How to Eliminate Combustible Dust in Your Facility

5 Factors to Consider in Developing an OSHA/NFPA Compliant Dust Control Plan

Download our FREE eBook to learn more about how to improve worker safety, maximize productivity and comply with OSHA & NFPA regulations.

The eBook includes chapters on:

  • Reducing Combustible Dust to Improve Safety
  • NFPA 652 Dust Hazard Analysis: Is Your Company Compliant?
  • What Is the True Cost of Combustible Dust?
  • 5 Mistakes You May Be Making with Industrial Dust Control
  • How Do Industrial Dust Control Fans Work?
Eliminate Dust Ebook



    Combustible Dust in the Food and Grain Industry

    The National Grain and Feed Association reports that “grain dust is the main source of fuel for explosions in grain handling facilities.” This dust is highly combustible, and can cause fires and explosions if the grain dust accumulates on surfaces or creates clouds of dust in the air. Due to this risk, OSHA standards allow a maximum of no more than 1/8 inch of grain dust accumulation in priority housekeeping areas, which include enclosed areas containing grinding equipment or grain dryers as well as any floor areas within 35 feet of inside bucket elevator legs.

    Despite these standards, the grain industry continues to battle combustible dust events. According to OSHA reports, over the past 50 years, grain handling facilities in the United States have experienced over 500 explosions, injuring nearly 700 people and killing 180. In 2018 alone, there were 12 grain dust explosions.

    Nationwide, food products made up 43% of the materials involved in combustible dust fires and explosions in 2018, according to the 2018 Combustible Dust Incident Report. Within the food industry, there were 21 combustible dust fires and nine explosions.

    Such incidents can be caused by problems such as a hot bearing, overheated motors, misaligned conveyor belts, or even a spark from a bucket elevator. With the significant amount of dust that is generated by loading and processing grains, it’s a challenge for facilities to keep up with the proper housekeeping measures required to avoid combustible dust events.

    How SonicAire Can Help

    What the food and grain industry needs is a proactive solution that prevents the accumulation of dust. SonicAire provides that solution. SonicAire’s precision industrial dust control fans are engineered to maintain clean food and grain facilities and mitigate the risk of combustible dust events.

    The SonicAire Solution

    SonicAire proprietary technology combines two methods to control dust flow.

    High-Velocity Airflow

    SonicAire fans use high-velocity airflow to clean overhead areas. The strength of this airflow effectively prevents the accumulation of combustible dust or grain particles on overhead structures in the facility.

    Thermal-Current Control

    Typical airflow includes upward thermal currents which naturally lift and carry particles to overhead areas of facilities, where dust quickly accumulates and can become a fire hazard. SonicAire industrial dust control fans prevent these upward thermal currents from holding dust in the air.

    BeforeAfter
    Adjust the slider arrows in the middle of the Before/After photos to see the effect of using SonicAire dust control fans in your facility.

    Food and Grain Industry Overview

    Shaped by innovations in industrial processing, biotechnology and logistical advances, the food and grain industry is rapidly adjusting to market trends and consumer preferences. It remains a major contributor to the U.S. economy and global markets. In its May 30, 2019, Grain Market Report, the International Grains Council (IGC), forecast total U.S. grains production in 2019-20 at 426.2 million tons.

    With this level of production, U.S. mills generate an incredible amount of food and grain for domestic and foreign markets. They also generate an incredible amount of dust.

    These grains flow from 500,000 U.S. grain farms that generate a combined annual grain revenue of around $60 billion. Together, the agriculture, food and related industries contributed $1.053 trillion to the United States GDP in 2017.

    The major grains in this industry include:

    • • Corn
    • • Sorghum
    • • Barley
    • • Oats
    • • Flour
    • • Cereals
    • • Fishmeal
    • • Spice

    Additional sectors that make up the food and grain industry include:

    • • Agriculture – crops, livestock and seafood
    • • Food processing – fresh and prepared products
    • • Manufacturing – agrichemicals, seed, farming machinery

    Learn More:
    Request Your No-Cost Custom Dust Management Plan with ROI Analysis

    Sonicaire Dust Management ROI

    Contact SonicAire to learn how we can evaluate your facility and use our BarrierAire™ technology to mitigate combustible dust, improve safety and reduce downtime/improve efficiency of your operation.




      * Required field

      SonicAire Fans at Work

      The best practice for grain handlers is good housekeeping, and this is an ideal solution for all areas where dust management is needed. The fans can be installed throughout the facility to create an engineered solution that keeps grain settings clean and safe.
      – Michael Beaver, Territory Manager and Grain Specialist, SonicAire
      We installed SonicAire fans because we saw the need to prevent dust from accumulating in the first place…. Their clean fans use technology that makes an air barrier that keeps combustible dust from building up on overhead structures. They work.
      – President, Pallet Company
      Our board of directors and OSHA consultants were very impressed with how well the fans were operating in our facility..
      – Process Development Engineer, Recycling Processing Facility
      These things are amazing, at first, folks here didn’t like the idea – but now, everyone with our company who sees these things is asking if they can get them too.
      – Sr. Plant Engineer, Pulp & Paper Company
      sample fan floor layout

      Put SonicAire to Work for You

      With an engineered layout custom-designed for your plant, SonicAire fans will replace high-risk and costly manual cleaning measures, eliminate the need for housekeeping shut-downs and help maintain a clean, safe environment. Use the Learn More form above, at right to request more information or visit our Dust Solutions page to learn more.

      Food and Grain Industry Overview

      Shaped by innovations in industrial processing, biotechnology and logistical advances, the food and grain industry is rapidly adjusting to market trends and consumer preferences. It remains a major contributor to the U.S. economy and global markets. In its May 30, 2019, Grain Market Report, the International Grains Council (IGC), forecast total U.S. grains production in 2019-20 at 426.2 million tons.

      With this level of production, U.S. mills generate an incredible amount of food and grain for domestic and foreign markets. They also generate an incredible amount of dust.

      These grains flow from 500,000 U.S. grain farms that generate a combined annual grain revenue of around $60 billion. Together, the agriculture, food and related industries contributed $1.053 trillion to the United States GDP in 2017.

      The major grains in this industry include:

      • • Corn
      • • Sorghum
      • • Barley
      • • Oats
      • • Flour
      • • Cereals
      • • Fishmeal
      • • Spice

      Additional sectors that make up the food and grain industry include:

      • • Agriculture – crops, livestock and seafood
      • • Food processing – fresh and prepared products
      • • Manufacturing – agrichemicals, seed, farming machinery

      Learn More:
      Request Your No-Cost Custom Dust Management Plan with ROI Analysis

      Sonicaire Dust Management ROI

      Contact SonicAire to learn how we can evaluate your facility and use our BarrierAire™ technology to mitigate combustible dust, improve safety and reduce downtime/improve efficiency of your operation.




        * Required field