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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Submitted by
Leow Beng Kwang

Department of Mechanical Engineering

In partial fulfillment of the


Requirements for the Degree of
Bachelor of Engineering
National University of Singapore

Session 2004/2005

SUMMARY
Pneumatic refuse collection system is becoming popular in developed countries due to
its advantage. This system has been in place overseas since the 1960s. However,
Singapore has been using the manual method of collecting refuse for more than 40
years. The current method of manual tipping of chute bins to collect refuse are not
very efficient. Open chute bins emit foul stench during conveyance of refuse to bin
centers. Improvements have to be made.

This project is a collaboration between NUS and a local waste management company,
SembWaste. This project did not involve experiments or testing. The purpose of this
dissertation attempts to provide an understanding on the feasibility and operations of
pneumatic refuse collection system. One of the main areas of study is on SembWaste
Enviro-EZ system. Calculations show that sufficient vacuum pressure has to be
created in Enviro-EZ before every suction process begins. The required pressure and
air velocity to convey refuse is estimated by using simple bulk solids pneumatic
conveying system formulas. Pressure losses of free air were calculated using
Bernoullis Equation. BH350T fan was selected as it fits the power and pressure
requirements.

The designs of refuse hopper and refuse container were also discussed. Problems
posed by the current system and design considerations were presented. The designs
aim to provide user-friendly features to users and cleaning operators. To increase
reliability of the system, it is recommended that air flow and prototype experiments be
conducted for successful implementation of Enviro-EZ system.

ii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The author wishes to express his sincere appreciation and gratitude to his project
supervisor Associate Professor Chew Chye Heng for his kind guidance, patience and
invaluable advice during the course of this project.

The author would also like to show his appreciation to his school mates, Mr Lim Buan
Teck Danny, Mr Lim Sing Wee and fellow research students and staff from the
Dynamics and Vibrations Laboratory who have helped in one way or another in the
progress of this project.

iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TOPICS

PAGE

SUMMARY

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

iii

LIST OF FIGURES

vi

LIST OF SYMBOLS

viii

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Objectives

1.2 Current Situation

1.3 Reasons for changes in refuse collection system

2. PNEUMATIC REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Outline of the system

2.3 Benefits of pneumatic refuse collection system

2.4 Pneumatic refuse collection system in Singapore

2.4.1 SINGMATIC system in Kim Keat Link housing estate

2.4.2 Enviro-EZ vehicle in St. Georges Lane housing estate

2.5 Overseas pneumatic refuse collection systems


2.5.1 Pneumatic refuse removal system in Sundbyberg, Sweden

2.5.2 Motorized vacuum refuse collection system in Japan

2.5.2.1 Principle of operation

10

2.6 Discussion

10

LITERATURE REVIEW

11

3.1 Pneumatic conveying systems

11

iv

3.2 Positive-pressure systems

11

3.3 Negative-pressure systems

12

3.4 Modes of Flow

12

3.5 Gas-solids flow

13

3.5.1 Horizontal flow

13

3.5.2 Vertical flow

14

3.6 Discussion
4 ENVIRO-EZ SYSTEM CALCULATIONS

14
15

4.1 Outline of Enviro-EZ system

15

4.2 Purpose of chapter

15

4.3 Pressure available in continuous air flow (without lid)

16

4.4 Mechanics of pneumatic transport

17

4.4.1 Air velocity required

18

4.4.2 Fluid friction on pipe wall

18

4.4.3 Sliding friction of the solids on the pipe walls

18

4.4.4 Increase in potential energy of both fluid and solids

19

4.4.5 Increase in kinetic energy of fluid and solids

19

4.4.6 Total pressure losses

19

4.5 Free air calculations

19

4.5.1 Bernoullis Equation

21

4.5.2 Head losses of free air

22

4.5.3 Discussion of findings

23

4.6 Size of fan required

24

4.7 Discussion

25

5 DESIGN OF REFUSE HOPPER

26

5.1 Introduction

26

5.2 Current system

26

5.2.1 Refuse hopper in older estate

26

5.2.2 Refuse hopper in new estates

27

5.3 Problems posed by current refuse hoppers

28

5.4 Design considerations for proposed hopper

28

5.5 Description of proposed hopper

29

5.6 Discussion

30

6 DESIGN OF INDIVIDUAL REFUSE CHUTE

32

6.1 Current situation

32

6.2 Problems posed by the current system

32

6.3 Design considerations for proposed refuse container

33

6.4 Preliminary designs of refuse container

34

6.5 Description of proposed refuse container

35

6.5.1 Operation of refuse removal


6.6 Discussion

36
38

7 CONCLUSION

43

45

RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

46

APPENDICES
APPENDIX A

A1

APPENDIX B

B1

APPENDIX C

C1

APPENDIX D

D1

vi

LIST OF FIGURES
Figures

PAGE

1.1

Waste disposal collection method

1.2

Manual disposal of refuse

1.3

Cleaners manually tipping and clearing bins in Bin Center

1.4

A centralized refuse chute at the foot of a block

1.5

Direct collection from private residential estate and other buildings

1.6

Exposure of garbage when transporting them to Bin Center

2.1

A typical underground pipe pneumatic refuse transport system

2.2

SINGMATIC vehicle position itself before refuse suction at

Kim Keat Link estate


2.3

Setup of pipes in a Kim Keat Link HDB refuse chute

2.4

Enviro-EZ vehicle pulling holding bins

2.5

Vacuum refuse collection system

10

3.1

An example of positive-pressure system

11

3.2

An example of negative-pressure system

12

4.1

Layout of current Enviro-EZ system

15

4.2

Characteristic curve of BH350T fan of Anlet Co.

24

5.1

A hand-operated refuse hopper for refuse disposal in every residence

26

5.2

A chute bin (right) in a chute chamber

27

5.3

A foot-pedal refuse hopper installed near lift lobby

27

5.4

Section view and open position of proposed hopper

29

5.5

Dimensions of hopper after installation onto wall

31

6.1

Current refuse chute bin

32

6.2

Three various designs of refuse container

34

vii

6.3

Features of refuse container

36

6.4

Illustration of flow of air and refuse removal

37

6.5

Dimensions of proposed refuse container

38

6.6

Internal square contour of current HDB chute

39

6.7

A metal can with a cap positioned over it

40

6.8

Spring-loaded hemispherical ball locking mechanism for

41

refuse outlet cover


6.9

Sliding cover for pipes

41

6.10

Mating process of suction pipe and refuse conveying pipe

42

viii

LIST OF SYMBOLS
Vf

Floating velocity of solids

Pipe diameter in metres

solid

Density of conveyed solid

fluid

Density of fluid

Nf

Force to overcome fluid friction

Pf

Pressure required to overcome fluid friction

Area of fluid in cross section

Coefficient of friction between fluid and pipe wall

Equivalent length of pipe

Wetted perimeter = d

air

Density of air

Vair

Velocity of air flow

We

Effective weight of bulk solids

Acceleration due to gravity

Pipe length

Mass flow rate of solids = csolidAv

Speed

Volumetric concentration of solids

Coefficient of friction between solids on the wall

Ps

Pressure required to overcome solid friction

Ns

Force required to overcome solid friction

Height which solids are raised

ix

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Objectives
This project is a collaboration between NUS and a local waste management company,
SembWaste. SembWaste has experimented a pneumatic refuse collection in St. Georges
housing estate using a refuse transfer vehicle Enviro-EZ. However, the performance of
pneumatic suction of refuse from the chute bin proved to be intermittent. The objectives of
this project are:
1. Analyze current pneumatic refuse collection system to dispose off refuse from
Housing Development Board (HDB) residential estates in Singapore;
2. Study on pneumatic conveying systems in industry;
3. Study and improve on pneumatic conveying capability (e.g. vacuum pressure
required and conveying velocity) of Enviro-EZ;
4. Propose designs for refuse hopper and refuse storage container.

1.2 Current Situation


Many countries are facing the dilemma of increasing refuse load and the problem of refuse
collection and disposal. As a matter of fact, Singapore cannot run away from this problem
too. Large amount of residential waste is generated daily with industrialization and
economic development. In the year 2000, the amount of disposed refuse tipped the scales
of 2.8 million tonnes [1]. The huge amount of refuse generated in Singapore demands a
highly efficient method to handle its collection and disposal.

In Singapore, waste management companies are awarded contracts after they have
successfully bid to provide waste collection and disposal services. The efficient
performance in collection and disposal of refuse over the years earned Singapore a
reputation of having one of the most efficiently operated refuse collection services in the
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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

region. The various methods of refuse collection in Singapore are shown in Figure 1.1.
The explanation for individual method is elaborated.
Pneumatic Refuse
Collection System

Figure 1.1: Waste disposal collection method [2]


i)

Individual refuse chute system Every block of HDB flats has about six
common chutes. Two adjacent households share a refuse chute where residents
discard refuse into a hopper located in their household. The refuse are collected
in the chute bins at the ground floor. Everyday, two cleaners push a cart to
manually empty the individual bins as shown in Figure 1.2. The collected
refuse is then transported to a central collection point known as a Bin Center.
There may be mechanized compactor to reduce the volume of refuse in the bin
center. This system is found commonly in older HDB estates. Figure 1.3 shows
cleaners manually tipping and clearing bins in Bin Center.

Figure 1.2: Manual disposal of refuse


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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Figure 1.3: Cleaners manually tipping and clearing bins in Bin Center
ii)

Centralized refuse chute system This system is incorporated into recently


developed HDB estates. This is similar to the first method except that every
block of flats has only one centralized chute located near the lift lobby.
Residents need to step out of their house to discard their refuse into the hopper
provided at every floor. The refuse is collected at the foot of the block and
requires a garbage truck to reverse into the refuse room to collect refuse. Figure
1.4 shows centralized refuse chutes at the foot of block of flats.

Figure 1.4: Centralized refuse chutes at the foot of HDB blocks


iii)

Direct collection Landed properties like bungalows, semi-detached houses,


terrace houses and shop houses entail point-to-point collection. Cleaners would
drive a big garbage truck to collect refuse from the individual units. This pointto-point collection method is tedious. Figure 1.5 shows examples of direct
collection from private residential estate and other buildings.

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Figure 1.5: Direct collection from private residential estate and other buildings [3]
iv)

Pneumatic refuse collection system This type of system is discussed in


greater detail in Chapter 2.

1.3 Reasons for changes in refuse collection system


Improvements are needed on the current manual collection systems and relevant
installation of pneumatic refuse collection system into the old and new HDB estates have
to be explored. Some of the reasons to improve the current system are:
1. The current method of refuse removal is unhygienic as unpleasant odor is emitted
from exposed garbage during the journey of transporting bins of refuse to bin
center. Figure 1.6 illustrates this point.

Figure 1.6: Exposure of garbage when transporting them to Bin Center


2. Improve the efficiency of refuse collection.
3. Adopt a less labour intensive collection system.
4. Refuse collection is often associated with foul working conditions and dirty job.
5. Social problem: Higher standard of living and education result in locals unwilling
to associate themselves with refuse collection job. Foreign workers are often
engaged to undertake refuse collection tasks.
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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 2
PNEUMATIC REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM
2.1 Introduction
Pneumatic refuse collection system (mentioned in Section 1.2) is an expensive system for
conveyance of refuse. This system either involves conveyance of refuse through concealed
underground pipes into a collection truck or makes use of smaller mobile pneumatic
collection cart to collect refuse. Both methods carry a pneumatic pump on the collection
vehicle. This automatic and efficient enclosed system keeps foul stench, manual contact
with refuse and insect infestation to a minimum.

2.2 Outline of the system


A typical pneumatic refuse collection system consists of an inlet where refuse is dumped,
a pipeline to transport refuse, a blower or pump that creates the air flow in the pipe, a filter
bag removing fine dust, deodorizer removing odor and a truck for transportation of refuse
to bin centers or incinerators. Since pneumatic refuse collection system may involve
conveying refuse from multiple pick-up points to a single collection point, it is more
feasible to apply vacuum pressure to convey refuse efficiently. A pneumatic pump initially
create sufficient vacuum in the collection vehicle tank. When a valve opens, atmospheric
air rushes into the pipe and carries the refuse along the pipeline into the collection truck. A
typical underground pipe pneumatic refuse transport system is shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1: A typical underground pipe pneumatic refuse transport system [4]

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

2.3 Benefits of pneumatic refuse collection system


The benefits of this system include:
1) Enclosed system prevents leakage of unpleasant odor, waste scattering and reduce
health hazards. Insect infestation on refuse can be eradicated and improve hygiene.
2) Eliminate human contact with unwanted foul stench and refuse.
3) Refuse collection is not inconvenienced by adverse weather conditions e.g. rain.
4) The work involved in loading up collection vehicles is no longer necessary. Workrelated accidents and lumbago suffered by operators are minimized.
5) This system could improve the working prospects of refuse collection and create
more job opportunities for locals. People may perceive the cleaners as cart
drivers who drive an enclosed collection cart around HDB estates.
6) The property prices of those flats near to bin centers or chutes may rise due to
more hygienic bin centers and chutes.

2.4 Pneumatic refuse collection system in Singapore


2.4.1 SINGMATIC system in Kim Keat Link housing estate
SembWaste has experimented the SINGMATIC pneumatic refuse conveyance system in a
few upgraded blocks of Kim Keat Link residential flats.

Docking station for vehicle


to connect to underground
pipes.
Figure 2.2: SINGMATIC vehicle position itself before refuse suction at Kim Keat Link
estate. (Inset: Close-up of the top portion of docking station)

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Figure 2.2 shows a huge SINGMATIC refuse suction vehicle position itself to suck refuse
from concealed storage tanks through a network of undergrounds pipes in Kim Keat Link
housing estate. The concealed storage tanks were retrofitted into the housing estates
refuse chute chambers of existing buildings. The automatic suction process is carried out
one chute at a time. The setup of pipes in the chute (with some labeled parts) is reflected in
Figure 2.3. Pest and odor problems commonly associated with the manual collection of
refuse from chute bins and bin centers are eliminated.
A

Bypass pipe

Cover to seal
storage tank

Refuse
discharge
outlet

Figure 2.3: Setup of pipes in a Kim Keat Link HDB refuse chute
(A: Overall view; B: Close-up view; C: Control valve for air intake pipe)
During suction process, the top cover (in Figure 2.3A) is activated pneumatically to seal
off the storage tank so that no danger is posed to residents when they open a hopper. Air is
admitted from bypass pipe and air intake pipe to allow smooth flow of refuse through the
pipes. The provision of refuse discharge outlet allows removal of any garbage that is stuck
in the refuse tank. It takes less than 30 seconds to clear every chute.
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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

2.4.2 Enviro-EZ vehicle in St. Georges Lane housing estate


SembWaste tried out a pneumatic refuse collection vehicle, known as Enviro-EZ, in St.
Georges Lane housing estate to remove refuse from refuse chutes. Enviro-EZ employs
vacuum suction of waste from the chute bins directly into an enclosed holding bin attached
behind the vehicle. This process eliminates the need for manual lifting and tipping of chute
bins in HDB flats with individual refuse chute system and minimizes human contact with
the waste. This process requires one man to operate Enviro-EZ. Figure 2.4 shows the
Enviro-EZ vehicle pulling holding bins which have individual storage capacity of 2m3.

Figure 2.4: Enviro-EZ vehicle pulling holding bins


Cleaners need to pull the chute bin out of the chute chamber and insert the suction pipe
into the bin to suck out refuse. However, the suction process proved to be intermittent.
Therefore, this project attempts to study the pressure losses and velocity of conveying
air to transport refuse pneumatically.

2.5 Overseas pneumatic refuse collection systems


There is limited literature on conveying refuse pneumatically. A few literature contain
some information which help to shed some light on the vacuum pressure and air velocity
required to convey refuse successfully in overseas applications.

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

2.5.1 Pneumatic refuse removal system in Sundbyberg, Sweden [5, 6, 7]


The concept of pneumatic refuse removal from residential areas originated from a Swedish
company Centralsug A.B. of Stockholm in 1960s. A pneumatic refuse removal system was
installed at Sundbyberg, Sweden, to collect refuse from 36 chutes in high-rise housing
estates in 1967. The domestic refuse were transported via underground steel welded pipes.
At that time in Sundbyberg, five parallel-connected 4-stage exhausters (pumps) were
installed. Each exhauster was driven by 110kW motor and capable of generating a vacuum
pressure of 190mmHg (that is about 0.25 bars vacuum pressure) [6].

The minimum exhaust air flow gauge pressure is 100in H2O (about 0.25 bars) [7]. The
solid waste was swept along in an air stream of about 90 feet per second (about 27m/s).
The maximum distance traveled by the refuse from the chute to the heating plant was
about 1.7 miles (approx. 2736m). The underground pipes range in diameter from 20 to 24
inches (0.5 to 0.61m). At that time, the system handled 23m3 of refuse per day from the 36
chutes [7]. The papers claimed that the system was free from unpleasant odor and no
clogging has occurred in eight years of operations.

2.5.2 Motorized vacuum refuse collection system in Japan [8]


The most typical household refuse were wrapped in plastic or paper bags in Japan. The
Japanese came up with a motorized vacuum refuse collection system (TECHNOCUUM)
to aid in refuse collection. This system successfully collects refuse via underground pipes
by pneumatic suction from a vacuum collection vehicle. This vacuum refuse collection
system is shown in Figure 2.5.

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Figure 2.5: Vacuum refuse collection system [8]

2.5.2.1 Principle of operation


The refuse were dropped into the gravity chute and collected in the 1 to 2m3 storage tank
as shown in Figure 2.5. A negative pressure of 0.34 bars was set in the suction tank prior
to every suction process. A secondary air valve (3) opened so that the refuse were sucked
into the vehicle through abrupt influx of air from the air intake valve (2). The pipeline in
this system had a diameter of 0.25m or 0.3m. The maximum suction length is less than
approximately 170m.

2.6 Discussion
These overseas pneumatic refuse conveying applications demand garbage to travel at least
a distance of 100m. Since the minimum exhaust air flow pressure was 0.25 bars in
Sundbyberg system, it can be deduced that the actual vacuum pressure required to convey
refuse could be much higher than this value. This reasoning is supported by the successful
Japanese system which uses 0.34 bars of vacuum pressure for every suction process. The
Japanese model illustrates the necessity to create sufficient vacuum before every suction
process. These reference findings could be useful in later section of this project.

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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 3
LITERATURE REVIEW
3.1 Pneumatic conveying systems
The model of pneumatic refuse collection is similar to pneumatic conveying systems. This
brief introductory chapter is written to provide the reader with an overview and a practical
insight into pneumatic conveying technology. Pneumatic conveying system designs were
based upon past experience or experimental results. Due to commercial interests,
manufacturers of pneumatic conveying systems rarely publish information that could be of
value in system design. A single value of material flow rate, conveying distance, pipeline
bore and air supply pressure is the extent of information normally given. The capability of
a pneumatic conveying system depends essentially on the following three parameters [9]:
1) Diameter of the pipeline used,
2) The distance that the material is to be conveyed, and
3) The conveying line pressure drop available.
Pneumatic conveying system involves transportation of bulk materials through a pipeline
by a positive or a negative pressure system or a combination of both systems.

3.2 Positive-pressure systems

Figure 3.1: An example of positive-pressure system [10]


Figure 3.1 shows a positive pressure conveying system. Positive pressure conveying
systems are the most elementary and fundamental pneumatic conveying system. They are
used for transporting materials from a single source to several discharge hoppers.

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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Discharge to several hoppers is done, one at a time, by operating a diverter valve located
at each receiver to shunt the flow from a main piping header into a selected receiver. The
blower is located at the beginning of conveying pipe. This system is generally applied
when material must be delivered to a number of widely separated receivers located at a
considerable distance from the source of supply.

3.3 Negative-pressure systems


Negative pressure systems, shown in Figure 3.2, are also known as vacuum systems.
These systems are ideally suited for drawing materials from several sources to a single
collection point. The blower or exhauster is located at the discharge end of conveying line.
Irregular-shaped particles are easier to convey than spherical particles due to the
associated drag coefficients. Multiple sources feeding into a common transfer line result in
little pressure loss in this system. An advantage is that air leakage is inward and injection
of dust or odor into the surrounding atmosphere is virtually eliminated.

Figure 3.2: An example of negative-pressure system [10]


3.4 Modes of Flow
Pneumatic conveying systems are classified according to the mode of flow of bulk solids
along the pipeline. There are two modes of flow in pneumatic conveying systems: 1) dilute
phase conveying system and 2) dense-phase conveying system.
1) Dilute-phase flow In dilute-phase flow, the bulk solid is conveyed essentially in
suspension with the solids moving quite uniformly distributed over the cross-section of the
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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

pipeline. It is necessary to ensure that the minimum conveying velocity does not fall below
15m/s so that solids are kept in suspension in the pipeline [11]. This type of flow involves
high velocity gas stream to carry materials by means of lift and drag forces acting on the
individual particles. The mass flow ratio (i.e. the ratio of the mass flow rate of solid to the
mass flow rate of the conveying air) for dilute phase flows is likely to be less than or equal
to 15 [12]. Dilute phase systems are the most common pneumatic conveying systems.
2) Dense-phase flow When the conveying air velocity is less than that required to keep
the bulk solids in suspension in horizontal flow, the bulk solid particles begin to settle to
the bottom of the pipe to form dense-phase flow. The mass flow ratio for dense phase
flows is greater than 15. Its flow patterns can vary from being unstable to stable regimes
depending upon the solid characteristics, gas velocity, pipe roughness, pipe size, etc. The
stable flow situations result in a smooth conveying process while the unstable situation is
characterized by occasional violent pressure surges as the moving layer breaks up [12].
This low-velocity flow is useful to reduce damages when conveying delicate products.

3.5 Gas-solids flow


Large number of variables, e.g. velocity of conveying gas and of solid particles, pressure
and temperature of the conveying gas, size and shape and density of solid particles, etc,
made studies in gas-solid flow difficult. The empirical study of homogeneous single-phase
fluids is usually done. In a uniform cross-section pipe, the decreasing pressure of
conveying gas would cause the gas velocity to increase along the pipeline. However, a
minimum conveying gas velocity should be maintained to ensure suspension flow.

3.5.1 Horizontal flow


When solid particles flow in a horizontal pipe, the process of solid particles settling down
at the bottom of a horizontal pipeline is known as saltation. The minimum conveying air
13

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

velocity to ensure horizontal suspension flow is known as saltation velocity. If the air
velocity continues to fall, slug occurs and the pipe will get plugged finally.

3.5.2 Vertical flow


Choking occurs in vertically upward flow when solid particles near the pipe wall begin to
flow downwards. If such phenomenon continues, the pipeline becomes choked. Choking
velocity is the minimum transport velocity for a vertical pipe.

3.6 Discussion
Experiments conducted on powdered materials revealed that minimum safe saltation
velocity is greater than the choking velocity [12]. The difference between the two
velocities is much smaller for coarser materials. Saltation and choking should be avoided
to ensure that conveyed materials flow smoothly in the conveying gas. In this way, the
conveyed materials will not drag on the pipe wall and cause friction, which induce
unnecessary pressure losses.

For this project, the vacuum pressure system is chosen to take advantage of the fact that
refuse odor flow inwards. In this way, emission of foul odor to the surroundings is
eliminated. The next consideration factor is to select the mode of flow. In pneumatic
refuse collection system, there is no concern whether disposed refuse is damaged. By
applying high velocity dilute-phase flow, refuse can float in air and be conveyed with
minimum head losses. Therefore, sufficient vacuum pressure must be available to achieve
that minimum flow velocity. Both the availability of sufficient pressure and air velocity
are of importance to ensure smooth suction of refuse in Enviro-EZ system.

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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 4
ENVIRO-EZ SYSTEM CALCULATIONS
4.1 Outline of Enviro-EZ system
Enviro-EZ system which was put on trial at St. Georges Lane performed intermittently.
SembWaste provided information that the fan is operating at 0.2 bars of vacuum pressure.
The collection tank measured 2m (l) by 1m (w) by 1m (h). The suction pipe A of EnviroEZ is 2m long. The layout of Enviro-EZ system is shown in Figure 4.1 below.
Air Out

Pipe A
3

Fan / Air
Pump

4
2

Storage tank

1
Air In

Figure 4.1: Layout of current Enviro-EZ system

Cleaners pull the chute bin out of the chute chamber and insert the suction pipe into the
open chute bin to remove refuse. Surrounding air rushes into the suction pipe to lift bags
of refuse into the suction pipe. However, some refuse cannot be lifted into the pipe
occasionally. This behaviour could be due to insufficient vacuum pressure available in the
Enviro-EZ storage tank. The Enviro-EZ system is not in use currently. The required
pressure and velocity of conveying air shall be estimated using simple pneumatic
conveying system formulas.

4.2 Purpose of chapter


An ideal situation in pneumatic refuse collection system is to float the refuse in the pipe.
This is to minimize the contact of refuse with the suction pipe wall and reduce friction. In
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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

this section, the author shall find out the free air pressure losses and the remaining
available vacuum pressure if 0.2 bar of vacuum pressure is not created prior every suction
process. A few formulas which are used to size pneumatic conveying systems is deployed
to find the required air velocity and vacuum pressure to convey a 300kg/m3 solid which
represents refuse. Using the calculated velocity, Bernoulli Equation is applied to find the
free air velocity (i.e. without carrying any load) under assumed volumes of 0.2m3 and
0.1m3 in the collection tank and various friction factors.

4.3 Pressure available in continuous air flow (without lid) (details in Appendix A)
The calculations of air pressure losses in continuous air flow are recorded in Appendix A.
From the calculations, the pressure losses in pipe A accounts for about 64% of the total air
pressure losses when friction factor of 0.5 is used. With reference to Figure 4.1, the
pressure losses at expansion (point 3 to 4) and contraction (point 6 to 5) accounts for
17.75% and 9.5% of total losses respectively. The total air pressure losses amount to 0.04
bars.

This set of calculations only involves the flow of free air. If continuous air flow is allowed
and 0.2 bar vacuum pressure is not created before every suction process, there is only
about 0.16 bar remaining vacuum pressure for refuse suction after deducting free air
pressure losses. This calculated vacuum pressure is quite optimistic. In practical
applications, the remaining vacuum pressure may not work effectively as there are other
variables that have yet to be considered. Other variables such as:
1. Size of refuse,
2. Density of refuse,
3. Leakage of vacuum pressure, and
4. Decreasing tank volume due to incoming refuse

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AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

are not taken into consideration. If these variables are taken into consideration, the
remaining vacuum suction pressure will definitely be less than 0.16 bar. At less than 0.16
bar, the refuse may not be pneumatically conveyed into the tank successfully.
These findings may help to explain why the vacuum truck at St. Georges Lane housing
estate performed intermittently. It is recommended to install a lid at point 3 (joining Pipe
A and the tank) to seal off the tank and create sufficient vacuum pressure before every
suction process.

4.4 Mechanics of pneumatic transport (details in Appendix B)


Different past experience or test results determine various designs of pneumatic conveying
system. Pneumatic conveying systems manufacturers usually give a single value of
material flow rate, conveying distance, pipeline bore and air supply pressure without
showing the designing steps. Published literature display many experimental formulas
which contain many unknown experimental variables. These empirical formulas cannot be
applied without conducting experiments. By using basic calculation formulas which are
used to size bulk solids pneumatic conveying system to convey solids of 0.3m diameter,
the pressure and velocity results might be used and relate the findings to our pneumatic
refuse collection system.
The pressure difference between the inlet and outlet of pneumatic systems must be
overcome and could be attributed to [13]:
1. Fluid friction on the pipe walls,
2. Sliding friction of the solids on the pipe walls,
3. Increase in potential energy of both fluid and solids,
4. Increase in kinetic energy of fluid and solids and
5. Other conditions at inlet and outlet.
17

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

The details of the full set of calculations for this section 4.4 are reflected in Appendix B.

4.4.1 Air velocity required


A useful practical guide [13] to find the required air transportation velocity to move bulk

solid fluid
solids is V f = 4 d

fluid

where d = pipe diameter = 0.3m, solid = density of

conveyed solid = density of refuse = 300 kg/m3, fluid = density of air = 1.2 kg/m3. The
required air transportation velocity is calculated to be 35m/s. The most ideal situation is to
have both the refuse and the air flow to travel at the calculated speed of 35m/s.

4.4.2 Fluid friction on pipe wall


The pressure required to overcome fluid friction on the pipe walls (as derived in Appendix
B) is Pf =

flP air
(Vair )2 . An equivalent length l is used to represent the actual length

A
2

of pipe and other pipe bends or fittings. The equivalent length for bends is 6d and for
elbows to be 60d generally. By assuming a friction factor f = 0.5 and substituting
equivalent length l = 4.6m, air = density of air = 1.2 kg/m3, wetted perimeter P = 0.3,
velocity of air Vair = 35m/s and cross-sectional area A = 0.0707m2, a Pf of 22536 Pa (0.225
bar) is obtained. The bend in pipe A causes the highest loss among the pressure losses.

4.4.3 Sliding friction of the solids on the pipe walls


Buoyancy effects of the fluid reduce the effective weight of solids. Some of the solids will
be in contact with the pipe surface. By derivation of formulas in Appendix B, the pressure
required to overcome sliding solid friction is Ps = cgl ( solid air ) . The meanings of
symbols are found in the List of Symbols section. The value of Ps is found to be 29.3 Pa.

18

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

4.4.4 Increase in potential energy of both fluid and solids


The vacuum pressure also has to cater to the increase in potential energy of the mixture of
fluids and solids. After solving equations in Appendix B pg B4, we obtain pressure losses
Pp due to increase in potential energy of fluid and solids is found to be
Pp = gh [ air + c ( solid air

)].

The meanings of symbols are found in the List of

Symbols section. Assuming that the refuse have to travel a maximum height of 1m, the
potential energy increase pressure losses Pp is 41 Pa.

4.4.5 Increase in kinetic energy of fluid and solids


Sufficient kinetic energy must be available to move solids and fluid mixture. The derived
pressure equation (in Appendix B pg B5) for increase in kinetic energy is given as
Pk = 0 . 5 (V air

)2 [ air

+ c ( solid air

)] . At pipe bends, some kinetic energy may be lost

for pneumatic transport. Additional allowances of Pk are required for each bend. The
amount of energy lost at a bend is often about 50 to 75% of the total kinetic energy. With
an air velocity of 35m/s, the value of Pk is found to be 4489 Pa.

4.4.6 Total pressure losses


The total vacuum pressure required is the sum of Pf, Ps, Pp and Pk. The calculations show
that a gauge vacuum pressure of 0.28 bars is required to convey 300kg/m3 solids of 0.3m
diameter at 35m/s. If this is the case, then the fan used in the current Enviro-EZ system is
undersized. The system might require a fan which can produce 0.28 bars of vacuum
pressure. The power requirement of the fan is about 69.29 kW.

4.5 Free air calculations (details in Appendix C)


The pipe used in Enviro-EZ system is short (2m). Therefore, to simplify calculations, air
flow density changes in this short pipe are assumed to be negligible. The time taken for air
19

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

to flow from pipe inlet to fan outlet is short and no heat is transferred. Thus, air velocities
are calculated by assuming negligible change in air density (i.e. U 0) and adiabatic
flow. In summary, the following assumptions were made for the free air calculations.
1. Air is assumed to be an ideal gas.
2. Negligible air density changes (U 0).
3. Adiabatic air flow.
4. Negligible change in temperature across the flow.
5. Negligible potential difference for flow of compressible fluids.

The critical point here is to find out the free air velocity that is produced by various
vacuum pressures. From Graphs 1 and 2, an air velocity of 45m/s is produced by vacuum
pressure of 0.1 bars. Higher speeds are produced by higher vacuum pressures. This set of
calculations attempt to find if there is any pressure loss difference in 0.2m3 and 0.1m3
storage volumes.

Figure 4.1 shows the layout of current Enviro-EZ system. The fan is said to produce a
vacuum pressure of 0.2 bars. Table 1 shows the various variables for the various parts of
the system. The storage tank measured 2m (l) by 1m (w) by 1m (h). The flow of free air
from points 1 to 4 shall be analyzed.

Density (kg/m )
Pressure (bar)
Temperature (K)
Velocity (m/s)

Portion 1
1.2
1
301
0

TABLE 1
Portion 2
2
P2
301
V2

Portion 3
3
P3
301
V3

Portion 4
4
P4
301
V4

The following values were assumed for calculations: P1 = Patmosphere = 1 bar; T = constant
atmospheric temperature = 28C = 301K; length of Pipe A = 2m.

20

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

4.5.1 Bernoullis Equation


Daniel Bernoulli discovered the relationship between speed of flow and pressure in a
closed pipe. His Bernoullis Theorem states that the pressure energy in a streamlined flow
plus the kinetic energy of fluid is constant. This gives rise to Bernoullis Equation

P V 2
+ + gz = constant where = density of fluid, P = pressure of fluid, V = velocity of
2
fluid, g = gravitational acceleration and z = increase in height. This means that if velocity
increases, pressure must decrease as long as the air density remains unchanged.
Bernoullis work was concerned with incompressible liquids.

Bernoullis Equation proves to be very accurate for flow in all kinds of gases provided that
the speed of flow is not too great [14]. If the velocity approaches the speed of sound, the
equation has to be modified to allow for the compressibility and change in density of
gases. Therefore, the author applied Bernoullis Equation to find the free air pressure
losses in Enviro-EZ system and the available vacuum pressures P2, P3 and P4.

In real airflow, head losses have to be accounted for. The author neglects the terms gzA
and gzB because the difference in height at ground level results in low air pressure
changes. By neglecting gz terms and including a head loss term, ghL, in Bernoullis
2
PA VA PB

=
+
Equation,
2

VB 2
+ ghL is obtained where A and B are two different points
+
2

in a pipe.

21

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

4.5.2 Head losses of free air


One concern is to find out what the head loss is for an air velocity of 35m/s (which has
been obtained in Appendix B). Another important consideration is to check if decreasing
volume of collection tank affects air pressure and velocity. The details of free air
calculations and derivation of equations are found in Appendix C. The summary of
pressure losses and equations for Enviro-EZ system when A4 = 0.2m2 are listed below.
Parts of Enviro-EZ system

Pressure equations

Losses at entrance of Pipe A

gh2 = 0.25V22

Losses in Pipe A

gh3 = 7.67fV22

Losses in expansion

gh4 = 0.21V32 = 0.21V22

(points 3 to 4)

Abs. pressure at point 2

P2 = 1 10 5 0.9V 2

Abs. pressure at point 2

P3 = 1 10 5 (0.9 + 9.2 f )V2

Abs. pressure at point 2

P4 = 1 10 5 (1.2 + 9.2 f )V2

Different values of friction factors f were input into the above equations. The results in
Appendix C were plotted on the graph of pressure losses (P1 P4) versus velocity V2 in
Graph 1 below.
2

Pressure losses ( bar)

Pressure losses vs Velocity V2 (A4 = 0.2m )


0.6
0.5
f=0.1

0.4

f=0.3

0.3

f=0.5

0.2

f=0.7

0.071

0.1
0.0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Velocity V2 (m/s)

Graph 1: Pressure loss vs velocity V2


22

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

The summary of pressure losses and pressure equations for Enviro-EZ system when A4 =
0.1m2 are listed below.
Parts of Enviro-EZ system

Pressure equations

Losses at entrance of Pipe A

gh2 = 0.25V22

Losses in Pipe A

gh3 = 7.67fV22

Losses in expansion

gh4 = 0.04V32 = 0.04V22

(points 3 to 4)

Abs. pressure at point 2

P2 = 1 10 5 0.9V2

Abs. pressure at point 2

P3 = 1 10 5 (0.9 + 9.2 f )V2

Abs. pressure at point 2

P4 = 1 10 5 (0.7 + 9.2 f )V2

Different values of friction factors f were input into the above equations. The results in
Appendix C were plotted on the graph of pressure losses (P1 P4) versus velocity V2 in
Graph 2 below.
2

Pressure losses (bar)

Pressure losses vs velocity V2 (A4 = 0.1m )


0.5
0.4

f=0.1

0.3

f=0.3

0.2

f=0.5

0.1

f=0.7

0.064

0.0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Velocity V2 (m/s)

Graph 2: Pressure loss vs velocity V2


4.5.3 Discussion of findings

From the above two graphs, it can be seen that the difference in the two pressure
losses from point 1 to 4 is about the same for both A4 = 0.2m2 and A4 = 0.1m2 at

23

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

corresponding pipe friction factors f. At friction factor of 0.5, the difference is


about 0.007 bars.

If the free air velocity is at 35m/s (from air velocity required to convey 0.3m
diameter solids in Appendix B), the total (gauge) free air pressure loss for each
graph is about 0.07 bars at friction factor of 0.5.

From the two graphs above, a gauge pressure loss of 0.1 bars between points 1 and
4 requires free air to travel at more than 40m/s at friction factor of 0.5. The friction
factor between bags of refuse and the corrugated suction pipe could be lower if
refuse were to be floating in air flow. At lower friction factor, the pressure loss is
lower for the same velocity.

4.6 Size of fan required


Figure 4.2 shows the characteristic curve of BH350T fan of Anlet Co. provided by
SembWaste. The engineer was considering whether this fan is suitable for conveying of
refuse.

150 m3/min

85 kW
-28

Figure 4.2: Characteristic curve of BH350T fan of Anlet Co.


24

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Section 4.3 and 4.5 only show calculations of pressure based on free air flow. The
inclusion of refuse flow is not considered. However, the calculation results from Section
4.4 show that a gauge vacuum pressure of 0.28 bars is required to convey 300kg/m3 solids
of 0.3m diameter at 35m/s. The power requirement of the fan is about 69.29 kW. For an
internal pipe diameter of 0.3m, the required air flowrate at a speed of 35m/s is about
148m3/min. When the required values are read off from Figure 4.2, BH350T is able to
provide 0.28 bars of vacuum pressure at 150m3/min flowrate and power rating of 85 kW.

4.7 Discussion
The calculations attached in Appendix A shows that there is a need to pre-create sufficient
vacuum pressure before every suction process. By considering the free air losses, the
amount of remaining vacuum pressure is lower than the actual pressure which the fan can
produce. If the cost of installing a lid, to pre-create vacuum pressure before every suction
process, is expensive, an alternative is to purchase a bigger fan to offset the free air losses.
The set of calculations in Appendix B (by using pneumatic conveying system formulas)
shows that 300kg/m3 of solids have to be conveyed at air velocity of 35m/s. Summing up
these friction and energy requirements, the fan has to operate at 0.28 bars of vacuum
pressure and power requirement of 69.29kW. Based on these findings, BH350T roots
blower (Anlet Co.) should be selected as it fits the flowrate, power and pressure
requirements.
The velocity of 35m/s is further used in free air calculations. The set of calculations in
Appendix C made use of Bernoullis Equation to calculate the free air pressure losses
when air travels at 35m/s. The total pressure losses for free air traveling at 35m/s with
friction factor of 0.5 are 0.07 bars. There is not much difference of pressure losses when
A4 is 0.2m2 or 0.1m2.
25

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 5
DESIGN OF REFUSE HOPPER
5.1 Introduction
Besides airflow calculations, hoppers play a critical role in refuse collection in HDB
estates. Residents usually open refuse hopper to discard rubbish into refuse chutes. The
successful operation of a pneumatic refuse collection system is closely related to the refuse
hopper. For instance, Enviro-EZ vehicle consists of a suction pipe with an internal
diameter of 0.3m which limits the size of refuse that the pipe can convey. It is, therefore,
necessary to control the size of refuse hopper inlet to ensure that bulky refuse or long
sticks are not thrown into the chute and cause problems during the suction process. This
chapter hopes to introduce some changes to the current hopper design.
As a matter of fact, we cannot totally prevent residents from throwing small but high
density objects into the chute. Provisions have to be made at the foot of the chute to allow
cleaners to remove heavy refuse manually and this is discussed in the next chapter.

5.2 Current system


5.2.1 Refuse hopper in older estate
Currently, established and older HDB flats consist of a hand-operated refuse hopper in
every kitchen for refuse disposal. Refuse are collected in black plastic chute bins at the
foot of the HDB flats and manually emptied by cleaners daily. Figure 5.1 shows a handoperated refuse hopper in a residence.

Bag of refuse

Figure 5.1: A hand-operated refuse hopper for refuse disposal in every residence

26

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

This type of hopper takes up a protruded length of about 13cm. The kitchen space area
near to the hopper is usually not utilized and wasted. Figure 5.2 shows a 0.25m3 chute bin
located in a chute chamber. This chute bin measured 0.7m (l) by 0.7m (w) by 0.76m (h).
Chute
chamber

Figure 5.2: A chute bin (right) in a chute chamber


5.2.2 Refuse hopper in new estates
In new HDB estates, individual households did not have any built-in chute for residents to
dump refuse. Every new block of flats is equipped with only one common centralized
refuse chute for residents usage near the lift lobbies. Refuse which are thrown into footpedaled refuse hoppers are collected at the foot of centralized chute. Figure 5.3 shows a
foot-pedal refuse hopper. Refuse collection truck would position its collection
compartment into the chute to remove refuse from these centralized chutes daily. This type
of hopper takes up a protruded base length of 0.52m.

Foot
pedal

Figure 5.3:
Hopper
inlet

foot-pedal

Enlarged view of

refuse hopper

foot pedal

installed near
lift lobby
27

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

5.3 Problems posed by current refuse hoppers


SembWaste would like to improve the Enviro-EZ system for future pneumatic refuse
collection tasks. The Enviro-EZ vehicle consists of a suction pipe with an internal
diameter of 0.3m which limits the size of refuse that the pipe can convey. This means that
the size of refuse that enters the chute must be controlled by refuse hoppers. Therefore,
changes must be made to the current hoppers.
The current hoppers posed the following problems to Enviro-EZ system. They are:1. Suction problems Current hoppers did not limit refuse size that can fit into
pneumatic suction pipe. Bulky refuse and long sticks can be thrown into the chute
and cause suction problems.
2. Contamination of hands Most hoppers, which are located in residents kitchen,
are hand operated. Residents hands may get germ contamination.
3. Potential injury hazard The protrusion of foot pedal in foot-pedaled hoppers
may cause injury to any person who may accidentally kick the pedal.
4. Maintenance of foot-pedaled hoppers Maintenance officers have no simpler
means to check for malfunctions except to remove screws and hopper covers. This
may be tedious and time consuming.
5. Wastage of hopper area The space occupied by the chute hoppers is substantial
and the area around the hopper is under utilized.
The modified hopper aims to tackle these problems.

5.4 Design considerations for proposed hopper


The design considerations for the proposed hopper are:
1. Restrict the size of hopper inlet and prevent long sticks from entering the chute.
2. Keep residents hand free from touching hopper during refuse disposal.
3. Eliminate causes of potential injury when using hopper.
28

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

4. Provide simpler means of checking malfunctions.


5. Reduce the space taken up by hopper.

5.5 Description of proposed hopper


Figure 5.4 illustrates the design of the proposed hopper in section view and in open
position. Various components are labeled in the figure. Different colors in the figure are
only used to differentiate different hopper components.

(C.G. of
cover
near the
hinge)

Figure 5.4: Section view and open position of proposed hopper


This proposed hopper design aims to reduce the inconveniences caused to residents. The
hopper comprises the following main features: 1) a 0.25m by 0.25m hopper inlet, 2) a
0.3m wide by 0.6m high maintenance door, 3) a 0.3m long side foot pedal, 4) a bellow
material behind foot pedal and 5) a hopper cover.

When a resident want to dispose off his refuse, he steps on the foot pedal to open the
hopper. After depositing the refuse, the resident releases the foot pedal to close the hopper.
29

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

The garbage slides down the 120 wide hopper, push open the hopper cover and travels
down the chute by gravity.

5.6 Discussion
1. Material used Stainless steel or aluminium alloys could be used as the main
corrosion resistant material for refuse hopper. In this hopper design, aluminium
alloy 5052 [15] is used. Since the material is lighter than stainless steel, the
required foot pedal force to open hopper is small. The force required to be applied
at the foot pedal to open the hopper for refuse disposal is only about 180N. There
is not much problem for teenagers to dispose refuse on behalf of adults. The
calculations of the force required to open the hopper is attached in the Appendix D.
2. Size of hopper inlet - The 0.25m by 0.25m hopper inlet is sufficient for majority
of household refuse to be disposed off. This is because the size of current HDB
kitchen hopper has an opening of about 0.26m by 0.28m. By restricting the size of
refuse, this will ensure smooth pneumatic conveying of refuse.
3. Prevent entry of long sticks The hopper cover (with circumferential length of
0.26m) is attached to the hopper and can rotate freely. If the center of gravity
(C.G.) of the cover is near to the hinge, it will be easier for the cover to rotate
easily. This cover opens to release refuse under the weight of refuse. After the
release of garbage, the cover returns to its normal closed position. When the
hopper is slightly open, the internal curved sheet and hopper cover prevent
exposure of internal chute to the residents. Residents will be unable to throw long
objects, e.g. bamboo sticks, into the chute with this feature.
4. Foot pedal The use of foot-pedaled hoppers prevents users from dirtying their
hands. By shifting the pedal to the right side of hopper, the tendency for people to
accidentally kick it and get injured is reduced greatly. The stench from refuse is

30

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

contained within the chute as there is no gap opening at the foot pedal. The
inclusion of bellow is akin to a spring pushing the pedal back to original position.
5. Maintenance door Since there is continual movement of linkages, there is a
possibility that the hopper may need servicing. A maintenance door (secured by a
lock) is incorporated into the design for servicing linkages. Maintenance officer
could check for faults by unlocking the door with a key. This door provides an
added convenience for maintenance of hopper.
6. Reduction in floor area of hopper The hopper in Figure 5.3 has its foot pedal
protruding 0.17m from the front of the hopper. By shifting the foot pedal to the
right of the hopper, the base area occupied by hopper is reduced. The original legpedaled hopper occupies 0.52m of protruded length. When the improvised hopper
is mounted onto the wall, the hopper occupies a protruded base length of 0.3m
from the wall. This improved design saves 0.22m of floor space infront of the
hopper. Figure 5.5 shows the dimensions of the hopper after installation onto wall.

Wall

Figure 5.5: Dimensions of hopper after installation onto wall

31

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 6
DESIGN OF INDIVIDUAL REFUSE CHUTE
6.1 Current situation
Majority of HDB estates in Singapore consist of many individual chutes in a block of flats.
Every chute contains a refuse chute bin at the foot of HDB flat. All the refuse that
residents discard are collected in the chute bin and manually emptied by cleaners.
Modifications must be made to the design of the chutes if pneumatic refuse collection
system were to be implemented in these HDB estates. This section introduces a different
design of refuse storage container that can be retrofitted into individual chutes. Figure 6.1
shows the current refuse chute bin used for refuse collection.

Figure 6.1: Current refuse chute bin

6.2 Problems posed by the current system


If pneumatic refuse collection system is only implemented on the collection vehicle with
no changes made to the current individual chutes, cleaners will still have to pull chute bins
out of the chute to empty them. If that is the case, cleaners and residents will not
experience the listed benefits in Chapter 2. This section identifies some of the problems
caused by the individual refuse chute system. These problems must be tackled and must
not occur in the new pneumatic refuse collection system. These problems are:
1) Refuse spilling The current chute bin has a storage capacity of 0.25m3 (or 250
litres). Many a times, the amount of refuse exceeds the allowed storage quantity
and spill out of the chute bin. Cleaners have to sweep away the spillage that is left
in the chute.

32

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

2) Incompatible facilities Pneumatic refuse collection system make use of pipes to


convey refuse. But the chutes are not equipped with piping facilities to
accommodate the new pneumatic system.
3) Exposure of refuse The current chute bins are not enclosed. Once the bins are
pulled out of the chute, the garbage begins to emit foul smell with cockroaches
climbing around. Crows and pigeons start to congregate to feed on the refuse. It is
unhygienic to remove the accumulated refuse in this manner.
4) Human contact with refuse Cleaners come into contact with unwanted foul
stench and garbage. This posed health hazards to them.
5) Scattering of refuse If the chute bin is not placed at the center of the chute, bags
of refuse cannot enter the bin accurately. This causes garbage contents to scatter.

6.3 Design considerations for proposed refuse container


The individual refuse chute needs to be modified to cater to pneumatic refuse collection
system. Its associated problems need to be tackled. The following design features for the
proposed refuse container needs to be taken into consideration:
1) The chute must be concealed to ensure the safety of residents during the refuse
removal process.
2) The chute has to be enclosed to prevent leakage of odors and eliminate human
contact with refuse. Spilling and scattering of garbage can be eliminated.
3) The enclosed chute should have an avenue to allow cleaners to manually clear
away refuse (e.g. a pile of books) that cannot negotiate through the conveying pipe.
4) There should be an avenue available to relieve clogging of refuse in case bags of
garbage get stuck at the container outlet during suction process.
5) The storage capacity of the refuse container should be bigger than the current
capacity of chute bin.

33

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

6.4 Preliminary designs of refuse container

Refuse
outlet
cover

Design 1

Design 2

Design 3
Figure 6.2: Three various designs of refuse container
34

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

The author came out with three designs of refuse container as shown in Figure 6.2. The
main features of three designs are similar. However, the main difference among the
designs lies in the changes made to air admission pipe and air bypass pipe. In Design 1, air
admission pipe and air bypass pipe caps are used to conceal the holes when the pipes are
not in use. However, the caps may get lost after removal as the caps are not connected to
the container. Improvements are made to this feature by incorporating sliding pipe covers
in Design 2. However, it is inconvenient for workers to connect the pipe of Enviro-EZ
vehicle to the refuse conveying pipe at the refuse container. Furthermore, if the air
admission pipe and conveying pipe covers are not removed at the same time, there is a
possibility that the cleaner may forget to open the air admission pipe during suction
process. The air admission pipe must be opened during suction process to ensure proper
flow of refuse out of the container.

Further improvements were made to Design 2 after discussion with the project supervisor.
Design 3 is the final proposed design for the refuse container. Both air admission pipe and
refuse conveying pipe are concealed via one sliding pipe cover. When a cleaner slides the
pipe cover, both air admission pipe and refuse conveying pipe are exposed. In this way,
there is no possibility of forgetting to open the air admission pipe. The design of the mouth
of conveying pipe in Design 1 is employed in finalized Design 3 where cleaners can easily
secure the suction pipe of Enviro-EZ system to the conveying pipe by a quarter turn.

6.5 Description of proposed refuse container


Figure 6.3 portrays the design of a refuse container that is suitable for pneumatic refuse
collection system. The various components of the refuse container are displayed in the
figure. Different colors in the figure are only used to differentiate various components.

35

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Figure 6.3: Features of refuse container


This proposed design of refuse container consists of the following features: 1) a 0.392m3
refuse container, 2) a 0.005m x 0.7m isolation slot, 3) a refuse release outlet, 4) an air
bypass pipe, 5) an air admission pipe and 6) a 0.3m internal diameter refuse conveying
pipe. This refuse container could be installed in the current individual chute compartment
of older HDB flats. The design of this refuse container aims to reduce the inconveniences
faced by cleaners, e.g. the refuse conveying pipe can be opened easily by sliding the cover.

6.5.1 Operation of refuse removal


The refuse that is introduced through refuse hoppers (as discussed in Chapter 5) are stored
in the refuse container. The collection vehicle is stopped in front of the chute. Cleaners
slide open the pipe cover and connect the vehicles suction pipe to the mouth of refuse

36

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

conveying pipe. When suction begins, the suction force pulls the refuse that is stored in the
refuse container and congregates at the outlet of refuse container. When the refuse
concentrates at the tapered outlet of refuse container and gets stuck, atmospheric air which
enters through the admission pipe pushes the congregated refuse and loosens them. The
released bags of refuse can then be smoothly transferred out of the refuse conveying pipe.
The bypass pipe facilitates the flow of air from air admission pipe to the conveying pipe.
The operational flow of air and refuse removal in refuse container is shown in Figure 6.4
[16].
Refuse container
Bags of
refuse
Bypass pipe

Air Flow

Flow of refuse
Refuse conveying pipe

Figure 6.4: Illustration of flow of air and refuse removal


If small and heavy objects (e.g. brick or a bundle of magazines) are thrown into the
container, there is difficulty in sucking them out of the container. The refuse release outlet
is a provision to clear such high-density wastes. The refuse release outlet is covered by a
cover (orange feature in Figure 6.3) which can be removed easily when the need arises.

37

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

6.6 Discussion
Figure 6.5 illustrates a few dimensions of the proposed refuse container. This section
highlights the rationale behind the design of the proposed refuse container.

Figure 6.5: Dimensions of proposed refuse container

1) Storage capacity The refuse container has a storage capacity of 0.392m3 (or 392
litres). This capacity is about 1.5 times the capacity of the current chute bin which
has a storage capacity of 0.25m3. The increase in size eliminates the problem of
refuse overspilling.
2) Material used Polypropylene could be used to manufacture the refuse container.
This plastic material is resistant to heat distortion and relatively inexpensive. It has
high fatigue strength. Its melting point is about 175C and density is 905 kg/m3
[17]. This material is used in packaging films, luggage, etc. Since the container is

38

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

installed in a concrete column, the lifespan of the container is not affected greatly
as it is protected from the suns UV rays.
3) Shape of refuse container The cross-section of the refuse container is square in
shape to fit into the internal contour of the current HDB individual chutes which is
shown in Figure 6.6. This container can be installed onto the chute easily without
much modification to the chute structure.

Figure 6.6: Internal square contour of current HDB chute


4) A 0.7m (l) x 0.7m (w) x 0.005m (t) isolation slot The cleaner needs to seal off
the refuse container before every refuse removal process. A 3mm thick
polypropylene plate can be inserted into this isolation slot for this purpose. This
safety feature is incorporated into the design to contain the suction force in the
container during refuse removal process. If a resident were to open the hopper
during refuse removal process, there will be no danger posed to the resident.
5) Enclosed system The refuse container is enclosed to prevent leakage of
unpleasant odor and scattering of wastes. Health hazards are reduced. All bags of
garbage are conveyed by air and human contact with refuse is eliminated.
6) Refuse release outlet A 0.5m (l) by 0.4m (h) rectangular refuse release outlet is
incorporated to remove any heavy wastes that are stuck in the container. When
there is a need, the cleaner pulls out the orange cover to retrieve stuck objects. The
size of outlet is big enough for this purpose.
39

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

7) Tapered bottom of refuse container The lower portion of refuse container is


tapered (at 34 from vertical) towards the refuse conveying pipe. This design aids
refuse to be transported towards the refuse conveying pipe smoothly.
8) Air bypass pipe and air admission pipe The provision of these two pipes aids
in relieving refuse congestion. During refuse removal process, air pushes the
accumulated refuse towards the tapered outlet. The congregation of refuse may
cause clogging. External air that is introduced into the admission pipe helps to suck
the garbage out of the refuse container. In this way, the inflow of air released
congested refuse from the concentrating state and prevents the tapered outlet from
clogging. Therefore, the garbage in the container can be conveyed smoothly.
9) Cover for refuse release outlet The refuse release outlet have to be concealed to
ensure that the system is fully enclosed. The user only needs to place the cover
onto the release outlet. The cover and the hole should contain a slight clearance fit
for easy removal of cover. It is not essential to secure the cover onto the outlet
using bolts and nuts. The caps and cover are analogous to Figure 6.7. In addition,
the cover is secured to the container ledge via spring-loaded hemispherical ball
locking mechanism as shown in Figure 6.8.

Figure 6.7: A metal can with a cap positioned over it

40

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Figure 6.8: Spring-loaded hemispherical ball locking mechanism for refuse outlet cover
10) Cover for air admission pipe and refuse conveying pipe The cover for these
two pipes slide along designated slots (as shown in Figure 6.9) to conceal their
openings when the pipes are not in use. The cover will not be misplaced at all.

Figure 6.9: Sliding cover for pipes

11) Mating refuse conveying pipe to collection vehicle The mouth of refuse
conveying pipe is designed to mate with Enviro-EZs pipe easily. A cleaner only
needs to slot the suction pipe of Enviro-EZ vehicle into the designated slot on
conveying pipe. Then the cleaner makes a quarter turn to temporarily secure the
two pipes. After clearing of refuse, the mating process is reversed to remove
suction pipe from conveying pipe. Figure 6.10 shows the mating process of suction
pipe of Enviro-EZ vehicle and the refuse conveying pipe of refuse container.

41

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

Suction pipe

Refuse conveying
pipe

Figure 6.10: Mating process of suction pipe and refuse conveying pipe

12) Washing and fogging of chutes Water pipes can be installed at the top of the
chute to for cleaning purpose. This chute container design can be retrofitted onto
the chute at ground floor without affecting the current washing, drainage and
fogging facilities. The proposed refuse container is enclosed which should contain
fogging smoke within the chute.

42

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSION
This research highlights various refuse collection methods in Singapore and looks at local
and overseas pneumatic refuse collection systems. Overseas pneumatic refuse collection
systems mostly involve building networks underground pipes to convey refuse. Their
systems made use of 0.25 to 0.34 bars of vacuum pressure to convey refuse. The
manufacturers of these systems proclaimed that the systems worked well under such
pressure. From calculations attached in Appendix B, the required vacuum pressure is
about 0.28 bars. This helps to confirm the requirements of pneumatic refuse collection
system.

For this project, it is beneficial to use negative-pressure or vacuum system to convey


refuse as the emission of refuse odor to the surrounding environment is eliminated. The
chosen mode of flow is high velocity dilute-phase flow so that refuse can float in air
instead of dragging along the pipe. To ensure that choking and saltation do not occur, the
fan must provide sufficient vacuum pressure and air velocity. In this way, suction of refuse
can be carried out smoothly.

It is necessary to create sufficient vacuum pressure before every suction process. The lack
of such facility in Enviro-EZ system could be the cause of intermittent performance. If it is
uneconomical to install a lid to create the required pressure, a bigger pump can be used to
offset the losses. By using pneumatic conveying system design formulas, the air velocity
required to transport 300kg/m3 of solids is 35m/s. The required vacuum pressure is
calculated to be 0.28bars. These values gave an estimated requirement of a refuse
collection system. Based on these findings, BH350T roots blower (Anlet Co.) should be
selected as it fits the flowrate, power and pressure requirements as shown in Figure 4.2.

43

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

With reference to this value, there could be a need to change the fan of Enviro-EZ system
to a bigger capacity fan. Bernoullis Equation is deployed to calculate total free air
pressure losses (at friction factor of 0.5 and A4 = 0.2m2) and the losses amount to 0.071
bars.

Besides considering chute design, a different design of refuse hopper is also proposed to
ensure that bulky refuse are denied entry into the chute. By restricting the size of refuse
that can enter the hopper and then discarded into refuse chute, smooth transport of refuse
can be carried out easily. The problems of current refuse hoppers and various design
considerations for hopper are discussed for the improvised foot-pedaled hopper.

The process of laying underground pipes in established HDB estates proved to be


expensive. Since underground pipes are concealed, the whole refuse collection had to be
automated and this will incur higher costs. A more feasible way is to retrofit individual
refuse with refuse container that can connect to the suction pipe of Enviro-EZ vehicle. The
problems of current individual refuse chute and proposed design of refuse chute container
are discussed in Chapter 6.

44

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

CHAPTER 8
RECOMMENDATIONS

For Enviro-EZ pneumatic refuse collection system to operate smoothly, the following
recommendations are made for future development of this project.

1. Selection of a bigger size fan The problem of intermittent performance of


Enviro-EZ system could be due to under-sizing of fan. A fan that can operate at
0.3 bars could be used to convey refuse.

2. Conducting experiments and tests To design a workable pneumatic refuse


collection system, it is imperative to conduct air flow experiments to monitor
the effects of pressure losses in refuse container and in Enviro-EZ vehicle. This
is due to insufficient published literature for successful development of such
system. Data of air velocity, friction and pressure can be obtained via
experiments for further analysis.

3. Building of prototypes The designs of refuse hopper and refuse container


are preliminary. Prototypes of hopper and chute container could be built to
allow sufficient testing and experiments on them.

45

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

REFERENCES
[1] Ministry of Environment Annual Report 2000
[2]

Singapore

Solid

Waste

Management,

National

Environment

Agency

http://www.nea.gov.sg/interactive
[3] SembCorp Environmental Management website http://www.sembcorp.com.sg
[4] Refuse vacuum sealed conveyance system from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
(MHI) http://www.mhi.co.jp
[5] I.M.E. Aitken and W.H.G. Hamilton. Piped refuse collection at Lisson Green,
Pneumotransport 3, 1976, Paper A8, pp A8-95 to 113.
[6] Zandi I and Hayden J.A., Are pipelines the answer to the solid waste collection
dilemma?, Environmental Science and Technology, 1969, Vol 3 No. 9, pp 812 to 819.
[7] Frank Flintof and Ronald Millard, Public Cleansing, 1969, pg 55 to 61.
[8] Principle of motorized vacuum refuse collection system http://www.shinmaywa.co.jp
[9] David Mills, Pneumatic Conveying Design Guide, 1991
[10] David Mills, Mark G Jones & Vijay K. Agarwa, Handbook of Pneumatic Conveying
Engineering, 2004
[11] C.R. Woodcock and J.S. Mason, Bulk Solids Handling, Thames Polytechnic,
Chapters 3 & 12, 1987.
[12] Marcus R.D., Klinzing G.E., Rizk F. and L.S. Leung, Pneumatic Conveying of
Solids A theoretical and practical approach, 1997.
[13] Norman Brook, Mechanics of Bulk Materials Handling, 1971
[14] Martin Simons, Airflow, 1984.
[15] Yong Tai Loong Pte Ltd http://www.yongtailoong.com/refuse%20hoppers.htm
[16] European Patent Application Publication Number: 0 596 750 A1. Figure 3.
[17] William D. Callister Jr, Materials Science and Engineering, An Introduction, 2003.

46

AM15 DESIGN OF REFUSE COLLECTION SYSTEM

[18] Philip M. Gerhart and Richard j. Gross, Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 1985
[19] Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston Jr, Vector Mechanics for Engineers:
Dynamics, 2004

47

Appendix A
APPENDIX A: PRESSURE AVAILABLE IN CONTINUOUS AIR FLOW
1. Introduction
Air Out

Pipe A
3

Fan / Air
Pump

4
2

Storage tank

1
Air In

Enviro-EZ system shown in the figure above performed intermittently. The problem could
be the continuous flow of air from atmosphere to the tank result in insufficient vacuum
pressure to suck refuse efficiently. That means that there is no pre-created vacuum
pressure before every suction process. Since this system claims that the fan is producing a
vacuum pressure of 0.2 bars, we shall find out the value of available pressure that is left
for conveying refuse.

The pneumatic refuse removal system in Sundbyberg, Sweden [5, 6, 7], required about
27m/s to move refuse at 0.25 bars. The same velocity shall be used to find out pressure
losses of free air in negotiating the pipe. Constant density is assumed because air flows
through a short distance of 2 meters in pipe A. The density change is assumed to be
negligible. Density of air is assumed to be 1.2 kg/m3.

Cross sectional area of pipe A =

0.3 2 = 0.0707 m 2

A1

Appendix A
Take the air velocity to be 27m/s, the flow rate through pipe A is:
QA = A V =

D 2V =

(0.3) 2 40 = 1.91m 3 / s

= 114.51m3/min

2. Available Pressure In Empty Tank


Based on this flow rate, pump BH350T was selected to test if it fits the bill. From the
pump characteristic curve, the pump can provide 0.2 bars at a flow rate of 151m3/min
(which is equivalent to about 2.52m3/s). We shall investigate if 0.2 bars of vacuum
pressure still exist to ensure smooth suction of refuse. Therefore, the losses at the
enlargement and contraction and losses in the pipe need to be calculated. The diagram
bellows illustrates the air flowing directly from point 3 out to point 6.
4

5
6

Pipe A

It is assumed that the pump inlet has a diameter of 0.3m (same diameter as point 3). Cross
section area of empty tank = 2m2.

Velocity of air before pump = V6 = Q / A


= (2.52 x 4) / ( x 0.32) = 35.65m/s

5A5V5 = 6A6V6

Using Continuity Equation,


Assume constant density,

A5V5 = A6V6

2V5 = 0.0707 x 35.65

V5 = 1.26m/s

A2

Appendix A

Assume that V4 = V5,

A3V3 = A4V4

0.0707V3 = 2 x 1.26

V3 = 35.64m/s

2.1 Losses at Contraction

Head loss at contraction (point 5 to 6) H56

= 0.5(V5)2 / 2g
= 0.5 (35.65)2 / (2 x 9.81)
= 32.39m

Contraction pressure loss P56

= air g H56
= 1.2 x 9.81 x 32.39
= 381.3 Pa = 0.0038 bar

2.2 Losses at Expansion


2

Head loss at expansion (point 3 to 4) H34

V
= 3
2g

A
1 3
A4

35.64 2 0.0707
=
1
= 60.24m
2 9.81
2

Expansion pressure loss P34 = air g H34


= 1.2 x 9.81 x 60.24
= 709.15 Pa = 0.0071 bar

2.3 Pipe and Entry Losses


With reference to Appendix C, head loss in pipe A is gHA = 3.33fV2 where f is friction
factor of pipe. Assuming that the friction factor = 0.5 (which is quite rough), gHA =
1.67(V2)2. The entry head loss at the inlet of pipe A is gHentry = 0.25V2. These 2 losses
reduce the suction pressure substantially.

A3

Appendix A

Pressure loss in pipe A PA = air g HA


= 1.2 x 1.67(V2)2
= 1.2 x 1.67 x 35.642 = 2545.5 Pa = 0.0255 bar

Entry pressure loss at inlet of pipe A = Pentry = air g Hentry


= 1.2 x 0.25 x 35.642
= 381.1 Pa = 0.0038 bar

2.4 Available Remaining Suction Pressure


Remaining vacuum pressure = 0.2 0.0038 0.0071 0.0255 0.0038
= 0.16 bar

A4

Appendix B

APPENDIX B: MECHANICS OF PNEUMATIC TRANSPORT


1. List of Symbols
Vf

Floating velocity of solids

Pipe diameter in metres

solid

Density of conveyed solid

fluid

Density of fluid

Nf

Force to overcome fluid friction

Pf

Pressure required to overcome fluid friction

Area of fluid in cross section

Coefficient of friction between fluid and pipe wall

Equivalent length of pipe

Wetted perimeter = d

air

Density of air

Vair

Velocity of air flow

We

Effective weight of bulk solids

Acceleration due to gravity

Pipe length

Mass flow rate of solids = csolidAv

Speed

Volumetric concentration of solids

Coefficient of friction between solids on the wall

Ps

Pressure required to overcome solid friction

Ns

Force required to overcome solid friction

Height which solids are raised

2. Introduction
Pneumatic conveying system design may be based upon past experience or test results.
Due to commercial interests, pneumatic conveying systems manufacturers usually give a
single value of material flow rate, conveying distance, pipeline bore and air supply
pressure without showing the designing steps. Our research locates many experimental

B1

Appendix B

formulas which contain many unknown experimental variables. If we use basic calculation
formulas which are used to size a bulk solids pneumatic conveying system to convey
solids of 0.3m diameter, the pressure and velocity results might be used and relate to our
pneumatic refuse collection system.

3. Pneumatic conveying systems pressure formulas [13]


The velocity required for fluid transport is greater than the required velocity to transport
solids in a pneumatic stream of fluid. A useful practical guide to find the required air

solid fluid
transportation velocity to move bulk solids is V f = 4 d

fluid

where d = pipe

diameter in m, solid = density of conveyed solids, fluid = density of fluid (e.g. air). The
pressure difference between the inlet and outlet of pneumatic systems must be overcome
and could be attributed to:
1. Fluid friction on the pipe walls,
2. Sliding friction of the solids on the pipe walls,
3. Increase in potential energy of both fluid and solids,
4. Increase in kinetic energy of fluid and solids and
5. Other conditions at inlet and outlet.

The main calculations in this paper deploy the formulas used in bulk solids pneumatic
conveying systems and hope to provide a relation to some of the fluid pressure losses
when we convey refuse in air stream.

B2

Appendix B

3.1 Fluid friction on the pipe walls


When steady conditions are obtained, the fluid pressure applied over the full area of the
pipe balances the friction force that acts on the walls of the pipe. If Pf is the pressure
required to overcome fluid friction and A is the area of the fluid in cross section, the
pressure driving force is Nf = Pf A. Although a typical cross section of mixture contain
some mixture of solids and fluid, the full area A is still used for this calculation because
the pressure must be applied over the full area.

The fluid friction force has been found by experiment to depend on the kinetic energy of
the fluid and a coefficient of friction f. Therefore, the friction force can be written as

N f = flP

air
2

(Vair )2

where l = equivalent length of pipe, P = wetted perimeter = d, d =

pipe diameter, air = density of air, Vair = velocity of air flow.

The equation of Pf =

flP air
(Vair )2 is formed after equating the two above-mentioned

2
A

equations. This formula is more useful when dealing with solids transport by fluids. An
equivalent length l is used to represent the actual length of pipe and other pipe bends or
fittings. The equivalent length for bends is 6d and for elbows to be 60d generally.

3.2 Sliding friction of solids on the pipe walls


Buoyancy effects of the fluid reduce the effective weight of solids. Some of the solids will
be in contact with the pipe surface. Assuming that all the bulk solids are in contact with
one another, the effective weight of the solids on a horizontal pipe surface is given as

B3

Appendix B

m solid air
W e = gl
, where g = acceleration due to gravity, l = horizontal pipe length,
v
solid
m = mass flow rate of solids = csolidAv, v = speed, air = density of air, solid = density of
solids, c = volumetric concentration of solids.

If the pipe is inclined at an angle to the horizontal, the l term becomes lh = lcos . For
vertical pipes, length of pipe l is zero. When we consider the friction of solids on the wall,

m solid air
the friction force is given as N s = gl
where = coefficient of friction
v
solid
between solids and pipe wall. If Ps is the pressure required to overcome friction of solids
and A is the area of the pipe in cross section, its driving force to move solids is Ns = Ps A.

Equate

the

two

above-mentioned

force

Ns

equations,

the

equation

of

Ps = cgl ( solid air ) is obtained the symbol c represents volumetric concentration


of solids

3.3 Increase in potential energy of mixture of fluids and solids


The vacuum pressure also needs to cater to the increase in potential energy of the mixture
fluids and solids. The rate of work done to increase the potential energy of mixture when
the mixture traveled over height h is W p = gAvh [ air + c ( solid air

)] .

The required

rate of work on pressure Pp to give the mixture added potential energy is given as
W p = Pp Av .

After

equating

Pp = gh [ air + c ( solid air

the

two

Wp

equations,

we

obtain

)] where g = acceleration due to gravity, h = height which

B4

Appendix B

refuse traveled, air = density of air, solid = density of solids, c = volumetric concentration
of solids.

3.4 Increase in kinetic energy of mixture of fluids and solids


There must be sufficient kinetic energy to move mixture of solids and fluid. Assume that
the fluid and solids are traveling at the same velocity, the required rate of work done to
increase kinetic energy is W k = A [ air + c ( solid air

)] (V air )

. The required rate of

work on pressure Pk to impart additional kinetic energy to the mixture is given by


W k = Pk Av . After equating the Wk equations, Pk = 0 . 5 (V air

)2 [ air

+ c ( solid air

)] is

obtained where Vair = Velocity of air flow, air = density of air, solid = density of solids, c
= volumetric concentration of solids. At pipe bends, some kinetic energy may be lost for
pneumatic transport. Additional allowances of Pk are required for each bend. The amount
of energy lost at a bend is often about 50 to 75% of the total kinetic energy.

3.5 Total pressure losses


The pressure difference (gauge) to be overcome by the fluid is the summation of abovementioned pressure components fluid friction on the pipe walls, sliding friction of the
solids on the pipe walls, increase in potential energy and increase in kinetic energy of both
fluid and solids mixture. Therefore, the total pressure loss PT (gauge), from inlet to outlet,
is PT = Pf + Ps + Pp + Pk.

B5

Appendix B

4. Pressure Calculations
The above-mentioned researched formulas under steady flow directions might provide a
relationship to help and find pressure losses to convey refuse in air stream. These formulas
would be used to find floating velocity of refuse and various pressure losses in this
section.

According to SembWaste company website, every refuse chute bin at the foot of the HDB
block has a storage capacity of 0.25m3 [3]. The density of refuse and air is taken to be
300kg/m3 and 1.2 kg/m3 respectively. The diameter of suction pipe is 0.3m.
z

Volume of chute bin = 0.25m3

Assume that the bin is fully filled with refuse and that volume of refuse is removed from
the bin within 30 seconds,
z

Flow rate of refuse Qr =

0.25
= 0.0083m 3 / s
30

Assume that the density of refuse is 300kg/m3,


z

solid fluid
Air velocity required V f = 4 d

fluid

300 1 .2
= 4 0 .3
35 m/s
1 .2
Assume that the velocity of air is the same as the required velocity (Vf),
z

Qair =

( D pipe ) 2 Vair =

(0.3) 2 (35) = 2.47 m 3 / s

Therefore volumetric concentration of solids c =

Qr
0.0083
= 0.0034 0.01
=
Qair
2.47

B6

Appendix B

Since cleaners need to bend the suction pipe to suck refuse, there would be some
pressure losses when the flow of air is negotiating the bend of pipe A.

Air Out

Pipe A
Fan / Air
Pump

The bend of pipe A may account for substantial pressure drop. The equivalent length of a
bend is generally considered to be 6d (reference last line Section 3.1, pg B3). Assume that
the 1m length of pipe A is bent and the remaining 1m is vertical, the equivalent length l of
pipe is:

Equivalent length l = 1 + (2 x 6d)

(where d = diameter of pipe)

= 1 + (2 x 6 x 0.3) = 4.6m
z

Pipe A cross-sectional area =

( D pipe ) 2 =

(0.3) 2 = 0.0707 m 2

After finding the floating velocity of refuse, we need to find the various pressure losses.

B7

Appendix B

Assume that coefficient of friction f = 0.5 (between fluid and pipe wall),
z

Pressure losses Pf due to fluid friction on pipe wall


=

flP air
(Vair )2

A
2

0.5 4.6 0.3 1.2


(35)2

0.0707
2

= 22536 Pa
Assume that coefficient of friction = 0.5 (between solids and pipe wall),
z

Pressure losses Ps due to solid friction on pipe wall


= cgl ( solid air )
= 0 .5 0 .01 9 .81 2 (300 1 .2 ) = 29.3 Pa

Assume that the refuse is to be conveyed to a maximum height of 1m,


z

Pressure losses Pp due to increase in potential energy of fluids and solids


= gh [ air + c ( solid air )]
= 9 . 81 1[1 . 2 + 0 . 01 (300 1 . 2 )] = 41 Pa

Assume that the bend in pipe A result in additional loss of 75% of kinetic energy
(mentioned in page B5),
z

Pressure losses Pk due to increase in kinetic energy of fluids and solids


= (1 + 0 .75 )(0 .5 )(V air

)2 [ air

+ c ( solid air )]

= 1 . 75 0 .5 (35 ) [1 .2 + 0 . 01 (300 1 .2 )]
2

= 4489 Pa

B8

Appendix B

Summing up all the calculated gauge pressure losses,


z Total vacuum pressure required PT = Pf + Ps + Pp + Pk
= 22536 + 29.3 + 41 + 4489
= 27095.3 Pa

0.28bar (gauge)
z Power required from the fan = Pressure x Flow rate
= 0.28 x 105 Pa x 0.0707 m2 x 35 m/s
= 69.29 kW

The above calculations show that a vacuum pressure of 0.28 bars is required to convey a
0.3m diameter solid at 35m/s. From the calculated findings, friction between fluid and
pipe contribute a significant vacuum pressure loss. The air pressure and velocity that are
calculated using pneumatic conveying system formulas could be deployed in free air
calculations and provide a relationship to the design of pneumatic refuse collection
system.

B9

Appendix C

APPENDIX C: FREE AIR CALCULATIONS


1. Assumptions made
The compressibility characteristics of air flow induced changes in pressure and temperature
and resulted in the density of air to vary throughout the flow field. As velocity increases,
pressure decreases. If velocity variations are small, the pressure variations are small and the
fluid density variations will be small.

The pipe used in Enviro-EZ system is short (2m). Therefore, to simplify calculations, air flow
density changes are assumed to be negligible. The time taken for air to flow from pipe inlet to
fan outlet is short and no heat is transferred. Thus, air velocities are calculated by assuming
negligible change in air density (i.e. U 0) and adiabatic flow. In summary, for this set of
calculations, the following assumptions were made for the following calculations.
1. Air is assumed to be an ideal gas.
2. Negligible air density changes (U 0).
3. Adiabatic air flow.
4. Negligible change in temperature across the flow.
5.

Negligible potential difference for flow of compressible fluids.

The critical point here is to find out the free air velocity that is produced by various vacuum
pressures. This set of calculations shall attempt to find if there is any pressure loss difference
in 0.2m3 and 0.1m3 storage volumes.

C1

Appendix C

2. Outline of Enviro-EZ system


Air Out

Pipe A
3

Fan / Air
Pump

5
6

4
2

Storage tank

1
Air In

The diagram above shows the layout of Enviro-EZ system. The flow of free air from
points 1 to 4 shall be analyzed. Table 1 shows the various variables for the various parts of the
system. The storage tank measured 2m (l) by 1m (w) by 1m (h).

Portion 1
1.2
1
301
0

Density (kg/m3)
Pressure (bar)
Temperature (K)
Velocity (m/s)

TABLE 1
Portion 2
2
P2
301
V2

Portion 3
3
P3
301
V3

Portion 4
4
P4
301
V4

3. Constant density calculations


Values used:

P1 = Patm = 1 bar;
T = constant = 28C = 301K
Length of Pipe A = 2m

3.1

When A4 = 0.2m2

3.1.1

Dimension Calculations
Area of pipe A2 =

0.3 2 = 0.0707 m 2

C2

Appendix C

If 1m length of the pipe is bent into semi-circle to suck rubbish,

L = 1

3.1.2

L=

r=

L 1 1
= = 0.159m
2 2

r 0.159
=
= 0.53
0.3
D

Entrance of pipe A (Point 1 to 2)

For reentrant entrance, K = 0.5 [18]

The head loss at the entrance is given as:


2

V
gh2= K 2
2

Substitute K = 0.5,
2
V2 2
V2
gh2 = K
= 0.5
2
2

= 0.25V2 2

gh2 = 0.25V22

(3.1)

When air flows from one point to another point, we need to consider the relations
between energy loss, flow rate and velocity changes. Air is assumed to be
incompressible fluid with constant density. Bernoulli Equation used to find the air
pressure losses is:
V 2
+ A

PA

P V
+ gz A = B + B + gz B + ghL

C3

Appendix C

z At ground floor, the potential height difference has little air pressure difference.
Therefore, potential height difference can be neglected (gzA = gzB), we get
V 2
+ A
2

PA

PB V B 2
=

+ 2

+ ghL

(3.2)

where ghL is the head losses between 2 points.


Substitute = 1.2 kg/m3 and equation (3.1) into (3.2),
V2 2
=
+

2
P2

+ 0.25V2 2

P1

P2 = 1 10 5 0.9V2

(3.3)

3.1.3 Pipe A (point 2 to 3)


Points 2 to 3 refers to pipe A. For an incompressible flow, the Continuity Equation

2 A2V2 = 3 A3V3 is applicable. Since air density and pipe cross-sectional area are
assumed to be the same, V2 = V3.

The head losses in pipe A is given as:

fL V
gh3 =
D 2

(3.4)

V + V3
where V is the mean fluid velocity in a pipe (i.e. V = 2
= V2 = V3 ). L
2
2

and D represent the equivalent length and diameter of pipe respectively.

Substituting equivalent length L = 4.6m (from Appendix B) and D = 0.3m,

gh3 = 7.67fV22

(3.5)

C4

Appendix C

Using equation (3.2),


VA 2
+
2

PA

PB V B 2
=

+ 2 + ghL

Substitute = 1.2 kg/m3 and equation (3.5),

P
P2
2
2
2
+ 0.5V2 = 3 + 0.5V3 + 7.67 fV2
1.2
1.2

Substitute V2 = V3 and equation (3.3),

P3 = 1 10 5 (0.9 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.6)

3.1.4 Abrupt enlargement at the end of Pipe A (point 3 to 4)


The cross-sectional area of pipe A at point 3 is A3 = 0.0707m2 (=A2). When the refuse
container is quite full, there is a need to find the velocity of air flow into the small empty
space. The air is considered to flow out of the pipe into an enlarged circular tank area of
A4 = 0.2m2. At the sudden abruption from point 3 to 4, pressure increased and velocity
decreased at constant density.

Using Continuity Equation, 3A3V3 = 4A4V4

A3V3 = A4V4

0.0707V3 = 0.2V4

V4 = 0.354V3

(3.7)

For abrupt enlargement, the head loss was given as [18]:2

A (V ) 2
gh4 = 1 3 3
A4 2

Substituting A3, A4 and V2 = V3, we get


gh4 = 0.21V32 = 0.21V22

(3.8)

C5

Appendix C

Using equation (3.2), we have


V3 2
+
2

P3

P4 V4 2
=

+ 2 + gh4

Substitute = 1.2 kg/m3, V4 = 0.354V3 and equation (3.8),

P3

+ 0.5V3 =
2

P4

+ 0.5(0.354V3 ) 2 + 0.21V3

Substitute equation (3.6) and V2 = V3


P4 = 1 10 5 (1.2 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.9)

3.1.5 Summary of Equations Used for A4 = 0.2m2


From the above, the following equations are derived to find V4, P2, P3 and P4 at constant
air density when A4 = 0.2m2. These equations are listed below for easy reference.
V4 = 0.354V3

(3.7)

gh2 = 0.25V22

(3.1)

gh3 = 7.67fV22

(3.5)

gh4 = 0.21V32 = 0.21V22

(3.8)

P2 = 1 10 5 0.9V2

(3.3)

P3 = 1 10 5 (0.9 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.6)

P4 = 1 10 5 (1.2 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.9)

3.2 When A4 = 0.1m2


The section looks at the air pressure losses when the volume in the storage tank is reduced
to 0.1m3.

Basically, the head losses and pressure formulas for points 1 to 3 of storage tank remains
unaffected. Only gh4 and P4 formulas are different.
gh2 = 0.25V22

(3.1)

gh3 = 7.67fV22

(3.5)

C6

Appendix C

P2 = 1 10 5 0.9V2

(3.3)

P3 = 1 10 5 (0.9 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.6)

3.2.1 Abrupt enlargement at the end of Pipe A (Point 3 to 4)


The cross-sectional area of pipe A at point 3 is A3 = 0.0707m2 (=A2). When the volume of
remaining storage tank is 0.1m3, the cross sectional area of A4 = 0.1m2. At the sudden
abruption from point 3 to 4, pressure increased and velocity decreased at constant density.

Using Continuity Equation, 3A3V3 = 4A4V4

A3V3 = A4V4

0.0707V3 = 0.1V4

V4 = 0.707V3

(3.10)

For abrupt enlargement, the head loss was given as [17]:2

A3 (V3 ) 2

gh4 = 1
A4 2

Substituting A3, A4 and V2 = V3, we get


gh4 = 0.04V32 = 0.04V22

(3.11)

Using equation (3.2), we have


V 2
+ 3
2

P3

P4 V4 2
=

+ 2

+ gh4

Substitute = 1.2 kg/m3, V4 = 0.707V3 and equation (3.11),

P3

+ 0.5V3 =
2

P4

+ 0.5(0.707V3 ) 2 + 0.043V3

Substitute equation (3.6) and V2 = V3


P4 = 1 10 5 (0.7 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.12)

C7

Appendix C

3.2.2 Summary of Equations Used for A4 = 0.1 m2


From the above, the following equations are used to find P2, P3 and P4 at constant air
density when A4 = 0.1m2. The derived equations are listed below for easy reference.
gh2 = 0.25V22
gh3 = 7.67fV2

(3.1)
2

(3.5)

P2 = 1 10 5 0.9V2

(3.3)

P3 = 1 10 5 (0.9 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.6)

gh4 = 0.04V32 = 0.04V22


P4 = 1 10 5 (0.7 + 9.2 f )V2

(3.11)
2

(3.12)

All the formulas for the two cross-sectional areas A4 are plotted in the two graphs below.
2

Pressure losses (bar)

Pressure losses vs Velocity V2 (A4 = 0.2m )


0.6
0.5
f=0.1

0.4

f=0.3

0.3

f=0.5

0.2

f=0.7

0.071

0.1
0.0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Velocity V2 (m/s)

Pressure losses (bar)

Pressure losses vs velocity V2 (A4 = 0.1m )


0.5
0.4

f=0.1

0.3

f=0.3

0.2

f=0.5

0.1

f=0.7

0.064

0.0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

Velocity V2 (m/s)

C8

Appendix D

APPENDIX D: REFUSE HOPPER CALCULATIONS


1. Design of refuse hopper
Figure 1 below shows the design of closed and open foot-pedaled hopper. Different
colours are only used for differentiation of parts in the figures. Figure 2 below shows a
dimensioned refuse hopper installed onto a wall.

Figure 1: Closed and open foot-pedal hopper

Figure 2: Refuse hopper installed onto the wall

D1

Appendix D

2. Design Calculations

Figure 3: Cross-sectional views of closed and open hopper


Figure 3 shows cross sectional views of a closed and open hopper. Please refer the design
calculations to Figure 3 and free body diagrams.

2.1

Weight of hopper and refuse

1o = / 180o = 0.0175 radians


Volume of inlet hopper material used = ( x 0.252 x 0.5 x 0.002) + (0.25 x 0.25 x 0.002) +
(0.27 x 0.25 x 0.002) + (0.28 x 0.28 x 0.002)
= 0.613 x 10-3 m3
Assuming that we are using aluminium alloy 5052 [15], the density of this aluminium
alloy is about 2700kg/m3 [17].
Total weight of hopper = Density x Volume x 9.81
= 2700 x 0.613 x 10-3 x 9.81
= 17N (equivalent to about 1.65kg)

D2

Appendix D

2.2 Stress on rod A


Usually domestic refuse consists of food stuff, papers and other light items. Assume that
in extreme case, a bag of 5kg of garbage (about 50N) is thrown into the hopper, the total
weight of hopper and garbage is 67N. The linkages reaction to 67N needs to be calculated.
Assume that 67N acts on mid span of rod A.
67N
0.177m
120o

FBD of rod A

0.177m
Rod A

MA1
RA1

135o

MA2
RA2

Shear stress on rod A


0.0152

= 67 N
4

75o

= 0.38 MPa
The shear stress on rod A is low.

MA1 = 0
-MA1 + 67 (0.177) RA2(0.354) + MA2 = 0
Rod A is static and therefore the 2 momoents
cancel each other.
RA2 = 33.5N
+ Fy = 0
RA1 + RA2 = 67
RA1 = 67 33.5 = 33.5N
Since rod A is subjected to some bending, the maximum tensile and compressive stresses
are calculated.

D3

Appendix D

d 4 0.0154
=
= 2.485 109 m4
Moment of inertia of rod A = I =
64
64

Bending Moment M = 67 x 0.177 = 11.86Nm

C = 0.005m

Cross section
of rod A

Mc 11.86 0.005
Using max =
= 24 MPa
=
9
I 2.485 10

At mid span of rod A, a maximum tensile stress of 24 MPa occurs at the bottom fiber and
a maximum compressive stress of -24MPa occurs at top fiber.
The yield strength of aluminium alloy is about 195MPa [17].
Design safety factor =

YieldStrength

max

195MPa
= 8 .1
24 MPa

Rod A has a safety factor of 8.1. Continual cycles of usage may damage the hopper easily.
In addition, the hopper may also be subjected to abuse. The calculated safety factor should
sufficiently provide for excessive load and force.

2.3 Linkages at rest


The center of gravity (G) of the hopper is not found easily. Considering the cross-sectional
shape of the hopper as shown below, the distance of center of gravity from the apex is

0.25 sin
2
3 [19].
given as: X G =

3
3

XG = (2 x 0.25 x 3 sin (/3)) / (3 )


60o
60o

= 0.138m
Resolve XG horizontally,
XG(horizontal) = 0.138 cos 15o
= 0.133m

XG
B

D4

Appendix D

Since the distance moved by linkage is short and velocity of linkage movement is small,
velocity and acceleration of linkages is not taken into account.
LAB = 0.205m,

LBC = 0.52m,

LCD = 0.24m,

LDE = 0.075m

Free Body Diagram of linkages.


With reference to FBD on the left,

0.133m
A
FAx
17N
B

FAy
135o

+ Fy = 0
FAy + FDy = 17 ------------- (1)
+
Fx = 0
FAx = FDx = 0
------------- (2)
(no horizontal forces)

y
x

75
C

MA = 0
-17 (0.133) FDy [(LCDsin75o) (LABcos45o)] = 0
FDy = -26.6N

FDx

From eqn (1), FAy = 26.6 + 17


= 43.6N

FDy

Shear stress on pin D =

26.6

(0.005)

= 1.35 MPa
2

Vol of linkage BC = 0.52 x 0.015 x 0.005 = 3.9 x 10-5 m3


Weight of linkage BC = Density of Al alloy x Vol x 9.81
= 2700 x 3.9 x 10-5 x 9.81
= 1.03N
Shear stress on pin B = (Weight of BC) / Cross sectional area of pin B
=

1.03

(0.005)

= 0.053MPa

Shear stress on pin C = (Weight of BC) / Cross sectional area of pin C


=

1.03

(0.005)2

= 0.053MPa

D5

Appendix D

The shear stresses on the 3 pins are quite low when linkages are at rest.

2.4 Force required to open hopper


The force required to be applied at point E (foot pedal) to open an empty hopper needs to
be calculated.
0.133m
A
17N

With reference to FBD on the left,


to balance linkage CE horizontally,

B
135o

MD = 0
x

FE (LDEcos15o) 17[(LCDsin75o)
(LABcos45o) + 0.133] = 0

FE

FE (0.075cos15o) 17[(0.24sin75o)
(0.205cos45o) + 0.133] = 0

75

FE = 51.92N
C
When linkage CE is horizontal, point E displaces downwards by 2cm. This design is made
in such a way that point E must displace downwards by 7cm to open the hopper by
26.25cm. Assume that the pedal force is proportional to the distance traveled, we need to
find the pedal force required to displace point E down by 7cm.

Therefore,

51.92N is used to displace E by 2cm.

To displace E by 13cm, a force of

51.92
7 182 N is required.
2

When the hopper is fully open, a user needs to exert a force of 182N (about 18.6kgf).
Work done by user = Force x distance traveled
= 182 x 0.07 = 12.74J

D6

Appendix D

3. Conclusion
The above-mentioned calculations are proposed for the design of aluminium alloy chute
hopper. The design of chute hopper aims to reduce the problems faced when using
pneumatic refuse conveying system. The force required to open the hopper by 26.25cm is
about 182N. However, when the hopper is fully opened, more space is taken up. The
hopper may not close back automatically after release of force from the foot pedal as the
center of gravity of refuse and hopper lies outside the hopper. Further improvements could
be made to ensure smooth functioning of the system.

D7