Blog: Imperial Systems Approach to Dust Collection


We’ve talked in previous posts about the health hazards of silica, and about the new OSHA regulations on silica dust exposure. Fortunately, there are solutions that can control silica dust on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) sites. Imperial Systems Inc. president and CEO Jeremiah Wann saw first-hand the struggles companies were having. There didn’t seem to be any good hydraulic fracturing silica dust solutions available for them.


Most solutions offered for silica dust exposure control were either impractical or not effective. Most respirators cannot handle the extremely high levels of silica in the air around the equipment at these sites, and respirators are often used incorrectly or not used at all. Stationary collection systems cannot be installed on sand moving trucks or on belts transporting sand across the site. Portable equipment is often bulky and requires ductwork and its own power supply.


Jeremiah spoke to managers and engineers at worksites about their issues. He found out about the problems that they were currently having, and the reasons the available options weren’t good enough.


Complicated Hydraulic Fracturing work site



Jeremiah found that one of the main issues in designing hydraulic fracturing silica solutions was the complexity of a fracking site. These are large areas with complex logistics, where sand has to be transferred between trucks, dumped onto belts, carried across the site, and loaded into mixers or storage containers.


Most silica control systems don’t work well on these sites. Standard equipment can’t be mounted on sand transport vehicles. Many systems have complex ductwork and need separate sources of power and compressed air. Running all of this to a collector can be extremely difficult under the conditions of a hydraulic fracturing site. Portable collectors are difficult to move around heavy equipment, too small to handle the dust load, and still require a separate power source.



Jeremiah realized that a dust collector used as a hydraulic fracturing silica solution needed to be as hassle-free and self-contained as possible. His patented solution was a CMAXX dust collector designed to be installed directly at the sources of silica release, even if these sources were on moving trucks. To accomplish this, all the connections to external ducts, compressed air, and power had to be cut.


The CMAXX for hydraulic fracturing sites is a complete plug-and-play system, the first and only fully integrated dust collector for fracking sand equipment. It can be mounted on sand transport trucks, at the points where sand is being moved onto and off of transport belts, and over mixers and other equipment. The fans and airlocks are operated with hydraulics powered by the vehicle, and the compressed air is powered by a generator.


Silica Dust at the Hydraulic Fracturing site


The CMAXX runs and pulse cleans automatically whenever the equipment is running. This means there’s no need to turn it on and off, and no chance of someone forgetting and using the equipment without the collector on. No extra ductwork, hoses, or wiring makes it an ideal hydraulic fracturing silica solution. By listening to the needs and concerns of the people who work on fracking sites, Jeremiah was able to design a solution that reduced visible silica emissions up to 99% across the entire site.


As an added bonus, controlling silica emissions at the source prevents the entire site from being covered with silica. Without fugitive silica escaping from all the transfer points, there is less silica for trucks and other vehicles to stir up as they drive around. Also, there is silica to be blown around on windy days. Overall respiratory health all over the site is improved.


If you’re looking for a hydraulic fracturing silica solution, the CMAXX is the patented, unique solution for almost any piece of sand-moving equipment. With enforcement of OSHA’s new silica law coming up next year, now is a great time to start thinking about an investment that’s going to control silica exposure at the source.