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Powder Conveying help: vacuum pump vs air blower vs air compressor vs compressed air pump

Powder Conveying help: vacuum pump vs air blower vs air compressor vs compressed air pump

Powder Conveying help: vacuum pump vs air blower vs air compressor vs compressed air pump

I work in the food and beverage industry and I am working on developing a system for recirculating powder back into a powder filling machine, and my main idea was using a vacuum pump. Then I got confused and came across compressed air (pneumatic) pumps and air compressors. I know I can use either positive or negative pressure to convey powders, but which equipment applies best to my application?

I have attached a flowsheet of my ideas in this post.

  • My 1st idea is to connect some steel piping between filling machine, pump, and a holding container where operators can dump material in and powder would be recirculated. I don't know if this is possible to do continuously, or at all.
  • My 2nd idea was to have a station where the operators can bring reject containers, stick it under a steel pipe, and vacuum the powder away to the filling machine (kind've like a manual dust collection system).
My main concern was if these ideas were physically possible since I am not familiar with pumps/compressors, and how big of an issue leaks or backflow would be. Also, is it correct that I need valves downstream and upstream of the pump/compressor/blower to start and stop powder flow into the filling machine? Thanks and I appreciate any help.

RE: Powder Conveying help: vacuum pump vs air blower vs air compressor vs compressed air pump

Couple of thoughts:
First, is the powder explosive when air born?
For the food industry, I'd guess flour, coffee creamer, or powdered sugar.
If so, you need to keep from getting the powder in to the air.
If not explosive, something like a cyclone separator may help make the system continuous by letting the powder collect at the bottom and the main air flow allowed to exit without blowing the powder out of the filler machine hopper.

RE: Powder Conveying help: vacuum pump vs air blower vs air compressor vs compressed air pump

Review these FM Loss Protection Datasheets
  • 7-76 Prevention and Mitigation of Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire
  • 7-78 Industrial Exhaust Systems
  • 7-73 Dust Collectors and Collection Systems
  • 7-11 Conveyors
Air transport of combustible material is used but precautions are prudent as shown in the video above.

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