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Article : Significance of De-dusting Pipe Layout

Since past few years, the environmental regulations in India have become more and more
stringent. To meet these local governmental limits, installing a state-of-the-art design based
emission control system alone is not sufficient. It requires to be supported by a proper piping
layout. De-dusting pipe arrangement/layout plays a very important role in plant or system
performance. Working out a proper de-dusting system and to optimize it, is very essential to
meet various process requirements and thus, to increase the overall productivity and cost
efficiency along with the strict compliance with all environmental standards and local
A lot of care is taken in designing the plant layout for any new cement plant. Much of the
efforts are put in optimizing the cost of construction by working out various options for
buildings and equipment arrangement. During all this, one salient factor is always ignored i.e.
de-dusting pipe arrangement. This aspect is always given less importance and left, to be
designed when whole general arrangement of plant is frozen or to be executed suitably at site.
This leads to difficulties in accommodating the pipes since by then, other equipment are
already procured or can afford no changes in the layout. This results in laying out the pipes
somehow by compromising with standard norms of de-dusting. Such poor de-dusting pipe
layout creates operational and legislative difficulties. Poor de-dusting pipe layout has resulted
in poor productivity and sometimes even temporary shut downs of plant due to high emission
of dust in the atmosphere. In many such cases, the blame is put on the performance of Bag
filter or of fans and in turn, the equipment suppliers are questioned for performance
The design and layout of de-dusting pipes is dependent on various technical and non-technical
factors. Technical factors include operational parameters, type of material/fines, building
layout, dimensions etc. whereas non-technical factors include outlet emission limits, stack
height regulations etc. Meeting these demands w.r.t. technical aspects, helps to optimize the
design of the system to achieve most efficient results and w.r.t. non-technical aspects, it gives
legal security to the company and helps to make an eco- friendly environment.
The common locations where dedusting pipes are required are.. Can you elaborate on this ?
The various points to be considered for designing an efficient de-dusting pipe layout, are as
Proper sizing of pipes : Sizing of pipes depends on two factors i.e. Gas velocity within the pipe
and the vent volume to be conveyed. Special care should be taken while
choosing velocity for different type of fines. For example, velocity within pipes
should be lesser at about 10 m/sec for high abrasive fines such as clinker dust,
coal dust etc. whereas it could be 18-22 m/sec for low or moderate abrasive
fines e.g. raw meal dust. That means for the same vent volume of clinker dust
and of raw meal dust, their pipe sizes would vary.
Proper sizing of pick-up hood : Pick-up hoods at source points of dust generation, should be
sized so as to have low velocity in order to capture only fine dust from the
nuisance generated and not the process material. As a thumb rule, pick-up hood
for clinker dust can be sized for 2-2.5 m/sec velocity whereas for other dust, it
can be sized for up to 5 m/sec.
Proper Inclination of pipes: Horizontal pipes should normally be avoided. For upward and
downward flow, proper inclination must be followed in order to avoid any dust
accumulation within the pipes. In general we can say that it is better to have
upward inclination more than 60 and the downward inclination should limit to
Avoid false air entry: To prevent any false air entry into the system, flanged joints should be
avoided. As far as possible, welded joints should be preferred. Flanged joints are
prone to leakages and additional air can create disturbance in the air balance.
Exceptions are possible where flanged joints are essential for pipes to be
removed to provide clear space during the maintenance of process equipment.
Avoid too many bends: Having too many bends in the pipe layout increases the pressure drop
and consequentially, it increases load on the fan. Apart from increasing pressure
drop, pipe bends are prone to wear due to change in flow direction and hence, it
calls for additional protection against wear. This is why the pipe bends should be
as less as possible.
Bend Radius: To give a smooth change to the flow direction, radius for pipe bends should be
sufficient enough. As a thumb rule, it should not be less than 1.5 times of the
pipe diameter as far as possible. In some cases e.g. in between bag filter and fan,
radius can be as small up to 1 time of the pipe diameter since it carries the dust
free air.
Pipe Branches: At connections, direction of branch pipe should always be towards the flow and
not in the opposite direction or in perpendicular of the main pipe as it may
create turbulence and may cause additional pressure drop. Expander pieces
should be provided at connection point of multiple pipes. Pipe diameter exactly
after the connection, should be in accordance to the combined vent volume of
branch pipes.
Dust Collection device: In cases where horizontal pipes cannot be avoided, proper dust
collection arrangement must be provided on pipes e.g. quick opening cleaning
doors etc.
Plate thickness: Plate thickness of vent pipes from dust sources up to bag filter intake should be
kept higher as compared to pipes after the bag filter up to fan. Plate thickness
also varies for pipes, carrying abrasive fines versus those carrying non-abrasive
Limiting the quantity of dust sources: To keep de-dusting system in balance, it is recommended
to connect minimum no. of dust sources to a bag filter. As a thumb rule,
maximum six dust sources should be connected. It becomes difficult to maintain
pressure balance with too many vent points and thus system becomes inefficient
to handle the nuisance dust.
Existing installation: Designing a de-dusting pipe layout within existing building or plant has
always remained challenging. It requires a close study of the system and existing
arrangement in order to retain the existing system unaffected, to maintain the
environmental regulations and to make an efficient pipe layout.
Take a look at examples here for poor and proper vent pipe layout.

Poor De-dusting pipe layout

Proper De-dusting pipe layout

All these guidelines help to make an efficient de-dusting system and also, to improve the
performance of present operating system. One requires to closely looking at each and every
aspect of it very precisely, to design a system meeting all technical and legislative demands.
PENTA India always recommends giving significance to making an efficient de-dusting pipe
layout and its engineering team is highly capable to design a de-dusting system contributory to
the efficient plant performance.
Manoj Thakur
Sr. Manager, PENTA India Cement & Minerals Pvt. Ltd.