a variety of industries. Sometimes called a structural bag, these filters usually have a series of support rings spaced every few feet throughout the length of the bag.

Typical Top Configurations
Compression band w/Metal Cap & Hook

Typical Bottom Configurations
Compression band
Snap Band
Cord w/Metal Clamp

Snap Band - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Snap Band

Raw Edge - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Raw Edge

Cord - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Cord

Hanger - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Hanger

Grommet - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Grommet

Loop - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Loop

Strap - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Strap

Support Ring - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Support Ring

Rubber O-Ring - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Rubber O-Ring

Disk - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Disk

Disk With Wear Strip - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Disk With Wear Strip

Flange - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Flange

Hem - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Hem

Sewn Flat - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Sewn Flat

Envelope - Dust Collector Filter Configuration

Envelope

Step 4 – Additional Options

Ground Wires – Use to comply with Factory Mutual requirements for static dissipation. Ground wire can be made from stainless steel or copper however this technique only works on a localized area of the filter. For optimal static dissipation look at conductive fiber filter made with Epitropic or Stainless Steel fibers.

Wear Cuffs – Used to combat abrasion at the bottom of the bag either from a sandblasting effect or from bag-to-bag abrasion due to turbulence in the bag house. Usually 2 to 4 inches in length and made of a material similar to that of the body of the filter bag.

Special Finishes – There are many finish options that can be added to the filter media at the time it is manufactured. Please refer to the materials selection area for further details. If you want to order a specific brand or special type of finish please add that request into the additional comments section when ordering.

 

 
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.

By Gilda Martinez
Environmental Expert & Baghouse.com Staff Writer

Beingin, China, Sunday 10th of October 2010 –
32 people are killed in traffic accidents along roads that have become almost invisible due mainly to the heavy smog and fog in urban China’s overly polluted air. The largest contributor to that polluted air is by far fly ash, a residue generated by the combustion of coal, which is China’s single biggest source of solid industrial waste and, one of its gravest problems.

The purpose of this article is to draw attention to how much is being done in the development and implementation of Clean Coal technologies. With these emerging technologies it may be possible to prevent more situations like the one mention above from happening again elsewhere.  An examination of how the use of Coal as a fuel affects the environment, what the term Clean Coal technology really means, what Clean Coal techniques are being developed, and put into use today, and why it is so important for the health of both our planet, and the general population.

Why Is Coal So Highly Sought-After?

The use of coal is an integral part of almost every industry on Earth. For instance, 54% of the electricity generated in USA comes from burning Coal. Electric companies and businesses with power plants burn coal to make the steam that turns turbines and generates electricity. Not only The U.S but also China as it was mentioned before also produces a great amount of its electric power from coal, an even larger percentage than the US. A report states China meets 70% of its energy needs through this precious mineral, with electricity generation accounting for half of all coal consumption. The simple fact is that there isn’t a cheaper and sufficiently plentiful mineral that could replace this great power source.

Why Does it Cause Pollution?

Coal is the “dirtiest” of all the fossil fuels currently in use. Why is it so dangerous?  Coal is composed mainly out of carbons and hydrocarbons. When it is burned it releases large amounts of carbon dioxide CO2. This oft mentioned Greenhouse gas is one that while allowing sunlight to reach the Earth, also prevents some of the sun’s heat from radiating back into space, thus warming the planet. Additionally, when it is burned it releases fly ash (coal ash) a residue generated due to combustion.
According to a report dated on August 25th, 2008 by The Union of Concerned Scientists, a group of scientists that combine scientific research and citizen action to develop practical environmental solutions, a coal fire plant generates:

•    3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming, which is as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.
•    10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rain that damages forests, lakes, and buildings, and forms small harmful airborne particles that can penetrate deep into lungs.
•    500 tons of small airborne particles, which can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility.
•    10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide NOx, as much as would be emitted by half a million late-model cars. NOx leads to formation of ozone smog, which inflames the lungs, burning through the lung tissue making people more susceptible to respiratory illness.
•    720 tons of carbon monoxide CO, which causes headaches, and places additional stress on people with heart disease.
•    220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds VOC, which form ozone.
•    170 pounds of mercury, where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.
•    225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion.
•    114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium.

Due to all the contaminants coal burning comes along with, there is an increasing need for technology development in the Clean Coal field. From here an analysis of what technologies are being used the most to remove pollution from coal burning residues.

Carbon Capture & Storage

Among all the existing Clean Coal technologies, the one that is the most popular and efficient is Carbon Capture and Storage. It consists of a process that captures carbon dioxide CO2 emissions from industrial sources and stores them in geological formations miles deep inside in the earth.
CCS Carbon Capture and Storage is an integrated concept consisting of three distinct components: CO2 capture, transport and storage including measurement, monitoring and verification. All three components are currently found in industrial operation today, although mostly not for the purpose of CO2 storage.
Depending on the process or power station in question, three approaches to Carbon Capture exist- pre-, post- and oxy-fuel combustion:

•    Pre-combustion capture systems remove CO2 prior to combustion. This is accomplished via gasification. The gasification of a fossil fuel produces a “synthesis gas” syn-gas, which is primarily a mixture of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen. Before combustion, the syn-gas is reacted with steam to produce CO2 that is subsequently scrubbed from the gas stream, usually by a physical or chemical absorption process. The result is a hydrogen-rich fuel that can be used in a wide range of applications. Pre-combustion systems are not a mature market technology but are intended for deployment in conjunction with Integrated Gasification and Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology. The use of IGCC for coal-based electricity production is limited with only four coal-based IGCC demonstration plants in operation globally. Reliability, availability and cost of technology have hindered wider deployment of IGCC.
•    Post-combustion techniques are the standard practice for removing pollutants, such as sulfur, from the flue gas of coal-fired power stations. Flue gas typically contains up to 14% CO2, which must be separated- either through absorption chemical or physical, cryogenics and membrane technologies. For CO2 capture, chemical absorption with amines, such as Monoethanolamine MEA, is currently the process of choice. Once recovered, the CO2 is cooled, dried and compressed for transport. Post-combustion systems are posited as a carbon mitigation solution for the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants around the globe. However, retrofitting a capture system to a power station requires major technical modifications. These alterations are quite costly and are accompanied by substantial decreases in generating efficiency. For example, an MEA retrofit of an existing 500 MWe subcritical pulverized coal PC power plant cuts efficiency by 14.5 %. Net electrical output is diminished by over 40% to 294 MWe. Such a retrofit is expected to impose capital costs of USD 1600/kWe
•    Oxy-fuel combustion burns fossil fuels in 95% pure oxygen instead of air. This results in a flue gas with high CO2 concentrations greater than 80% that can be condensed and compressed for transport and storage. This method of CO2 capture is still in the demonstration phase.

Other Clean Coal Technologies

The Sulfur gas produced by burning coal can be partially removed with scrubbers or filters. In conventional coal plants, the most common form of sulfur dioxide control is through the use of scrubbers. To remove the SO2, the exhaust from a coal-fired power plant is passed through a mixture of lime or limestone and water, which absorbs the SO2 before the exhaust gas is released through the smokestack. Scrubbers can reduce sulfur emissions by up to 90 percent, but smaller particulates are less likely to be absorbed by the limestone and can pass out the smokestack into the atmosphere.  In addition, scrubbers require more energy to operate, thus increasing the amount of coal that must be burned to power their operation.

Other coal plants use “fluidized bed combustion” instead of a standard furnace. Fluidized bed technology was developed in an effort to find a combustion process that could limit emissions without the need for external emission controls such as scrubbers. A fluidized bed consists of small particles of ash, limestone and other non-flammable materials, which are suspended in an upward flow of hot air. Powderized coal and limestone are blown into the bed at high temperature to create a tumbling action, which spurs more effective chemical reactions and heat transfer. During this burning process, the limestone binds with sulfur released from the coal and prevents it from being released into the atmosphere.

Fluidized bed combustion plants generate lower sulfur emissions than standard coal plants, but they are also more complex and expensive to maintain. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, sulfur emissions decreased by 33 percent between 1975 and 1990 through the use of scrubbers and fluidized bed combustors, as well as switching to low-sulfur coal.

Another technology used to clean coal is gasification which means to burn coal in oxygen to produce a cleaner gaseous fuel known as syngas mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This process reduces the emissions of Sulphur, nitrogen oxides and mercury, which results in a cleaner fuel. The resulting hydrogen gas can be used for electricity generation or as a transport fuel. The gasification process also facilitates capture of CO2 emissions from the combustion effluent (see discussion of carbon capture and storage below).

Integrated gasification combined cycle IGCC systems combine gasification with a heat recovery system that feeds a secondary steam-powered generator, thereby increasing the power generated from a given amount of coal. These systems are currently being employed in many new coal-fired power plants worldwide.

Why Clean Coal Technologies Are So Important

Discussion has shown how airborne pollution is affecting the planet to such a degree that scientists believe that there is a urgent need to take action, otherwise humankind will begin to suffer the consequences in short order if not now currently.

Government and environment advocates are doing their best to implement all the available strategies and to create new ones. Carbon Capture and Storage is being approved for use by many industries but, as with all that is new, this technology is very expensive and it consumes much more energy than others.

Therefore there is still a large demand for conventional Scrubbers and Filters for companies that cannot afford the latest to implement the latest technological advances.

We hope this article has provided a better understanding of this polluting mineral, the latest methods of reducing the environmental impact of coal, and raised awareness that the need for these environmentally friendly technologies is increasing every year.

In Texas, the EPA has informed a sizable number of oil refiners, chemical and plastics manufacturers that they need to bring their air pollution permits in line with federal and not Texas state levels.

All but three of the 74 companies have informed the Environmental Protection Agency that they will bring the state-issued permits into compliance with federal law within the next year.

This action is in response to the on-going conflict between federal air quality standards, and Texas state legislation which allows for so-called flexible permits. The permits in question require refineries, chemical plants and other facilities to meet an overall emissions cap but allows them to choose how to do so. Federal rules, however, require plants to limit emissions of certain pollutants from each source within a facility.

With this turn of events, it appears that even while Texas is still battling the EPA on this issue, industry in general in Texas is bringing itself in line with federal standards.

Commenting on Texas industries Al Armendariz, the EPA’s administrator based in Dallas stated “They understand these permits are an anomaly,” adding that none of the companies has indicated that it will sue to keep its flexible permit. “It’s now a question of how do they fix them instead of whether they should”.

Texas has filed suit to block the EPA’s disapproval of flex permits, asserting that there is no legal or technical justification for the federal agency’s action.

The EPA rejected the state’s use of the permits in June, saying they fall short of the federal Clean Air Act’s requirements. But those with the permits reacted slower than Armendariz liked, so he threatened fines and other penalties if they did not move by Dec. 22 to resolve their permits.

The EPA would not say which companies failed to meet the deadline because of the possibility of taking enforcement action against them. But Armendariz said his staff had heard from the 30 largest permit-holders, which account for roughly 90 percent of emissions released under flexible permits.

Pam Giblin, an Austin-based Baker Botts attorney who represents many large flexible permit holders, said industry waited to respond until the EPA had explained how to make their permits comply — and not in protest.

Pollutants and permits

The single overall cap, the EPA argues, makes the Texas permits nearly unenforceable and allow plants to emit more than similar facilities in other states. But state officials say the system cuts red tape and pollution without violating federal law.

TCEQ spokesman Andy Saenz said companies “must decide for themselves how to deal with EPA’s overreaching and unnecessary regulatory demands. The TCEQ is not requiring any ‘fix’ but the agency is accommodating any legally viable transition option that flex permit holders may choose to exercise.”

The EPA has encouraged companies to follow the leads of Flint Hills Resources and INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA – both of which agreed to apply for new state-issued permits after negotiating some terms and conditions with the federal agency.

That’s important because the agreements ensure that the state permits will meet federal requirements, said Ilan Levin, an attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project, which has filed legal challenges to some of the flexible permits.

Request for transparency

“The devil is in the details, and the TCEQ hasn’t been willing to guarantee that these be done in a transparent way,” Levin said.

Valero Energy Corp., for example, has asked TCEQ to set limits for each emissions source at its plants, but to leave the rest of the permit alone. The state has issued new permits for five of the San Antonio company’s six Texas facilities, although the EPA has raised concerns about whether the revisions are federally compliant.

Valero spokesman Bill Day said the company is talking with the EPA to resolve their differences.

 

 
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.

By Dominick DalSanto
Environment Expert & Author
Baghouse.com

The term Industrial Dust Collection for many simply draws a blank in their minds. “What is that?” they may say. Or they might simply think that it has something to do with “Big Vacuum Cleaners”. But little do those outside of the industry itself appreciate how many benefits this multimillion dollar industry brings to all of us. Here are just 5 reasons why we should be care about Dust Collection technology and the effects it has on our lives.

1. Dust Collection Protects Human Life

There are literally thousands of industrial processes that create dust pollution, including Steel Mills, Food Processing, Woodworking, Cement Plants, and other Manufacturing.  By capturing harmful particulate matter emitted from these industrial sources, prevent the release of a wide range of dangerous compounds into the atmosphere, thereby preventing human exposure to this harmful material.

2. Dust Collection Protects Our Environment

Since the industrial revolution began almost 200 years ago, mankind’s industrial progress has caused much harm to our planet. By passing contaminated air through a Dust Collector Filter before it is released into the environment, industrial sites can prevent the contamination of water sources, such as rivers lakes and streams, as well as keep our air clean, safe and breathable for animal, plant and human life alike.

3. Proper Dust Collector Systems Help Keep Workers Healthy

Ironworkers from 1930 working on the Empire State Building

One of the greatest dangers facing industrial workers is exposure to contaminated air. Another overlooked danger of large amounts of dust pollution, is the very real threat of a dust explosion occurring. When certain kinds of dusts are dispersed into the air in the right proportions, it can lead to a very violent explosion that can  cause a massive loss of life. Through the operation of a Baghouse (Trade term for a Dust Collector), job site hazards are reduced, and worker safety is increased.

4.  Dust Control Helps Keep Manufacturing Costs Down, Leading To Cheaper Products For You

With a adequate Dust Control program in place, industry can avoid many costly accidents (Such as Dust Explosions) and attain a higher quality product.

5. Countless Products Could Not Be Manufactured With It

Many industrial processes are only possible through the application of Dust Collection/Separation and related technology. These include most forms of Food Production, Metal Processing, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and more.

Yes our industry, which may at times to the public seem to be irrelevant, is in fact one of the most vital industrial processes we have in our modern industrial era.

What other ways does the Dust Collection Industry benefit society?

This list is by no means exhaustive, no does it claim to be. We would like to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

 

 
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.