Sugar Dust Control


The P.D. Engineering Tri-Separator: Solving the age-old problems of sugar dust control.

The P.D. Engineering Tri-Separator borrows on existing and proven dust-suppression and separation technologies, brought together in a new and innovative arrangement. Dust laden air is drawn through a conventional ducting system by means of a radial-bladed or backward curved laminar flow fan set. The Tri-Separator consists of upper and lower separation and suppression chambers.


The Tri Separator utilises three proven separation technologies:

  • Inertia Cone: Dust laden air passes through a primary louvered element in the lower chamber, this element separates approximately 10% of the fine dust along with 90% of the total air volume, this separated air and dust is directed towards a water bath in the base of the unit. a dust suppression system of fogging nozzles remove the majority of the remaining fine dust. The overflow from the water bath and spray nozzles is fed into a sweet water tank below the unit 
  • Cyclone: After the primary element, the remaining 90% of the dust and 10% of the initial air volume passes through a high volume cyclone for dry collection. The cyclones’ exhaust is fed back into the main duct entering the fan set. 
  • Static Impeller: Between the upper and lower separation chambers is a static impeller which imparts a cyclonic centrifugal effect to the remainder of the fine dust and fog particles rising up from the lower chamber, flinging the particles onto the sides of the upper chamber where they then fall back down into the lower chamber through gravity 


The dry dust collected by the cyclone is discharged into a plug-screw conveyor, forming an air lock to ensure optimal performance of the cyclone. The dust then can be dropped into the same sweet water tank serving the main unit and pumped back to the plant for re-processing, or it can be dropped into a suitable container or 1 Ton bulk bag for re-processing or disposal 

Running Costs and Maintenence

The running and maintenance costs of our Tri-Separator are typically lower than other dust collectors and separators for the same air volume.

  • Lower overall running costs: Our unit requires as little as 4 Liters of hot, potable water per minute, this is significantly less than other wet collection systems such as venturi scrubbers. the compressed air requirement is similarly low, at approximately 30m³ per hour at 7bar.
  • Lower maintenece costs: As there are no filter bags or cartridges to clean or replace, it takes less time and manpower to keep our units running effectively. Maintenance and running manuals are provided with each unit.
  • Collected dust can be re-processed: As our Unit and Ducting is manufactured predominantly from 3CR12, all of the dust collected is able to be re melted and re-processed, adding even further cost savings.

Tri- Separators in the field

Below is a list of the Tri-separators currently in operation:

  • SSA Simunye mill – Packing plant, 20 point system
  • SSA Ubombo mill – VHP Drier, 10 point system
  • Omnicane Mauritius – Conditioning Silo, 21 point system
  • Omnicane Mauritius – Comessa Cooler. Single point
  • Tongaat Huletts Refinery Rossburgh – Silo, 20 points
  • Star Trading Nigeria – R1 & R2 Packing Station; R1 & R2 Drier to Silo. 130 points total in 4 dust extraction plants
  • Illovo Noodsberg mill – Conditioning silos, 27 points
  • Illovo Eston Mill – New packing plant, 24 points
  • Illovo Umzimkulu mill – Packing Plant, 22 points
  • Illovo Noodsberg Mill – Packing Plant, 33 Points
  • Illovo Nchalo Mill – Packing Plant, 34 points