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How does pneumatic conveying improve safety in the workplace?

If safety is your utmost concern, pneumatically conveying powder is an extremely reliable method of transfer that will improve the overall well-being of your employees.

It eliminates the risk of operator back injury caused by lifting heavy powder containers to manually dump powder. There is also no risk of employee exposure to hazardous chemicals such as nitrogen and solvent vapors thanks to the closed system that is maintained during the process. And since powder charging can be done from a distance, operators don’t need to get close to the reactor while it is running, further increasing safety and efficiency.

Unlike manual and mechanical transfer methods that require open manways and pauses in operation, pneumatic conveying allows you to charge a vessel at any time without disrupting the process. The ability to charge powders without opening a manway gives you the ability to not only save time but also to charge with the vessel under pressure or vacuum, as well as with solvents already in the vessel – and all while retaining an inert atmosphere. Although many applications involve nontoxic powders, pneumatic transfer enables the conveying of carcinogens, oxygen or skin sensitive and explosive powders safely.

Another important topic on the subject of safety is contamination. Contamination can mean one of two things in a process. Depending on the properties and characteristics of the material being transferred, there is the concern of contaminating the product with exposure of environmental elements (e.g. oxygen, human contact) that can have an adverse effect on the product’s purity. The flip side of that scenario is the risk of contaminating the environment with the product, in the case of hazardous or explosive materials. When it comes to exterior contaminants, product residue that comes in contact with the exterior of the equipment can create an unhygienic situation which, over time, can become a serious problem that negatively impacts the safety of the work area as well as the performance of the equipment.

Powder Handling Solutions from De Dietrich Process Systems eliminate the need to manually handle powders and minimizes potential hazards by using pneumatic conveying technology to create a dust-free, closed system that enables the transfer of raw, intermediate or finished products in a contained manner from a powder container, such as a big bag station, to a reactor or other secondary piece of equipment. The ability to maintain an inert atmosphere and separate entrained gas from solids via the system's internal dust filter element allows the solids to be retained inside the Powder Pump body. This is beneficial for the cleanliness of your facility, the health and safety of your employees, and the overall optimization of your process.