SPOTLIGHT: Fire and Explosion Prevention Technology

Proper integration of prevention and mitigation systems is a technical challenge encountered in wood pellet process safety.
By Pellet Mill Magazine | May 20, 2021

Integrated solutions for prevention and mitigation safeguards

Combustible dust poses both fire and explosion hazards in wood pellet facilities. Prevention technologies are the first line of defense. Ignition source monitoring and removal is the basis for proper hazard prevention. Solutions include spark detection systems, bearing temperature monitors, combustion gas detection monitors, and quick suppression water mist systems.

Prevention solutions must consider the ignition source potential of the process equipment, and the ignition sensitivity of the dust being handled. Potential ignition sources can range from mechanical sparks to self-heating dust. Wood dust will have different ignition source potential throughout the wood pellet production process. Lower moisture content and smaller particles tend to increase ignition sensitivity. Green material on the front end of the drying process will have a higher moisture content and particle size. Milled wood dust will have the highest ignition source potential because it has been dried and reduced in particle size. Different areas of the wood pellet process introduce different hazards as the dust properties are altered. A dust hazard analysis or DHA is the starting point to help evaluate the different hazards in the process.

Detection of hot particles is the key to minimizing loss of revenue and production downtime due to combustible dust incidents. Conventional ultraviolet spark detection systems detect daylight, which dramatically increases the risk of false activations. True infrared detectors are insensitive to daylight and can detect lower energy ignition sources. CV Technology partnered with Firefly AB to integrate true infrared spark detectors with CV’s superior explosion mitigation solutions. The goal is to provide customers with complete explosion protection solutions that include prevention and mitigation safeguards.

Proper integration of prevention and mitigation systems is a technical challenge encountered in wood pellet process safety. Prevention systems are designed without considerations for the mitigation safeguards. CV Technology provides total solutions that include both prevention and mitigation systems. The company’s systems are designed to provide optimal safety against combustible dust with minimal effect on machinery or production.

Printed in Issue 2, 2021 of Pellet Mill Magazine