Automatically Controlled Dust Generation System Using Arduino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A dust generator was developed to disperse and maintain a desired concentration of airborne dust in a controlled environment chamber to study poultry physiological response to sustained elevated levels of particulate matter. The goal was to maintain an indicated PM10 concentration of 50 µg/m3 of airborne dust in a 3.7 m × 4.3 m × 2.4 m (12 ft × 14 ft × 8 ft) controlled environment chamber. The chamber had a 1.5 m3/s (3200 cfm) filtered recirculation air handling system that regulated indoor temperature levels and a 0.06 m3/s (130 cfm) exhaust fan that exchanged indoor air for fresh outdoor air. Dry powdered red oak wood dust that passed through an 80-mesh screen cloth was used for the experiment. The dust generator metered dust from a rectangular feed hopper with a flat bottom belt to a 0.02 m3/s (46 cfm) centrifugal blower. A vibratory motor attached to the hopper ran only when the belt was operated to prevent bridging of powdered materials and to provide an even material feed rate. A laser particle counter was used to measure the concentration of airborne dust and provided feedback to an Arduino-based control system that operated the dust generator. The dust generator was operated using a duty cycle of one second on for every five seconds off to allow time for dispersed dust to mix with chamber air and reach the laser particle counter. The control system maintained an airborne PM10 dust concentration of 54.92 ± 6.42 µg/m3 in the controlled environment chamber during six weeks of continuous operation using red oak wood dust. An advantage of the automatically controlled dust generator was that it continued to operate to reach the setpoint concentration in response to changes in material flow due to humidity, partial blockages, and non-uniform composition of the material being dispersed. Challenges included dust being trapped by the recirculation filter and the exhaust fan removing airborne dust from the environmental chamber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4574
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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