Benefits of Air Pollution Control

What is Air Pollution?

Since the advent of civilization, people have discovered different methods to reduce the stress of humans, increase the standard of living and make life easier. While these inventions have brought a lot of advantages, they have also caused the release of a lot of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. These pollutants are collectively known as air pollution. Over the years, air pollution has become more and more of a problem, which is why scientists and engineers have invented various methods of air pollution control.


What is Air Pollution Control?

Air pollution control is simply the use of substitutive ways to minimize the excess release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, as ambient air consists of liquids, gas, and most surprisingly, solids.

Over the years, air pollution has become more and more of a problem, which is why scientists and engineers have invented various methods of air pollution control. Many of these methods involve the use of equipment and machinery.

Pollution Control Equipment

Pollution control equipment can be divided into four main system types: Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS), Emissions Control Systems, parametric monitoring systems and oxidizers.

Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS)

CEMS are systems that industry workers use to measure emissions at significant sources of pollution on a regular basis. In particular, these systems measure the concentration of particulate matter and gaseous compounds at points preset points in stack, duct or something similar. Manufacturers can also design them to monitor and record information about the physical state (ex. opacity) of things like waste gas streams.

Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems help companies comply to regulations and standards including: The Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM) Rule, EPA standards, National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS), New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and New Source Review (NSR).


Emissions Control Systems

Emission control systems are air filters systems. Their job is to catch pollutants as they move through them, so -1) the pollutants do not enter the environment and, 2) the company using the filters keep their pollution output at or under legal levels.

Emission control systems are essential to anyone conducting industrial processes that produce unhealthy byproducts. Combustion, for example, produces sulfur, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. All of these gases are bad for the environment and bad for people.

Control systems can achieve their goals in a number of different ways. Mainly, they 1) capture and hold onto contaminants, or 2) convert them into something safer that they can release into the environment or recirculate, like carbon dioxide or water vapor.

There are many different kinds of emission control systems. Examples include: air scrubbers (wet scrubbers and dry scrubbers), mist collectors, odor control systems and electrostatic precipitators.

Circulating Dry Scrubber (CDS) – B&W MEGTEC
Circulating Dry Scrubber (CDS) – B&W MEGTEC
  • Wet Scrubbers
    Wet scrubbers clean the air by pulling or attracting it into a bath or a stream of liquid cleaning solution. As the air goes through the liquid, its particulates and impurities get caught. That way, when it comes out the other side of the scrubber, the air is purified.


  • Dry Scrubbers
    Dry scrubbers work much like wet scrubbers, except instead of a liquid cleanser, they clean air with a slurry or dry reagent. To work, the scrubber introduces the cleaner into a dirty air stream. The slurries they use are composed of chemicals like limestone, which attracts particulates and other contaminants and group them together so that they become larger. Reagents are any substances that produce a chemical reaction. No matter which method they use, dry scrubbers successfully enlarge contaminated particles before forcing the gas stream through filters. Because the particles have been enlarged, the filters can trap them. Manufacturers often install dry scrubbers in exhaust pipes.


  • Mist Collectors
    Sometimes called demisters or mist eliminators, mist collectors are emission control devices that operators use to pull mist and vapor from process gas/air streams. Mist collectors work using coalescers, which are devices that cause the vapors or mists to gather into droplets. After the droplets gather, or coalesce, the mist collectors catch these droplets by passing the air stream through a series of filters.
    Mist collectors may use any number of filters to accomplish their goals, including: pads made from fabric materials, vane packs (composed of layers of evenly spaced corrugated plates) and calescers made from permeable mesh materials.

    Once the mist collectors have caught the droplets and/or contaminants in the filters, they may preserve them so operators can recycle them as process material. In this way, they not only benefit the environment, but also the budget of the people for which they work.
    Mist collectors are popular components of processes related to: chemical processing, marine applications, paper and pulp, metal forming, metal finishing, food processing, agriculture, brine desalination and more. Some of the process streams they clean most often include: smoke, water, abrasives, oil and coolant.


  • Odor Control Systems
    Odor control systems reduce or completely remove harmful and unpleasant odors from the air. They may work a few different ways. First, they may mask odors by emitting a stronger, more pleasant odor of the air. Second, they may neutralize the odor by absorbing them. To neutralize odors, they use special filters, powders or sprays. The former is a quick, temporary solution, while the latter is a long- term solution. 
    Odor control systems are popular in a wide range of manufacturing facilities, as well as waste processing facilities and landfills. They are important in pulp and paper, for example, because manufacturers produce a lot of methane while processing these materials. Also, commercial greenhouses that use herbicides and pesticides must use odor control in order to reduce the risk of their employees breathing in toxic gas.


  • Electrostatic Precipitators
    Electrostatic precipitators are pollution control equipment designed to rid the air of noticeable byproducts of machining, such as smoke, powder, ash, debris and dust. They trap particles inside the precipitator, which is made up of metal tubes or plates.

    They start by sending out an electrostatic charge, which causes the particles to become positively charged. Meanwhile, they apply a negative charge to the precipitator plates. Because opposite charges attract, the suspended particles then gather on the plates. The dust that gathers on the plates is known as “cake.”

    To remove cake buildup, the precipitator will do one of two things. If it is a dry precipitator, it will shake or be tapped on, so the cake falls into a collection bin. If it is a wet precipitator, the system will send a washing solution or plain water to rinse away the cake.
Wet Electrostatic Precipitator – B&W MEGTEC
Wet Electrostatic Precipitator – B&W MEGTEC

Parametric Monitoring Systems

Parametric monitoring systems, also called Continuous Parametric Monitoring Systems (CPMS), measure emissions using carefully selected key parameters. These parameters do not measure emission levels directly, but rather key indicators of system performance that operators know to affect emission levels. Some common key indicators include: flow rate, pressure and temperature.

The EPA presents parametric monitoring as a system that can help manufacturers keep their emissions in compliance with their air quality regulation requirements. It is particularly helpful in keeping manufacturers in line with the CAM rule, or the Compliance Assurance Monitoring rule. It offers its users a flexible and relatively inexpensive way to accurately monitor their emissions.




Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) – B&W MEGTEC
Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) – B&W MEGTEC

Oxidizers control air pollution by burning pollutants inside a machine, where they break down and become harmless. Oxidizing machines can be divided into three main groups: carbon absorbers, thermal oxidizers and catalytic oxidizers.


  • Carbon Absorbers
    Carbon absorbers, also known as air scrubbers, pull air in and filter it using carbon. The carbon may exist in a filter, or it may exist as an activated carbon bed over which the air stream flows. Both the filter and the activated carbon bed work the same way. When an air stream passes through or over them, respectively, the carbon components catch and absorb into themselves all of the air’s volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Once this is done, the absorber may release clean air.

    Carbon absorbers work well at cleaning air streams contaminated with a wide variety of materials, such as: sodium hydroxide, minerals and zeolites like serpentinite, amines like monoethanolamine, and lithium hydroxide.


  • Thermal Oxidizers
    Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer - Anguil Environmental Systems, Inc.
    Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer - Anguil Environmental Systems, Inc.

    oxidizers work by heating air flows until they are hot enough for the contaminants inside to break down and turn into water vapor and carbon dioxide. They are popular for use in applications like: food processing, roof manufacturing, polymer manufacturing, printing and pharmaceuticals.

    Thermal oxidizers may be recuperative or regenerative.

    Recuperative thermal oxidizers, or RTOs, recuperate the energy they release during oxidation using ceramic heat transfer beds. These recover between 90% and 95% of the energy they use.

    Regenerative thermal oxidizers preheat polluted gas inside a conventional heat exchanger like a tube or shell. As the dirty gas heats, it releases energy that the oxidizer can use. In this way these oxidizers regenerate their energy.


  • Catalytic Oxidizers
    Catalytic oxidizers work similarly to thermal oxidizers; they also burn hazardous air pollution. However, they accomplish their task at significantly lower temperatures than thermal oxidizers, using noble metal catalysts to facilitate oxidation. In other words, these noble metals act as the catalyst for oxidation inside the combustion chamber. Two of the noble metal catalysts found inside catalytic oxidizers are palladium and platinum. Once broken down, the pollution captured inside catalytic oxidizers turn into byproducts like oxygen or nitrogen.

    Like thermal oxidizers, catalytic oxidizers can be recuperative or regenerative. They are popular in industries like: mining, commercial farming, automotive manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.


The Benefits of Air Pollution Control

  • Air pollution control helps to protect the human health: To every human on earth, health is wealth; health is paramount for the running of our day to day activities, without which we would have to rely on others to live. Air Pollution Scrubber Suppliers come to help protect our health, which is very valuable.
  • Air pollution control helps prevent economic wastes: With air pollution control, the wastes accrued from dead crops and bad water will be limited or stopped. Some California wine producers complained about how their crops were polluted and customers complained that the wine had begun to taste like sulfur. With the presence of air pollution control, economic slowdowns like this will be prevented or at least managed to the barest minimum.
  • Increased worker productivity: No matter how strong the immune system is, there are times when it fails, especially when there is excess air pollution. As pollution is controlled, workers can now work for a longer period of time.
  • Helps improve indoor air quality: Air pollution control helps to secure the quality of the air inside your house.


Why Do People Use Air Pollution Control?

A lot of people cannot stand a polluted environment. They try their best to make sure that their environment is safe to live in. They try to reduce the excess release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

Basically, people use it to:

  • Prevent smog dangers: This is one of the most important reasons why people use the air pollution control. Smog can be very hazardous, which is why air pollution control should be installed at an early stage to prevent smog.
  • Protect their health: This is part of the reason why most people install the air pollution control. Most of these chemicals could damage the lungs.
  • Improve their indoor air quality: People use it to improve the air when they are indoors.

The importance of air pollution control cannot be overemphasized, as air is paramount to the existence of every human being; it cannot be taken for granted. With air pollution control, life is easier, better and safer. IQS Directory offers suppliers who specialize in air pollution control. For more information visit

B&W Megtec Dry Electrostatic Precipitator
Image: B&W Megtec

Comments are closed.