Particle Size Distributions of Particulate Emissions from the Ferroalloy Industry Evaluated by Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI)

<div><p>The present article presents a comprehensive evaluation of the potential use of an Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI) in the ferroalloy industry with respect to indoor air quality and fugitive emission control. The ELPI was used to assess particulate emission properties, particularly of the fine particles (<i>D<sub>p</sub></i> ≤ 1 μm), which in turn may enable more satisfactory risk assessments for the indoor working conditions in the ferroalloy industry. An ELPI has been applied to characterize the fume in two different ferroalloy plants, one producing silicomanganese (SiMn) alloys and one producing ferrosilicon (FeSi) alloys. The impactor classifies the particles according to their aerodynamic diameter and gives real-time particle size distributions (PSD). The PSD based on both number and mass concentrations are shown and compared. Collected particles have also been analyzed by transmission and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy. From the ELPI classification, particle size distributions in the range 7 nm – 10 μm have been established for industrial SiMn and FeSi fumes. Due to the extremely low masses of the ultrafine particles, the number and mass concentration PSD are significantly different. The average aerodynamic diameters for the FeSi and the SiMn fume particles were 0.17 and 0.10 μm, respectively. Based on this work, the ELPI is identified as a valuable tool for the evaluation of airborne particulate matter in the indoor air of metallurgical production sites. The method is well suited for real-time assessment of morphology (particle shape), particle size, and particle size distribution of aerosols.</p></div>