Pollution Control Equipment
The term "pollution control equipment" refers to a diverse set of equipment with the goal of removing and eliminating an equally diverse variety of pollutants from the surrounding environment.
Quick links to Pollution Control Equipment Information
Applications of Pollution Control Equipment
Different settings call for different types of pollution control equipment. Note that pollution control equipment, also known as emission control systems, has applications all over the industries of commercial, domestic, and industrial manufacturing, as well as in biological research, medicine, printing, and automotives. Each industry and application releases unique toxins, odors, or particulates of their own, forcing the need for diverse pollution control solutions.
Such pollutants, which include sulfuric odors, gases, and vapors, are called hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic pollutants (VOCs). These kinds of pollutants most often enter Earth’s atmosphere via the performance of industrial manufacturing processes, which create harmful byproducts, like solvent fumes, hydrocarbons, halogenated waste, and other hazardous toxins that should not be allowed into the air or human lungs.
Because of the risks posed to the health and wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants, regulatory agencies like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) either encourage or make the use of air pollution control equipment mandatory. Manufacturers that use air pollution control equipment are doing their part to keep harmful emissions low and maintained at levels that are not detrimental to health.
Notable Types of Pollution Control Equipment
Generally speaking, pollution control equipment works through acts of absorption, extraction, filtration, or a combination of all three. The most common types of industrial pollution control equipment are air scrubbers, wet scrubbers, mist collectors, and electrostatic precipitators. These all employ multiple pollution control techniques. Following these are the simpler oxidizers and air filtration systems.
- Air Scrubbers
- Purify air streams within enclosed spaces, like laboratories and textile mills. They can also be used to clean air in smelly basements and flooded or fire-damaged homes. Primarily, air scrubbers target chemicals, gases, and particles, working either through dry scrubbing or wet scrubbing.
- Wet Scrubbers
- Dry scrubbers collect chemicals and particulates by first introducing a dry reagent or slurry into a dirty exhaust stream or a gas stream, which catches larger contaminants, then forcing the stream through filters to catch smaller contaminants. Wet scrubbers, on the other hand, collect contaminants inside liquid droplets, then clean them using either absorption in a saturation pool or dissolution in a liquid spray. Users may enhance the performance of their wet scrubbers by adding in chemical solutions to the liquid agent. Additional filters can also be used to boost efficiency both before and after the initial cleaning.
- Mist Collectors
- Also known as demisters or mist eliminators, mist collectors are made to specifically target mists and vapors within an air stream, such as smoke, coolant, oil, abrasives, and water. Most often, they are used by industries and applications in which space and weight savings are highly important and/or where vapor quality is key. Such industries and applications include agriculture, paper and pulp, food processing, brine desalination, chemical processing, and metal finishing and forming.
- Electrostatic Precipitators
- Or ESPs, are highly efficient, quality-achieving pollution control equipment that work through ionization. Particulates in the air are charged inductively with an electric field as metal tubes or plates, called collection tubes or collection plates, are charged with a negative voltage. The opposing charges attract, causing the particulates to stick to the collection tubes or plates.
- Once this happens, they are shaken, tapped, rapped, or conditioned and rinsed into a bin for disposal or recycling. This method of pollution control is employed primarily by industries that produce a lot of smoke, dust, and debris, such as material handling, textile manufacturing, petroleum processing, chemical processing, electronics, and general manufacturing and machining.
- Perform cleaning by heating air that has been forced into a main chamber with a catalyst until the contaminants within it either burn or undergo a chemical reaction, and then converting it into less harmful byproducts that can be filtered further or disposed of. Oxidizers are occasionally small enough for use in automotive exhaust systems. However, they are usually large and used only with high emission industries, like agriculture, food processing, printing, paper and pulp, painting, pharmaceuticals, and polymer and resin manufacturing.
- Air Filtration Systems
- Trap a wide range of pollutants and other impurities in filters. They may aim to capture, dissolve, or destroy pollutants. Common pollutants include bacteria, pollen, mold, dust, metallic powder, gases, and chemicals. Air filtration systems serve a wide variety of applications. They may be designed with any number of porosity, flow rate, filter length, pressure drop, and ply and efficiency requirements in mind. Air filtration systems serve many industries, including food and chemical processing, pharmaceutical, laboratory, clean room, electronics, and commercial and residential ventilation.