Air Cannons Dramatically Improve Employee Safety
Product Types Used Air Cannon Solutions , Air Cannons
Industry Coal-Fired Power
Customer Kanawha River Terminals (A Progress Energy Company) Ceredo, West Virginia


Six stacker tubes at the Kanawha River Terminal are used in the stockpile area to allow storage of coal.

At this rail-to-barge trans-loading facility on the Ohio River, a set of six stacker tubes connected by conveyors allows the stockpiling of coal. Coal would hang up inside the tubes, sticking to the walls, building up inside.

To clean coal out of the tubes, the operation resorted to manual labor. A man-lift would be used to raise personnel to the lowest window of a stacker tube, so they could dig out the accumulated coal. This proved expensive, as it consumed six to eight hours of labor, and it exposed personnel to a safety hazard working on the stockpiles and inside the tubes.


The Martin® Air Cannons were installed on the catwalk of the conveyors above the stacker tubes.

Plant management wanted to remove the accumulated material and completely empty the stacker tubes. As a test, two Martin® Air Cannons were installed to clean out material from the Number 2 Stacker Tube.

The air cannons were installed on the catwalk of the tower. The discharge air from the air cannons is piped down more than 70 feet (21m) to the top of the tube’s lowest windows, to remove blockages from the discharge opening.


The first discharge of the air cannons on the Number 2 Stacker Tube removed approximately 50 tons of coal built up inside. The trial installation was so successful that within a week of its completion, Kanawha River Terminal ordered ten more air cannons—two for each of the remaining five stacker tubes.


PDF - Printable Version of Case Study Download
Brochure - Coal-Fired Power Industry Download
Brochure - Air Cannons Download
Brochure - Martin Engineering Corporate Profile Download

View Additional Resources

We've solved your problem somewhere before!

While your problem seems unique and frustrating, with 70+ years of solving similar problems around the world, and with the most experienced and educated people on our teams, we can assure you that we’ve “Been There, Done That.” At least close enough to know what needs to be done next and adjust for your situation.

Put Us To The Test For Free! Let Us Give You a Solution.