Case study: Dust suppression at waste-to-energy facility

waste to energy dust suppression

“Right from the beginning, it did a great job controlling dust from trucks tipping their loads and while handling the material.

It was so effective and economical to use that we extended our initial rental period."

- company rep

Dust control has gone high-tech at one of the nation’s most advanced waste-to-energy facilities.

Wheelabrator Falls Inc. uses as much as 1,500 tons per day of household refuse as fuel to generate more than 53 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply the needs of more than 60,000 homes.

Wheelabrator Falls Inc. also provides assured destruction for about 15 loads per week of residual waste, such as off-batch formulations and processing by-products. Located in Falls Township, Pennsylvania (US), the facility provides dependable, environmentally-safe disposal of municipal solid waste from households and businesses in Bucks County and eastern Pennsylvania as well as parts of New York and New Jersey.

“We first started evaluating dust control devices to prevent any potential hazards from the loads of residual waste,” said the company's representative. “These are usually raw materials and process waste that the generator does not want to be landfilled and we wanted to make sure that we were controlling the potential for airborne particulates,” he added.

The dust suppression equipment

waste to energy dust control

After reviewing several options, Wheelabrator Falls decided on a trial of the DustBoss© 30 (DB-30). Mounted on a movable carriage, the unit features a 7.5 HP motor that generates 9,200 CFM and a ring of 30 specially-designed nozzles that atomize droplets to the optimum size for dust suppression (between 50–200 microns).

The ducted fan dust suppressor has an adjustable throw angle from 0-50° elevation, with 70° of oscillation and a range of up to 100 feet for excellent coverage.

“We started out using the DustBoss whenever a load of residual waste came in,” the rep said. “Right from the beginning, it did a great job controlling dust from trucks tipping their loads and while handling the material. It was so effective and economical to use that we extended our initial rental period,” he said.

“After a while, we decided to see how well it would control nuisance dust from our ongoing operation,” he said. “That was a pleasant surprise, and we now run the unit about 12 hours a day, moving it as needed to specific areas.”

The results were so successful that the Falls Township location purchased the machine, another plant has since purchased two units and a third location is currently renting.

The DB-30 requires only 15 PSI of constant pressure and water is supplied by a standard 5/8" garden hose. This unit is designed from the ground up for effective dust suppression.

Known for its durable construction and reliable service, the DB-30 typically requires minimal maintenance.

The DB-30 can also be set up to run from a non-potable water supply. Additional options include a dosing pump that can be used to automatically meter in odor control additives or surfactants for superior particle capture.

The waste-to-energy process

"We now run the unit about 12 hours a day, moving it as needed to specific areas.”

- company rep

Two mass-burn, waterwall boilers at Wheelabrator Falls run 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The boilers are fed using overhead cranes and ram feeders. Each line averages 750 tons of refuse per day, which is burned at approximately 2,500°F, with the heat creating steam that drives a turbine to create electricity.

Steam flow to the turbine averages around 416,000 pounds per hour at 130 PSIG / 930°F. The facility has an electric generating capacity of over 53 megawatts, enough electrical energy to supply the needs of more than 60,000 homes. The plant supplies its own electrical needs with the waste-to-energy process and sells the excess power to Public Service Electric and Gas Company.

Wheelabrator Falls has been designated by OSHA as a “Star” site, the highest classification given through OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program, awarded to companies that demonstrate exemplary health and safety achievements. Of the seven million eligible work sites in the U.S., OSHA has awarded the VPP Star ranking to just 1,275 facilities (less than .02%), and only 90 in the industrial category in which the Wheelabrator Falls operation is listed.

“By exceeding OSHA’s compliance standards, we continuously improve health and safety for our workers and the local communities, raising the bar for all companies in our industry,” said the Plant Manager at Wheelabrator Falls. “It’s an accomplishment that can only result from a company-wide mindset, in which all of our employees dedicate their best efforts.”

CUSTOMER
Wheelabrator Falls Inc.

LOCATION
Falls Township, Pennsylvania (US)

CHALLENGE
Control fugitive dust and help prevent potential health and safety hazards from waste materials as they are dumped from trucks and transported to the furnace feed hoppers for assured destruction.

SOLUTION
The DustBoss® 30 (DB-30), a rugged, portable ducted fan design with a 7.5 HP motor that generates 9,200 CFM of air volume. The DB-30 is an oscillating unit with adjustable elevation angle, capable of covering 5,500 square feet from a fixed position.

RESULTS
This Wheelabrator facility first rented the DB-30 for several weeks to gauge its performance, then extended the rental period to several months. The results were so successful that the Falls Township location purchased the machine, another plant has since purchased two units and a third location is currently renting.

WHEELABRATOR FALLS
is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., operates 16 waste-to-energy facilities and five independent power plants across the U.S. All Wheelabrator operations have also received OSHA's VPP Star certifications.

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