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Removal of Si02 Particles with an Ejector Venturi Scrubber

D. A. Marshall
Falconbridge Ltd., Falconbridge, Ontario, Canada and

R. J. Sumner Northern Tel com , Saskatoon , Saskatchewan, Canada

C. A. Shook
Chemical Engineering Depart ment, University of Saskatchewan, Sas katoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Over the last thirty years, public awareness and concern over air pollution has escalated dramatically. To ensure the protection of public health and welfare, legislated emission standards now control mass emissions of particulates. Particulate matter has been defined as “any finely divided solid or liquid material emitted into the air” Fine particles, less than 5 pm in diameter, have been identified as a significant source of air pollution. Not only do they pose a major health hazard to respiratory systems in themselves, but because of their high surface area, they can act as transport vehicles for other gaseous pollutants. They can remain airborne for extended periods of time and their ability to obstruct light can intensify haze or smog conditions. Venturi scrubbers have been used for the removal of submicron particulate matter found in dusts, fogs, fumes, odours, or smoke from gas streams. Cunic [4] investigated the performance of commercial Venturi scrubbers used to control submicron particulate emissions from a Fludized Catalytic Cracking Unit in a modern refining complex (Exxon Research and Engineering Company). He reported efficiencies in the range of 93-97%. Stadnick and Drehmel (1975) reported on the performance of Venturi scrubber systems on the Shawnee Wet Limestone Scrubbing Test Facility and on the Mystic Power Generating Station (Everett, Mass.). They found efficiencies decreased from 94% for particles of diameter 1.73 pm to 81% at 0.65 pm and 29% at 0.29 pm. In the production of fiber optic cable, very fine Si02particles are produced and these must be removed from the emission gases. At the Northern Telecom Fibre Optics Plant in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, an ejector Venturi scrubber has been used to control these particulate emissions. The size distribution of particles encountered in the process range from agglomerates larger than 2 pm to very small particles less than 0.2 pm [II]. Although a 95% removal efficiency by the Duo-Flo HydroKinetico Venturi Scrubber was anticipated in the design of the plant, much lower efficiencies have been observed. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the operation of the scrubber in an attempt to identify procedures to improve its performance.


Principles of Operation
The Venturi scrubber studied in this investigation is of the ejector type with water recirculation. It is shown schematically in Figure 1. This type of scrubber consists of a converging section, a throat section, and a diverging section. The operation of this type of scrubber has been described by Harris [q, but there appear to have been few subsequent reports of performance. The scrubbing liquid is introduced at high velocity in the converging section by a pneumatic spiral spray nozzle. Particulate collection occurs when the high velocity droplets intersect the slower moving particles in the gas stream. The purpose of the spiral nozzle is to provide a combination of axial and tangential velocities to the scrubbing liquid during


February, 1995

Environmental Progress (Vol. 14, No. 1)

These results are shown in Figure 2. . .) and a micromanometer (Flow Corporation. . This optimum droplet size and velocity is influenced by the density.35 mm 0. an isokinetic sampling procedure based on the EPA Method 5 Standard for compliance testing was developed [II]. Gas velocity distributions were measured at both locations using a pitot-static tube (United Sensor. The overall contribution of any one mechanism depends on the particle and droplet sizes and their relative velocity. diffusion becomes the predominant collection mechanism. O A 7 Pneumatic 7 Nozzle Recirculating Water Separator '"i 0 . .Inlet .3 pm was inertial impaction with negligible electrostatic. The ball valve was used as an on/off valve in sampling. Model MM-3). b. Duo-Flo HydroKineticQVenturi Scrubber. the cross- li Stack Wall sampling Probe Finer Air Dying Tube U Ball Valve Micromanometer Metering Vacuum Gauge Vacuum Pump orifice FIGURE 3. These distributions were smooth and of the shape expected for turbulent flow without irregularities or secondary flow [IZ]. The Welch Scientific Co. February. [ 9 ] .66 m probe assembly (Apex Instruments). The gas velocities for isokinetic sampling were established by the aforementioned pitot tube traverses. The liquid flow rate ca.. The uncertainty in the measurements is actually somewhat greater than the difference between the inlet and outlet results. Adjusting the angle of the spiral. The sampling velocity was controlled by a metering valve with a Vernier handle (Nupro "L" Series). both the inlet and the outlet sampling ports were preceded by approximately 10 metres (30 pipe diameters) of straight pipe. . The volume of gas sampled was calculated from this velocity. 100 1 10. Particle collection mechanisms by drops were studied by Johnstone et al. .A A . The particle density was 2265 kg/m3. 1) .. A microscopic examination showed the particles to be spheres with a few aggregates of relatively large diameter. showing that there was little tendency to remove the larger particles preferentially. 14.d. Type PAE-T. . For particles less than 0. Particle Diameter (microns) FIGURE 1.0 rnm (i. The cleaned gas was then passed through an impinger (Apex Instruments) to remove any particulate passing through the filter. . and diffusion effects. Preferential withdrawal of particles with respect to size occurs if there is a velocity difference between the gas stream and the gas entering the sample probe.Air to Pneumatic Nozzle Water to 100. A schematic drawing of the sampling train is shown in Figure 3. Experimental Procedures Scrubber performance was evaluated by measuring the inlet and outlet particulate concentrations.) stainless steel nozzle and 0. Since elbows or bends upstream of the sampling site can cause swirling flow or irregular flow profiles. The size and velocity of the liquid droplets directly affect overall scrubbing efficiency [8]. A DuoSeal vacuum pump (Model 1405.n be controlled by the size of the orifice in the nozzle.A. 5 .d. The probe assembly consisted of a stainless steel sheath with a quartz liner. . No. 3. The droplet size can be varied by changing the atomizing air pressure. A drying tube filled with silica gel was finally used to remove any moisture from the gas stream. Thus the concentration distributions could be assumed to be uniform over the pipe crosssection at both locations. The vacuum gauge was used to monitor the pressure in the vacuum line and to check for any air leaks in the system. The particulate matter was collected with a glass fibre filter (Whatcom) in a 10 cm glass filter assembly (Apex Instruments). This conclusion is in agreement with the subsequent literature [ I . 6. The size and velocity of the droplets should be optimized to maximize collection efficiencies and separation properties 181. The orifice downstream of the vacuum pump and the micromanometer was used to fix the sampling velocity. To ensure the collection of unbiased samples. induction.. FIGURE 2.A. atomization. They determined that the main collection mechanism for particles greater than about 0. .) withdrew the sample gas through an 8. . 8. Particulate Sampling Train. shape. . 0 0 0 0 0 Outlet . . Particle size distributions at the scrubber inlet and outlet. . Z5]. 1995 29 Environmental Progress (Vol. The manufacturing process was adjusted to produce a fixed solids loading of soot particles at a concentration reflecting typical operating conditions. Particle size distributions had been measured previously [I41 at the scrubber inlet and outlet when the scrubber was operating at an overall efficiency of 88%. produces a conical spray which fills the Venturi throat. and velocity of the particles.1 pm. .

7 5.0 66. a 24-' fractional factorial experimental design was used to determine the effect of the operating variables.9 51.4 k 0 1.9 L/min (5 GPM) ii) 37.7 5.6 87.3 2.5 62. defined as: 30 0.7 mm.0 1 o 0 0 1.295 1. where X. From the magnitude of the parameter estimates for the air and water flowrates.8 0.45 2.45 2.9 18.98 .7 5. A linear empirical relationship correlating the effects of the variables on the Venturi scrubber efficiency was obtained from these results using a least squares estimation.9 I . (2) The analysis shows no significant lack of fit to this model (F-test.3 71.7 L/min (1.1 66.04 .45 0.484 I . The operating conditions were: X.06.286 1.Table 1 Results from the 24-' ExDerimental Desian Air Water Recirc.059X. The uncertainty in the number of transfer units is k0.7 5.45 mm ii) 1.8 0.6 62.3 mm The pneumatic nozzle exit diameter was 8. The isokineticity of these measurements ranged between 96% and 102%.0 1.8 68.88)/0. The sign of the parameter estimate indicates whether the corresponding operating variable should be increased or decreased to improve performance.4 67.1 is so that the magnitudes of the parameter estimates reflect their importance in the final equation.6 7. throat length 330 mm.475 1.3 1.-Recirculating water flowrate i) 18.274 0.5 3. Airflow to Nozzle. With the exception of one set of data the reproducibility was within 5% (some were better than 2%).294 1.9 18.294 1.9 18. it was a very useful screening tool to detect the important operating variables.93 1.7 64.16 1. No. 1995 .5 85.45 1.11 1.95.8 69.9 18.9 86.2 68. Effect of air flowrate to the pneumatic nozzle on the number of transfer units at various nozzle water flowrates. it can be concluded that the air flowrate Environmental Progress (Vol.475 2.3 2.665 5.9 18.8 85.457X.65)/0.0 47.286 1.6 4 4 ooooo Waterflow lo Nozzle = A A A A A Waterflow to Nozzle = I I I I 7.028 Experimental Results In the first series of tests.9 37.6 W 1. . Eight experiments were performed at the upper and lower levels of the operating conditions. Waterflow to Nozzle.09 1.475 1.7 5.25 1.9 18.7 7. 14.01 2.6 7.274 1.45 2.9 37. Confidence intervals (95%) for the parameter estimates are: 1. the recirculating water rate.525 k0. 'Standard cubic meters NTU= -In outlet concentration inlet concentration sectional area of the probe and the sampling time.9 18.45 2. From the regression analysis.29 1. L/min.9 18.6 7.6 7.3 1.2 1. and the orifice diameter on the air side of the pneumatic nozzle.9 Lfrnin 0.7 5. only a first-order term can be obtained for each variable.2 1. A summary of the results is shown in Table 1.059&0.95 1.6 7.665 0.9 2.04 1.0 #A n b z $0.5 1. m3/min and Xi = (X. Orifice Collection NTU Flowrate Flowrate Water Diameter Efficiency (Yo) (m3/min)* (L/min) (L/min) (mm) 2.9 18.475 m3/min (87 SCFM) X2-Water flowrate to pneumatic nozzle i) 5.24 1.4 71. Omitting these variables yielded the following empirical model: NTU= 1.9 37.3 1.5 ' 2. 1) These operating variables have been scaled to range between February.7 5.0 Airflow to Nozzle (m'/rnin) FIGURE 4.0 I I I ' I I I 1 I 1 r I 2.274 m3/min (45 SCFM) ii) 2. Two additional experiments were performed using an airside nozzle insert with 0.9 37. R2=0. + 0.475 2.7 5.3 2.45 1.1.9 L/min (10 GPM) &-Orifice size in air side of pneumatic nozzle i) 2.65 0.6 L/rnin 5.10 1.6 1.6 7. throat diameter 140 mm.72 i r v) 2'2 2.6.9 37.-Air flowrate to pneumatic nozzle i) 1.0 72. The two-level factorial design was used to examine the individual effects of each operating variable and possible interactions between the variables.8 mm orifice openings.4 O ? I I I I I I a I -81 I I a I I I 0.295 1.9 37.3 1.457&0. for a total of 16 experiments.3 1.286 2.99 2. The scrubber performance is described in terms of percent efficiency as well as by the number of transfer units (NTU). Each experiment was replicated once. The ratio of the sampling velocity to the stack velocity provided a measure of isokineticity.6 L/min (2.7 L/min 444P4 Waterflow to Nozzle = 1.9 18. Operating Parameters The four Venturi scrubber operating variables considered were the air and water flowrates to the pneumatic nozzles. it was determined that the interaction between operating variables was insignificant. The Venturi scrubber dimensions were: upstream diameter 300 mm.484 1.' = (X. The effects of the recirculating water flowrate and the orifice diameter were also negligible. Although this type of design could not provide a definitive model of process behavior.9 37.60. Because each variable was tested at two values.0 GPM) X.45 1.17 1.9 37.031 0.5 GPM) ii) 7.025 + 1 and .525 + 0..14 0.286 1.9906).

Because it was not possible to increase the air flow rate further. q T is the capture efficiency. $ .42.7887 X .0 4. In these experiments.This graph shows how the number of transfer units increases with increasing air flowrate.45 mm.8 Air Flowrote to Nozzle = 2.14 m/s.0. The air flow rate was tested at 2. Effect of the orifice diameters in the air side of the pneumatic nozzle on the number of transfer units at various pneumatic nozzle air flowrates.0 2'2 + . although more data would be required to verify this.48 rn'/min O b b V O Air Flowrale to Nozzle = 1. and orifice plate diameters at 2. but significant. 0 0.48. on the efficiency of the Venturi scrubber. Figure 5 shows that there was no effect of orifice diameter on the number of transfer units. the air flow was limited by the capacity of the compressor. & J where Environmental Progress (Vol.v. The nearly linear relationship between NTU and airflow to the nozzle is consistent with Harris' [2]correlation. It would have been preferable to include higher air flowrates in these experiments. the output (NTU) is highest when both of these variables are maximized within the constraints of plant operation. 1. Since the entrained gas flowrate was constant in the experiments. is the most important operating variable.0 3 2.48 rn'/rnin 0. The number of transfer units is plotted against the air flowrate in Figure 4. and 1. An additional series of experiments was performed to examine further the effect of the most important operating variable. between 1.5 1. 14. This velocity can be calculated from the liquid and air flowrates assuming adiabatic and reversible flow for the air and neglecting slip between the air and the droplets.019 0. this optimum could not be determined. since according to Licht (1980)..9 L/min. The dashed line shows the locus of the previous results for the same water flowrate. recirculating water flowrate at 18. 1995 31 . the product varied much less.27 m3/min with replicates at the first three conditions.04 as the liquid flowrate varied. since it is known that an inverse relationship exists [12]. D is the droplet diameter.0 0 .7559 X . The material balance equation governing particle capture by 1 0 1 is: droplets I n._ (0 'c 1. . The volume fraction of liquid droplets in the expanding jet. there is a linear relationship between the air flowrate and the number of transfer units. is the number of droplets per unit volume. The calculations show that although 4. This could be explained by process noise in experiments which were performed several weeks apart. 1) February. 1. u. The relationship appears to be linear. there is a slight variation. at some point an increase in air flowrate will result in a decrease in scrubber efficiency when the water droplet size falls below its optimum value.6 1.0 5. and u.0 1.o 2.0002 " t ~ F 0 C 1. are the gas and droplet velocities.59 and 2. during the experiments. the other operating variables were held constant: water flowrate at 5.0 5.0 Orifice Diameter (mrn) Airflow to Nozzle (rns/min) FIGURE 5. This calculation provides a partial explanation for the fact that the liquid flowrate had little effect on scrubber performance: the term 4. A summary of these experimental results is given by the solid line in Figure 6. Equation (3) assumes the particle concentration in the gas phase is uniform in the radial direction.0 1 . Linear relationship between the air flowrate to the pneumatic nozzle and the number of transfer units. Because both parameter estimates are positive.8 + . However. 1.5 2.7 L/ min.0. is the number of particles per unit volume. No. is related to the droplet diameter by: (4) so that equation (3) can be written: (3) Since the droplets and the air will leave the nozzle with nearly identical velocities.. entraining jet will be determined primarily by the nozzle exit velocity. between 0. these experiments suggest that an approximate performance equation for the scrubber is: . The minimal effect of the water flowrate indicates that the throat coverage by the jet was satisfactory. at the nozzle varied threefold.013 and 0. Although the two lines are very similar.2 2.(v.0 0 0 8 P Z 0.8 1 Waterflow (previous experimenlal l o nozzle CON/ data) d 3 L L ar ffl 1. the air flowrate to the pneumatic nozzle.". The effect of the air flowrate to the nozzle on scrubber performance is consistent with the presence of the droplet diameter in equation (S). Again.6 AAAAA 5 (new ewerimental dala) Best F d : Y = 0. will decrease as x increases and this wit1 cause the droplets to decelerate. and x is the distance downstream. u. FIGURE 6.5 3. n. ffl 1..2. the relative velocity in the expanding.84.0 2. v. Because of entrainment and expansion of the jet. The quantities in the brackets in equation (3) are each likely to vary with position.4 Best Fit: Y = 0.2 i b / A n n .. the effect of the water flowrate is small.) is relatively insensitive to liquid flowrate where particle capture takes place.

4... 55-59 (April. Mech. i = 1 . F.. CONCLUSIONS The most important operating parameter in the performance of this scrubber is the air flowrate to the pneumatic nozzle. 6. 13. W. “Venturi Scrubber Performance Model. Wallace. Calvert. Eng. g/cm3 $ = dimensional factor for given scrubber According to Calvert 121. 14. and K. 60(5). pp. “Fine Particulates-The Misunderstood Air Pollutant. 1974). T. C. “The Operation of a Venturi Scrubber.. 1970). Sci. = nozzle exit velocity. Eng.” J.” Chem. K. PB 213-016 (1972). R.’ = Scaled Venturi scrubber operating variables. and A. A . “On the Efficiency of a Venturi Scrubber. J. Calvert. (Japan). “Fume Scrubbing with the Ejector Venturi System. and R. 15. Harris.” NTIS. Bergrand.. Air Pol. and D.”Atm. was observed at the maximum attainable air flowrate. 1973). Leith. 1975). Tech. The relationship between the air flowrate to the pneumatic nozzle and the number of transfer units appears to be linear. 1964). Department of Chemical Engineering... 927929 (Oct. R.. Harris. 9.4 X. This would account for the minor difference between the inlet and outlet size distributions shown in Figure 2. A . “Source Testing of Northern Telecom’s CVD and 110 Scrubber Systems. E. “Fine ParticleControl Using Sulfur Oxide Scrubbers. 14. “Gas Absorption and Aerosol Collection in a Venturi Atomizer. the capture efficiency is related to the inertial impaction parameter K by: LITERATURE CITED ?IT= [A]: (9) where where pp and d. 12. S. 1601-1608 (Aug. S. Goldschmid. Changes in particle size distribution between the inlet and the outlet of the scrubber can be computed because v. = number of droplets per unit volume NTU = number of transfer units v. Behie. G.. Chem. S. 8. 11. 1954).7. but this change in droplet size would lead to changes in the relative velocity so that ( u I. and H. proportional to the mean capture efficiency. Eng.. 12(4). pp. 1978). D.” Dekkar. 32 February. 456-459 (April. Licht.. 1) .. pp. R. = volume fraction liquid pp = particle density. and Y. L. Mehta.” Can. were always high. For particle species i. M. Prog. R. Bouvier. J . S. 1995 Environmental Progress (Vol. 10. varied. Beeckmans. 25(6). It seems likely that K was always substantially greater than 0. dimensionless np = number of particles per unit volume n ... Eng. approximately 85-87% removal. Johnstone. van is the nozzle exit velocity and $ is a dimensional factor. “Optimum Design of Venturi Scrubbers. Edelman. It seems probable that the efficiency of the scrubber is controlled by the size of the droplets and by the relative velocity between the droplets and the particles.” J .” Master’s Thesis. D varied as u. 837-845 (1977). University of Saskatchewan (1993). E-2800-7-(2-91 (July... Trans. Engrs.. pp. Tanasawa. “Air Pollution Control Engineering. NOTATION C‘ = Cunningham correction factor D = droplet diameter. m G = volumetric flowrate of gas.where G is the gas flowrate. Statnick. Bienstock. “Scrubber Handbook. Marshall. 6(4).. Hollands. The best performance. C. Jahren. 3. Drehmel. 16(3). pp. m3/min K = inertial impact parameter. 430433 (Aug. H. Cunic. Basic Calculations for Particulate Collection. 1991). Prog. 46(8). and G. 392396 (May. and M. Calvert. 343368 (1980). Env. 62(4). m/s 1. 1966). 100-103 (May.pp. Prog. p.” Chem. Yung. 24(10). 5. M. L. the penetration is: us = gas velocity. pp. Air Pol.. W. poise qr = individual droplet capture efficiency 4.. 2. Barbarika. G and the other factors in $ remain constant. SOC. Over the course of the experiments.. Nukiyama. A.. 7. Haun. i=1-4 pp = gas viscosity. C. Harrington. M. Field. pp. pp. . No. S. and Chem. 11. for a given scrubber. C. S. and D. C. Tassler. and J.M. C’ is the Cunningham correction for small particles and pg is the gas velocity.. .’’ Env. m/s x = distance measured in the downstream direction X i = Venturi scrubber operating variables. D. R. B.” Env. “Venturi and Other Atomizing Scrubbers Efficiency and Pressure Drop. so that qr and yr. K. S. R. “Wet Gas Scrubbing: State of the Art in FCCU Emission Control.” Saskatchewan Research Council.” Ind. F.. D. 605-609 (June. J. pp. 86 (1938). 51. Goel.4. m/s uI = droplet velocity.. C. “The Ejector Venturi Scrubber.” AZChE J. S. 267-273 (1987). pp.v E ) / D would vary less than D . G . are the particle density and diameter.