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Dust Collection & Air Pollution Control

Dust collection & air pollution control for powder and bulk solids handling operations

Many bulk material handling systems generate dust. Even dusty foodstuffs may be a health hazard. Such dust can damage the lungs and, when suspended in the air in the correct ratios, many organic materials are an explosion risk. Therefore dust collection, air filtration, cleaning up of spilled or settled dust, and the right choice of air handling equipment are essential considerations for any bulk materials storage, handling, or processing operation. This Technology Zone offers an insight into the latest innovations in dust collection systems and air pollution control system design.

Why is industrial dust control important?

Dust collection and dust extraction ensure a safe and healthy working environment and protect the health of operators. Still, installing an industrial filtration or dust control system also guarantees the desired functioning of the industrial equipment and improves the production process.

The treatment of dust by installing an industrial vacuum system makes it possible to reduce to a minimum the dust particles present in the air, which can alter the quality of the working environment of the powder handling lines.

Due to an automatic cleaning system, dust vacuuming and dust collection can be carried out in a drum or big bag or reintroduced into the process to reduce product loss.

Bulk solids processing and powder handling operations, such as (big) bag handling, mixing and blending, feeding, dosing, conveying, drying, size reduction, and bulk storage, create dangerous dust that can become airborne, endanger air quality and pose fire and explosion hazards.

This dust can also cause operators allergic reactions and respiratory illnesses working on these powder handling lines.

These dry material handling processes require installing and using centralized or built-in industrial dust collection systems.

It is essential to protect operators while complying with safety, health, and environmental regulations.

Once the air has been cleaned of impurities using an industrial dust collection system, it can be safely released into the atmosphere.

industrial dust collection and dust control

Industrial dust control is amongst the essential safety measures that processing plants need to consider.

In the agriculturedairy and food processingmineral processing, and pharmaceutical processing industries, combustible particles are expelled during typical processing methods. If allowed to gather and suspend in the air, these particles can result in a devastating explosion if ignited.

To prevent this, processing facilities commonly employ some form of particle filtering and removal that suppresses the threat of an explosion.

These systems are also crucial for safeguarding worker health against breathing hazards.


The benefits of dust control include, but are not limited to:

  • Reducing the risk of fire and dust explosions
  • Enhancing safety: Increases visibility at the workplace
  • Dust suppression systems prevent unpleasant odors
  • Reducing site maintenance and cleaning costs
  • Reducing equipment wear, therefore saving money
  • A healthier workplace helps boost employees’ spirit
  • Reducing waste of valuable materials

Industrial dust collection systems are available for all industrial processing lines involving raw ingredients and other dry bulk materials.

A dust collection system is designed to purify air or gas by removing the contaminants or dust particulate from the collected air.

The vast majority of dust collectors have:

  • Ducting that is connected to the inlet of a collector,
  • A means for filtering the dirty air inside of the unit,
  • A blower system for creating an airflow through the ducting system and internal body of the dust collector,
  • A cleaning system for the filters and a discharge mechanism for capturing the dust particulate for either waste or reclaim purposes.

These dust collector components may vary based on the application, simplifying these essential key items to dust collection systems.

Industrial dust control technology

There are 5 main types of dust collectors:

  1. Inertial separators – Inertial separators concentrate or collect particles by changing the direction of motion of the flowing gas in such a way that the particle trajectories cross over the gas streamlines, and the particles are either concentrated into a small part of the gas flow or are separated by impingement onto a surface. By far, the most widely used type of inertial separator is the cyclone, in which the gas undergoes some vortex motion so that the gas acceleration is centripetal; the particles, therefore, move centrifugally towards the outside of the cyclone.
  2. Fabric filters (or baghouse filters) are particulate pollution control devices that remove dust from the air. Power generation facilities, flour mills, pharmaceutical and chemical plants, and other industries use baghouses to control the emission of air pollutants. Baghouses typically are 99% (or better) effective at removing dust from the air, even when dust particles are tiny.
  3. Wet scrubbers – Wet scrubbers are a unique device used to remove various pollutants from exhaust gas from furnaces or other devices. These devices use a scrubbing liquid to remove the contaminants.
  4. Unit collectors – Unit dust collectors, control contamination at its source. They are small and self-contained, consisting of a fan and some form of dust collector. They are suitable for isolated, portable, or frequently moved dust-producing operations.
  5. Electrostatic precipitators – Electrostatic precipitators use an electric charge to remove certain impurities—solid particles or liquid droplets—from the air or other gases in smokestacks and other flues.


Selecting and utilizing the correct type of dust collection system and filtration technology for specific equipment or process is crucial to control the air pollution generated in the most cost-efficient manner available.

With the many kinds of dust collection systems available, narrowing down the search requires addressing variables such as:

  • The application that the dust collection system is required for,
  • The characteristics of the dust particles that have to be separated,
  • Will the dust collection system be used continuously or infrequently?
  • Will the dust collection system be installed in an enclosed space or placed in the open?

The factors mentioned above can narrow down the search for the ideal dust collector for a specific application.

The most suitable dust collection system for specific requirements might be a unit that has:

  • The appropriate dimensions
  • A cleaning system that is well-equipped for the cleaning
  • A dependable ducting system
  • A proper filtration system that can effectively handle the size of the particulate

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Experts for Dust Collection & Air Pollution Control

Aristidis Melios is the General Manager at Vraykos & Associates Mechanical Ltd. He holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens, and has more than 30 years of experience in design, engineering and manufacturing of bulk materials handling systems in food industry in Greece and Balkans area. Mr Melios is an expert in managing industrial projects that concern mechanical or pneumatic conveying, weighing & dosing, mixing, dedusting, screening and storaging of food bulk products. He has the experience needed to create a cost efficient turn-key solution for every bulk materials industry. The last years leads the Vraykos company engineering team with success, inserting new ideas and technologies in the field of bulk materials handling systems.
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Maximilian Hofmann born in Germany, is Area Sales Manager of the ENVEA Group since 2019. After completing a dual study in economics with practical experience, learning about industrial engineering was the next big goal. Starting in Sales & Marketing with ENVEA Process GmbH, he soon became Area Sales Manager with the responsibility for several countries and key accounts. Working on many international projects with reputable companies such as Agricultural companies specialized in seeds and grains, Systems Engineering Companies, and Incineration Plant Manufacturers and Engineering, he gained all the experience required to give advice in industrial automation, emissions, and ambient air monitoring. While working on all these projects, customer-oriented solutions always remained in focus which helped to solve measuring tasks across very different applications for a wide range of companies. Currently working in around 20 countries worldwide, Maximilian advises customers of the best possible measuring device for their measuring tasks in Process, Emissions, and Ambient Air Monitoring.
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For over 60 years IEP Technologies have been providing market leading explosion protection solutions into industry. Matt Elliott has been part of that journey now for over three years and has had the privilege to draw on IEP’s wealth of expertise during that time. Matt is responsible for technical sales of active, and passive explosion protection systems in the southern half of the United Kingdom. His background as a fully qualified mechanical engineer, HNC education and subsequent ten years of experience in technical sales directly related to powder handling, which has provided a cornerstone of knowledge to address the challenges IEP Technologies face every day. If you were to ask Matt what his key attributes are he would say “to fully understand the application presented by the customer, but also competently design a viable solution to benefit the customer”. This statement is only made possible by listening carefully to a customer but also being proficient when it comes to designing explosion protection solutions in line with their stringent regulations and delivering solutions within IEP Technologies’ design guidance and current EN standards.
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Karen Van Aelst, ing., is a seasoned professional with a rich background in sales and engineering, particularly within the dry bulk handling and process industry. Over the course of 12 years, she honed her expertise in selling installations tailored for these sectors. In 2010, Karen transitioned to StuvEx, where she embarked on a decade-long journey as a sales engineer specializing in explosion protection. Her role encompassed managing sales activities in both BeLux and Germany, showcasing her proficiency in navigating diverse markets and establishing strong client relationships. Since 2019, Karen has assumed the position of Product Manager at StuvEx, where she is entrusted with the vital responsibilities of overseeing the development and market realization of explosion protection products. Her extensive experience in sales, coupled with her engineering background, positions her as a valuable asset in driving innovation and ensuring the safety of industrial environments. Karen’s dedication and expertise continue to play a pivotal role in the success of StuvEx in the field of explosion protection.
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Todd Allison is President of Progressive Products, Inc, where he spent 6 years being a sales engineer before moving into his current role. He is also a former adjunct professor in the Kansas Technology Center at Pittsburg State University, where he taught Innovation Engineering. Todd has spent most of his career in the pneumatic conveying industry and has almost 20 years of experience in industrial sales and product design. He is a graduate of SCAD design school and attended graduate school at the Kelce School of Business at Pittsburg State University. He serves on several advisory boards including the CEDBR Kansas Economic Outlook Team and the Mid America District Export Council.
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As the Sales Manager at Foeth, Michel Terlouw possesses an enthusiasm for international trade and excels in identifying the perfect match for every customer. In a company like Foeth, individuals with a solid technical background are truly indispensable. Clients from across the globe visit to explore our extensive inventory of pre-owned machines, and it’s essential to collaborate closely with each customer to determine which machine best suits their intended application. Michel is impassioned by the collaborative process of discovering the ideal machine alongside the customer because it aligns with our mission. The pursuit of finding the perfect solution is not only gratifying but also contributes to advancing sustainability within the industry.
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Design Engineer, Project Manager, Territory and Sales Manager with 40+ years of experience in capture at source designs, sales and installation projects for high and low vacuum and dust collection and filtration systems and explosion and fire mitigation in dust collection systems.
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Doan Pendleton is Vice President of VAC-U-MAX located in Belleville, New Jersey. With over 20 years of professional experience in the design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing of dry bulk material transfer systems, Doan’s experience includes strong application knowledge of bulk ingredient handling systems for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as extensive experience with portable and central industrial vacuum cleaning systems. Mr. Pendleton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing/Marketing Management from Suffolk University. As Executive Manager, Mr. Pendleton manages Global Sales and Marketing.
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Todd Messmer is the Product Manager for the Schenck Process Weighing and Feeding Product Line in North America. He has 21 years of Applications Engineering experience customizing and designing Screw Feeders, Weighbelts, Vibratory Feeders, Flow Meters, and Bulk Bag Unloaders into customers’ processes. Todd has worked with a diverse range of companies in the Food, Plastics, Chemicals and Pharmaceutical industries and has written several articles for key industry publications. He holds degrees in both Electronics and Marketing and currently manages a team of Applications Engineers for Schenck Process. Expert in Screw Feeders, Weighbelts, Vibratory Feeders, Flow Meters, and Bulk Bag Unloaders.
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