Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Acoustic Agglomeration of Fly Ash

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

Coal pollution is a problem in Kentucky, affecting a significant portion of residents. The current technologies employ electrostatic precipitators to remove large particles from the exhaust, leaving smaller particles in the fluid stream. Western Kentucky University is investigating methods of further reducing the amount of airborne fly ash exiting coal processing plants by means of pretreating the exhaust acoustically, agglomerating the fine dust into larger clumps for easier and more thorough removal. Initial investigations are underway, agglomerating cork dust and cigarette smoke (which is comparable in consistency to fly ash) utilizing speakers. Additional work developing thermoacoustic prime movers (a technology converting thermal energy to acoustic work) as the sound source has reached the prototype stage. This novel system geometry employs harmonic resonant modes, which facilitates the insertion of a dividing membrane to separate the thermoacoustic components from the hazardous exhaust stream. Initial results and analysis will be presented. The results of this work will help further the overall goal of applying thermoacoustic technology to this problem, which will enable the pretreatment process to occur utilizing the waste heat of the exhaust as the energy source.

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Acoustic Agglomeration of Fly Ash

Coal pollution is a problem in Kentucky, affecting a significant portion of residents. The current technologies employ electrostatic precipitators to remove large particles from the exhaust, leaving smaller particles in the fluid stream. Western Kentucky University is investigating methods of further reducing the amount of airborne fly ash exiting coal processing plants by means of pretreating the exhaust acoustically, agglomerating the fine dust into larger clumps for easier and more thorough removal. Initial investigations are underway, agglomerating cork dust and cigarette smoke (which is comparable in consistency to fly ash) utilizing speakers. Additional work developing thermoacoustic prime movers (a technology converting thermal energy to acoustic work) as the sound source has reached the prototype stage. This novel system geometry employs harmonic resonant modes, which facilitates the insertion of a dividing membrane to separate the thermoacoustic components from the hazardous exhaust stream. Initial results and analysis will be presented. The results of this work will help further the overall goal of applying thermoacoustic technology to this problem, which will enable the pretreatment process to occur utilizing the waste heat of the exhaust as the energy source.