Science: Wood Dust

A new air-purifying device designed for U.S. woodworking mills is unprecedented because it 1) removes wood dust by centrifugal force; 2) concentrates it as a byproduct that is salable in carload lots at $35 a ton. The machine sucks in dusty air, sets it whirling at high speeds. The particles of dust fly to the periphery and clean air comes out of the vortex.

The collected wood dust is shipped east to plastics makers. "Wood flour forms the base for practically all the plastics," explains the machine's inventor, Engineer Frederick Kurt Kirsten of the University of Washington. "Up...

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