Sensing Explosive Dust Concentration through Imaging

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Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method for sensing explosive dust concentration. Over 70% of the dust produced in industry is explosive, and the suspended dust concentration is one of the most important factors that leads to a major explosion. Dust clouds are mobile, rendering stationary equipment for measuring dust concentration insufficient. The Purdue researchers' solution is portable and inexpensive. The application requires selection of the type of dust (cornstarch, corn dust, or sawdust) and takes camera images/video of the dust. The app detects the intensity of light from the images and distance between the two targets and, using an algorithm, calculates the dust concentration and notifies the user if it is an explosive concentration. This app can be easily updated as correlations for other types of dust are determined.

Related Publications: Yumeng Zhao, R.P. Kingsly Ambrose, A real-time method for sensing suspended dust concentration from the light extinction coefficient, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 67, 2020,

Technology Validation: The researchers' sawdust and corn dust regression equations were within the 95% R2 limit, and the R2 value for the cornstarch regression equation was 93%.

- Mobile, in-situ detection method
- Inexpensive
- Rapid response time
- Large area detection
- Amenable to different types of dust

- Sensing suspended dust concentration
Jan 13, 2020
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
The Convergence Center
101 Foundry Drive, Suite 2500
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486