auburn – Using Particulate Monitoring to Reliably Monitor Carbon Black Emissions

In December, the EPA reached consent agreements stemming from Clean Air Act claims in 2007 with 3 major carbon black manufacturers, where the plants agreed to invest $300 million collectively in state-of-the-art pollution control technologies. This resolution once again reinforced the importance of monitoring carbon black emissions.  Although this is one of the most challenging applications, some carbon black manufacturers have been using Auburn FilterSense particulate monitoring equipment for years to stay in compliance and avoid fines.

The Reality of Carbon Black Emissions Monitoring

Particulate monitoring can help to control carbon black emissions

With process temperatures that can reach 1400º F, carbon black production is extremely harsh and demanding to say the least. Worse is the sulfur dioxide that is created as a by product of the production process. Not only is SO2 corrosive (presenting issues to all equipment being used in the process), but it is also extremely toxic. This poses health risks to both plant employees and the community when emissions are not being controlled effectively.

The concentrated black powder complicates opacity monitoring and light scatter device operation. It is also a highly conductive material, which presents a challenge to triboelectric particulate monitors which need to remain electrically isolated to operate properly. You can’t expect to use a basic broken bag detector in these processes.  To properly combat the challenges the carbon black manufacturing processes present, Auburn FilterSense relied upon its years of experience and knowledge to design a special high temperature probe, combined with an annular air purge and resistant to corrosion to increase reliability while decreasing the need for frequent maintenance and repairs.

While maintenance is unavoidable, Auburn FilterSense has seen its carbon black partners use particulate monitoring effectively to help reduce the frequency of their maintenance. One plant was able to reduce their required maintenance from monthly to yearly in one process and from quarterly to yearly in another process.

New Call-to-actionSimplifying Compliance

With the US-EPA tightening regulations and increasing enforcement within the carbon black industry, it is important for plants to evaluate ways to meet their compliance requirements without creating more work  or  wasted time. Many Bag Leak Detection Systems can include data management software. EPA self-tests can be configured to work with the particulate monitor to ensure adherence to regulations and also proper operation of the instrument.

The data that is being monitored can be easily stored and made accessible to the environmental team for their reporting. This avoids the difficult process of manually gathering data from different sources and combining them into a unified report, while eliminating a lot of wasted time and opportunity for error.  A complete BLDS can include baghouse controls, like Auburn FilterSense’s B-PAC, where plants are able to gain insight into the condition of their baghouse environment – monitoring filter media performance and notifying personnel of diaphragm and solenoid failures in real-time while also meeting their compliance needs.


Although it is difficult application, effective and reliable particulate monitoring is possible in carbon black manufacturing. Triboelectric monitoring not only helps companies meet their compliance requirements, but can also help to reduce the burden that emissions control can place on plants – helping them to reduce and plan for required maintenance, simplify compliance, and gain insight into the condition of their baghouse environment.

Download the carbon black application note to learn more about how Auburn FilterSense’s carbon black customers have reliably monitored emissions at their facilities.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your application,

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.