What can you use pneumatic conveying for?

In the world of science fiction the answer to this question is pretty much anything that you want. For example, in HG Wells’ “Shape of things to come ” he suggests that pneumatics will be fitted to a big space gun that will shoot a bullet shaped capsule up out of the earth’s atmosphere and allow it to reach and orbit the Moon before coming back again. Hopefully it won’t be going so fast that when it comes back it won’t end up embedding itself in the ground. This is not what Pneumatic conveying is capable of (at the moment) and isn’t the most practical use for it. It would also require an enormous amount of power to achieve this.

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Pneumatic conveying is used to move things, but not huge projectiles with human space explorers inside. Much smaller items are moved but these are just as important to human endeavours.  These items are usually pills or powders. They are also loose items like animal feeds and other grains.

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Being loose and light makes it very difficult to move these items in bulk. They have a tendency to fall between the arms of the forklift if you try to lift them and then subsequently fall over the moment the vehicle starts to set off. Also dust and fluff will get mixed in with the substance making it next to useless. If the item is contained with a Pneumatic conveying system it can be hermetically sealed and moved to a storage tank or tanker for transport with minimum fuss.

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