Air scrubbers are emission control systems implicated in a broad range of industrial and commercial applications to purify process air streams. These devices are also commonly used to promote workplace safety and healthy atmospheric conditions within enclosed spaces. Among the most popular and efficient types of pollution control equipment, scrubbers can remove particles, gases or chemicals from an air source using one of two methods.
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Benefits of Air Scrubbers
Following is a description of some of the biggest benefits behind deploying air pollution scrubbers.
- Reduce and Remove Contaminants
- Reduce/remove airborne contaminants. In today’s society, a large number of people are suffering from respiratory illnesses and other complications caused by air pollution. According to a report prepared by the EPA, indoor air pollution is one of the top five health risks for Americans. Additionally, the quality of indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than that of outside air. By installing an air processing unit equipped with an inbuilt, buoyant air scrubber, these risks can be greatly reduced. The air scrubber market offers devices that promisingly remove up to 99.99 percent of pollutants and allergens from indoor air.
- Protection for People
- Protect yourself and your loved ones. Branded air scrubbers are programmed to purify the air that we breathe. These devices ensure that air ducts, windows, doors, furniture, and everything that you come into contact with remains free from dust and germs. Some machines are designed to make use of artificial intelligence. These machines replicate the setting of outside nature to ensure maximum interior air cleaning. The air that passes through and is circulated by these scrubbers is purified and contains nothing harmful.
- Building Cleanliness
- Keep your home and office clean. Once you install air scrubbers in your home or work environments, your family and coworkers encounter less exposure to molds, mildews, pollens, and foul smells.
- Reducing Toxins
- Reduce toxins from the air. Polluted air can create many allergies and health problems, such as nausea; irritation in the nose, eyes, throat; sinus; dizziness; cough; and headache. By keeping your surroundings clean and hygienic, you can avoid these and many other possible allergies and problems.
- Removing Odors
- Additionally, air scrubber equipment can also remove odors coming due to over-moisture, improper ventilation and pet damage. Furthermore, a good quality scrubber helps lower the operating cost of central HVAC systems.
Residential and Industrial Air Scrubbers
- Residential Air Scrubbers
- Air scrubbers are a type of pollution control equipment and are used to control the environment of home or office indoors. Apart from keeping the environment clean, these devices also help remove pet odors and various contaminants from indoor areas. An air scrubber is an air filtration system and, therefore, consumes the impurities from indoor air while supplying fresh air that contains no harmful contaminants or displeasing odors.
- Industrial Air Scrubbers
- In addition to residential applications, air scrubbers are also used in a variety of industrial situations. They are deployed to lower the levels of particulate matter (PM) being released from industrial exhaust systems. More specifically, these devices use liquid (atomized water) to scrub or remove the PM from the industrial release.
- Manufacturing organizations use air scrubbers to remove different types of solids, gases, and steams being produced by their process equipment. The overall purpose of an industrial air scrubber is to cleanse the flow of pollutants existent in the gas flow emitted from an industrial unit. These tiny but powerful devices are also effective for removing explosive and poisonous gases and solids –resulting in very low risk(though careful handling is essential).
Wet and Dry Air Scrubbers
Two air scrubber subcategories are wet scrubbers, which utilize a liquid solution to attract and remove pollutants and dry scrubbers, which use a reagent or slurry to trap and dissolve unwanted contaminants. Contaminants can range significantly from the sulfur produced in coal combustion power generation or small fibers that become airborne in textile plants. Laboratories and other such facilities also utilize air scrubbers to remove potentially harmful chemicals from an air source. While scrubbers can be used to remove particulates and chemicals, many are geared specifically towards one or the other as optimal operating conditions differ and chemical solutions and absorption techniques are often tailored to specific contaminants. Improperly configured or poorly maintained air scrubbers can leave harmful VOCs and HOCs in the atmosphere. For this reason, the EPA and other organizations encourage and even require the use of air scrubbers or other such equipment.
As aforementioned, most air scrubbers can be divided into one of two categories. Wet scrubbers function by forcing contaminated air through a spray or pool of cleaning solution. Particulates and gasses are attracted to the specialized solution so as the air flow passes; they are trapped and collected in a receptacle with the liquid cleanser. Dry scrubbers operate in similar fashion though minimal moisture, if any is used to attract and collect pollutants. Instead, this method involves the application of a dry reagent or slurry which is introduced into a dirty exhaust stream. The chemicals in this slurry, often limestone, attract chemicals and particulates which form larger particles. The gas flow is then forced through one or more filters which collect the contaminants which without the reaction or attraction would be small enough to pass through the filter. Chemical solutions may be used in both wet and dry scrubbers to sort out pollutants. Additional filters can be added as well for increased efficiency. Pre-filters are employed prior to the gas reaching the scrubber and collect larger pollutants, allowing the apparatus to focus on smaller particles. Final filters may also be used at the exhaust end to ensure no contaminants pass through the scrubber. Qualified air pollution control professionals can evaluate an area and air supply and suggest the proper size and level of complexity needed for optimal performance in a specific application.
Differences between Air Scrubbers and Negative Air Devices
Due to the high intensity of industrial pollution, manufacturing businesses across industries have started adopting various water and air pollution control devices. These modern-day technologies help them to control the rate of pollutants being discharged by their processes. Two such pieces of equipment are – air scrubbers and negative air devices.
- Air Scrubber
- In general, an air pollution scrubber is a machine that scrubs the airflow coming through the exhaust stream, and this way, it eliminates the number of contaminants present in airflow. Moreover, a negative air device is an appliance that makes use of high-voltage electric current to ionize the molecules of the air. This negative charge effectively reduces the possible impact of the pollutants on the environment. Both the technologies are smart and efficient, and help industries ensure that their emissions are free from pollutants and toxins.
- Technically, air scrubbers are available in a great many options, all having the same purpose – to clean the air. Some machines are installed to treat the air of a room or area; while at the industrial levels, they are used alongside the exhaust tributary, in which they clean the flow released by the process. These pollution control systems have a filter that removes the dust particles. In addition, it can also exclude poisonous gases, droplets of chemicals, and other solid particles that have a negative influence on the environment. These air pollution control systems can be customized as per the size of the application for which they are being used, and also according to the specific requirements of the business.
- Wet scrubber is a variant of scrubbing systems that can treat the liquid flow being released by a plant.
- Negative Air Device
- Air scrubbers are often confused with negative air systems. Although some scrubbers work on the principles of negative air pressure devices, scrubbers have a filter that traps the harmful particles that are left out unprocessed during the scrubbing procedure. A negative air device employs a very high voltage to create a negative charge on the particles present in the stream, and turn them ineffective.
- A negative air appliance involves the ducting system to remove the soiled air from a tightly vacuumed and controlled area/room. The treated air from the system is supplied outside of the containment after the process completes. This technique generates a negative air pressure and tightens grip of vacuum inside the chamber. This system not only cleans the air, but also it prevents the spread of pollutants from inside to outside.
- Due to their similarity with the negative air systems, some designs of air pollution scrubbers can potentially replace the former. However, they will need to have certain features to work as a negative air device. These features are vacuum-tight chamber or room, adequate ducting, high-voltage electric current, and a speed control blower.
- Negative air machines because of their specific features are also called ionizers and electrostatic neutralizers. However, in comparison to dedicated ionizers and electrostatic neutralizers, these machines have a varied mechanism. Some negative pressure devices do not use ozone air purification technology, while the scrubbers do.
Standards and Specifications for Air Scrubbers
These pollutants affect our current daily lives (sulfur dioxide causes acid rain and fine particles of dust can cause respiratory disease when inhaled) whether we are aware of it or not, but there are even greater implications for future generations as scientists have recently agreed that climate change is happening and that is human caused, mostly by carbon dioxide emissions. It is time for industries across the globe to take responsibility and reduce emissions in any way they are able, and an easy way to do that is to install air scrubbers in smokestacks. Some options for these include both wet and dry scrubbers, each of which operate in different ways but can be equally effective. If your facility is one of the many that still does not have air scrubbers, contact a supplier near you and discuss which options would work best for your operations.
- Clean Air Act
- Amendments to the Clean Air Act that were made decades ago encourage the use of pollution control equipment such as air scrubbers on smokestacks to limit harmful air pollution, but a new government study shows that half of all boilers attached to smokestacks still do not have scrubbers. These scrubbers are encouraged because they are able to almost completely remove or neutralize sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other harmful pollutants from emissions.
- Air Scrubbers and the Environment
- Companies that complain about the inconvenience or expense of such an addition should acknowledge the shift that is happening in society and business in regard to sustainability. While some facilities are resistant to these positive changes, others have taken responsibility and see it as an opportunity to become leaders in low-cost, clean energy. It’s time to get on board, to commit to green goals, and to reduce emissions. Improve your local air quality, improve your reputation or get left in the dust.