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Conventional methods to enhance the quality of air around us

  • 02 May, 2016

While everyone knows the hazardous effects of air pollution, very few care for it. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented measures like the Clean Air Act to safeguard the environment and the health of individuals.

Engineers who have emerged successfully through the FE exam and are on their way to adopt a successful career, have a great responsibility toward improving the quality of air around us.

With this role in mind, let us explore some essential ways of enhancing air quality that every engineer must be aware of.

Bio-filtration, an economical and effective air pollution technology, is used in a wide range of industrial emission sources. The control efficiency that can be achieved using this technique is about 90% in most cases and works best for gases with a high concentration of biodegradable organic compounds. Demand for this technique is triggered by the increasing control over volatile organic compounds and other toxins in the industrial arena.

Electrostatic Precipitators
One of the most renowned ways of removing particles from the industrial exhaust gas stream is electrostatic precipitation. Since optimizing the efficiency of the precipitator lies in the hands of the engineers, the significance of the technology is emphasized right from the FE review course material. During this process, engineers work on the size of the precipitator using relevant computer models to maximize gas collecting efficiency.

Baghouse filters allow the separation of particulate matters from the air. Baghouses are highly versatile, and the size and type of bag can be altered to fit into a number of different applications. The modular design of the baghouse is easy to assemble and works best in dry environments. The commonly observed use of baghouses is in the removal of particulate matter in cement plants and coal-fired power plants.

Cyclonic separation can be applied to cases where particles as small as 5 microns must be removed from the gas stream. Engineers can work with the system design of these cyclones and apply certain modifications to the basic layout in order to satisfy the particular needs of an industry. Cyclones are used in industrial applications, consumer goods and in the mining sector. The efficiency of this technology greatly depends on the careful engineering of the cyclone equipment.

Settling Velocity
Based on the famous Stoke's law, settling velocity technique works through the simple principle which implies that air particles remain suspended in air when their speed is greater than the upward current. This very basic principle of science is put to use for controlling air purity in a number of commercial applications.

Air Pollution Control (APC) Technology is an essential feature of engineering and as a matter of fact one of the fundamentals of engineering exam papers is to focus on these techniques and their various applications.

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