In our previous article on particle pollution, we have discussed about the danger of particle discharge from industries towards our health. particle pollution, also known as particulate matter or PM, is a general term for a mixture of solid and liquid droplets suspended in the air. Particle pollution comes in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of a number of different components. Breathing in particle pollution can be harmful to your health. Fine particles, called PM2.5, are more dangerous because they can get into the deep parts of your lungs — or even into your blood.
Industrial process in plantation mills produces particulate that could be harmful to the environment. In safeguarding our environment and to realise our commitment towards sustainable agriculture, several systems have been put in place to mitigate the effects from mill process. One of them is the use of Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP).
ESP is an extremely effective system to remove harmful particulate matter from waste gases. The principle of its operation is by electrostatically charging particles in the gas stream. AC Voltage is rectified by the HV Transformer to DC Voltage which then flows through Discharge Electrode, creating an electrical field around it. Dust particles passing through the field are negatively charged. The charged dust particles are collected by the Collecting Electrode which is grounded. Dust precipitated on the collecting electrode is dislodged into the hopper by rapping mechanism.
ESP works wonder in mitigating harmful particles from being released to the atmosphere as it can capture fine particle matter that are smaller than 2.5 microns. For comparison, the average cross-section of a human hair is 50 microns. Particles that are smaller than 2.5 microns are exceptionally dangerous to human as they can bypass many of our body’s defenses.
Air pollution control system in palm oil mills is a requirement set by Malaysia’s Department of Environment to industry players, which are enforced through the Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulations 2014. For BPB itself, strict guidelines are in place to ensure that environmental impact brought by palm oil mill operations are mitigated to a minimal level, if not none. In total, BPB has spent more than RM22 million to put the ESP system in place in nine of its palm oil mills operating nationwide.
BPB will continue to pursue its commitment towards a safer environment and greener future, in line with the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.