Filters with Isotropic Fiber Sorbents
Developing Isotropic Fiber Sorbent Production Practice and Creating on its Basis a Highly Productive Ammonia-Eliminating Air-Cleaning Filter for Farming Industry
Tech Area / Field
- MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology
- ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
3 Approved without Funding
National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Radiation Physics and Chemistry Problems, Belarus, Minsk, Sosny
- National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Physical Organic Chemistry, Belarus, Minsk
- Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche / Istituto Di Ricerca Sulle Acque, Italy, Bari\nSanders Consuntancy BV, The Netherlands, Meijel\nUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya / Departament d'Enginyeria Quimica / Waste Disposal Laboratory, Spain, Barselona
Project summaryThe vital functions of animals and birds and organic waste putrefaction at poultry and stock-rearing farms result in formation of large amount of ammonia; being removed outside with the help of ventilating systems, it pollutes the environment. In a number of West-European regions (for instance, in the Netherlands and Belgium), the density of stock-rearing farms has reached such a level when ammonia concentration in the air has approached the ambient air standard (10 mg/m3). This makes the livestock growth impossible without taking special measures aimed at decreasing the ammonia pollution.
Ammonia and radionuclides, stimulating each other in a negative way, destroy human immune system, which leads to extremely serious diseases and genetic deviations. This is why the air-cleaning problem in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine (whose territories suffered due to the Chernobyl atomic power station accident) seems to be even more serious than that in the West-European countries; this problem can be solved only by means of developing efficient air-cleaning systems and applying them to farming industry.
At present, the scientists of major centers (Technological University, Goteborg, Sweden; the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.; Gottenberg University, Mainz, Germany; Mitsubishi Research Center, Yokohama, Japan) give preference to the sorption way of gas cleaning. The ion-exchange process stability regarding the concentration and gas-dynamic fluctuations, the fact that the related equipment is compact, simple and comparatively cheap, the high level of purification (90% to 98%) – this is the basic list of advantages which allow to consider the sorption way of cleaning to belong to the category of the most promising ones.
About 10 to 15 years ago, there were fiber ion-exchange fiber sorbents created for space and military purposes, but the great potential of these absorbents has not been made full use of. The texture of these materials, their anisotropy determines the filter setting and the gas flow nature, limiting the ion-exchange process intensity substantially.
In the mid-1990s, the way out of this situation was found in the Institute for Physical and Organic Chemistry of the National Academy of Science of Belarus. The scientists successfully synthesized an originally structured ammonia-selective isotropic fiber material. Its sorption process intensity does not depend on the air (gas) flow direction. It eliminated the strict limitations for the filter design and consequently led to intensive theoretical and experimental search for its setting optimal configuration. The joint research conducted by the scientists from the Institute for Radiation Physical and Chemical Problems and the Institute for Physical and Organic Chemistry of the National Academy of Science of Belarus allowed to define the ammonia-eliminating air-cleaning edge filter general design for farming industry. Its high productivity is ensured by both isotropic fiber sorbent characteristics and the original gas-dynamics – the air flow oscillating vorticity in the filter slots results in 1.5 to 2 time growth of the sorption process force.
Optimizing such a filter as a whole unit presupposes combining the direct and indirect mass exchange tasks into a single system and finding the related solution. It is necessary to interdependently determine both the gas flow parameter fields and the boundary conditions (the form and size of the constituent elements of the device). This combination creates a new type of mathematical modeling: many of the known conditions, assumptions, ways and methods for equation solving appear to be unacceptable. These mathematical means will have to be developed on a fundamentally new basis.
The purposes of this project are the following:
- developing low-cost production practice for isotropic fiber sorbents – ion-exchange materials of fundamentally new texture;
- creating mathematical models for calculating optimal dimensions and forms of filter parts, as well as the related air flow parameters; creating physical and mathematical support for designing isotropic fiber ion-exchange filter plants;
- building an isotropic fiber sorbent production prototype filter with 10,000 m3/hour capacity for air cleaning at poultry and stock-rearing farms.
Expected Results and Technical Approach
Following are the expected results of the project implementation:
- production practice for highly ammonia-selective isotropic fiber sorbent is going to be developed; production costs are going to be not more than $7 per 1 kg, while the present production costs of the best analogs – anisotropic fiber sorbents – is about $15 per 1 kg;
- an ammonia-eliminating air-cleaning filter with automatic regeneration and capacity of 10,000 m3/hour is going to be developed; it will surpass many parameters of the world best analogs (the cost of cleaning is going to be 7 to 8 times less than that of the existing analogs).
The high efficiency of the filter is ensured by both isotropic fiber sorbent characteristics and the original setting gas-dynamics – the air flow oscillating vorticity in the filter slots results in 1.5 to 2 time growth of the sorption process force.
Implementing the filters will allow:
- to significantly improve the serious, almost critical ecological situation in a number of West-European agricultural regions (for instance, in the Netherlands and Belgium) and in those new independent republics of the former USSR which suffered from the Chernobyl atomic power station accident (ammonia and radionuclides stimulate each other in a negative way and accelerate the destruction of human immune system, which leads to extremely serious diseases and genetic deviations);
- to increase the livestock density at 20% to 30% and lower the meat prime cost at 14%;
- to improve the national export potential by means of manufacturing filters and fiber sorbents which conform to the latest technical requirements.
The demand for a great number of ammonia-eliminating air-cleaning devices for farming industry, the low prime cost of the isotropic fiber sorbent and its exceptional technical and economic characteristics ensure the commercial attractiveness of the project. At present, the Zapadni hog breeding farm, Belarus, and the SANDERS CONSULTANCY B.V. company, Holland, have indicated their to purchase not less than 5,000 of such filters.
Project Scientific Value and Methodology
The singularity of the project is ensured by the fact that the experiments on location and engineering development are going to be preceded by calculating experiments. This will allow to radically decrease the time and cut the expenses for developing the sorbent production practice and for designing the filter. Thus, new mathematical models for gas-dynamics and mass exchange of fiber ion-exchange devices are going to be developed and approved simultaneously with designing the particular sorbent and filter; these models are going to become the basis for developing applied mathematical program sets for automated systems used to design such devices.
The proposed project is of great political and social importance: It is the field of alternative activities for those scientists and engineers, who have been previously involved in developing weapons of mass destruction. One part of the specialists on the team has been developing ventilating systems for strategic missile shafts, the other participated in developing transport nuclear-powered plants.
At present, the scientists on the team have developed plants for cleaning gas discharge of toxic acid aerosols; these plants have been applied at a number of major industrial enterprises in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia. Physical and chemical research determining the sphere for the most rational utilization of fiber sorbents has been conducted as part of INTAS-93 (Project 1193). The filters created by these scientists have been used in the Mir space station life support system.
Thus, there exists direct connection between the present and planned activities of the project participants; their experience and high qualifications is the keystone of the project’s success. Participating in the project will allow them to get adapted in the sphere of peaceful activities and utilize their knowledge and experience for peaceful purposes in a most efficient way, which completely answers the purpose and goals of ISTC.
The amount of work. The project is going to be implemented in three interdependent directions: 1) solving a set of problems of mathematical modeling for gas-dynamic and ion-exchange processes in fiber filter devices; 2) optimizing the isotropic fiber sorbent production practice; 3) developing the filter design, building and testing the filter.
Technical Approach and Methodology
The distinctive feature of the project is making extensive use of computer modeling and calculating experiment. This will allow to radically decrease the time and cut the expenses for developing both the sorbent and filter. In this case, experiments on location are necessary (besides the research involving the sorbent physical or chemical properties) only for adjusting some closing correlations in mathematical models and for testing computing research data on corrected mathematical models (in order to make the final decision on the issues of design or technology). Thus, new mathematical models for gas-dynamics and mass exchange of fiber ion-exchange devices are going to be developed and approved simultaneously with designing the particular sorbent and filter; these models are going to become the basis for developing applied mathematical program sets for automated systems used to design such devices.
Solving these problems (which we call modeling), the methods of continuum mechanics, chemical kinetics, mathematical physics, computing mathematics and optimization are used.
Solving the technological problems, gravimetric and chemical analysis, titrimetry, infrared spectroscopy, electronic paramagnetic resonance, electron microscope and mass-spectrometer are used.
At this stage, the design work is carried out using generally accepted methods.
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