Many industries aim to reduce their emissions and environmental impact for legal and ethical reasons. While these pollutants can be harmful, wet scrubbers can remove these emissions and particles from the air, reducing emissions from various industries. Wet scrubbers create a way for your business to eliminate unwanted air contaminants while reducing your overall environmental impact.
Wet scrubbers should be an essential tool in your business, especially since many industrial industries are responsible for a significant portion of global emissions. However, the particles the wet scrubber eliminates from the air don’t disappear. These particles are contained in the wet scrubber and must be appropriately disposed of to reduce secondary pollution concerns. Below, you’ll learn more about wet scrubber emissions and how to prevent them from contaminating the environment.
How Wet Scrubbers Work
Wet scrubbers help remove high levels of pollutants from gas and odors, preventing them from escaping and contaminating outdoor air. Wet scrubbers work by using water or a water-based solvent to absorb contaminants. Contaminated gas will enter the wet scrubber from the bottom, passing through solvent sprays and the packed bed. The contaminated gas is collected in the solvent drops, which are captured by the mist eliminator before the gas exits the wet scrubber.
Wet scrubbers use different solvents depending on what contaminants or pollutants it needs to absorb. The electric charge of the solution determines which pollutants can bind with the solvent. Solvents commonly used in wet scrubbers include:
- Calcium hydroxide
- Sodium hydroxide
- Sodium carbonate
Once the solvent absorbs the pollutants, a new solvent is required to eliminate the contaminants and replace the liquid that’s been evaporated. A wet scrubber’s effectiveness depends on how much the pollutant contacts the specific solvent.
There are different types of wet scrubbers, including low-energy wet scrubbers capable of removing large particles and high-energy wet scrubbers that can remove small particles. All wet scrubbers contain a mist eliminator since it helps remove contaminants from the solvent. The pollutant must be completely treated before discharging or reusing the scrubbing liquid.
Benefits of Wet Scrubbers
Wet scrubbers are beneficial tools that help remove pollutants from gas and odors, which is essential for wastewater treatment facilities and industrial manufacturing processes. Wet scrubbers have many benefits, including the following:
- Handling combustible dust: Wet scrubbers can help when handling combustible dust, which helps eliminate the risk of explosions within the scrubber. The explosion risk depends on the dust type, particle size, concentration and temperature. Wet scrubbers are one of the only ways to avoid an explosion risk, making them a worthy investment for industrial manufacturers. However, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance to ensure the risk of dust-related explosions is eliminated.
- Saving space: Wet scrubbers typically take up less space than cartridge collectors and bag houses commonly associated with ductwork. Wet scrubbers are more compact, which is ideal when space in a facility is essential. A wet scrubber is perfect for creating more space in your facility.
- Removing unwanted gases: Wet scrubbers can force gas and water together, leaving the water behind as the gas passes through. The water absorbs the unwanted particles from the gas, leaving them behind in the wet scrubber so they can be removed. Some gases that are commonly removed include ammonia, chlorine and hydrochloric acid. Wet scrubbers can also remove water-soluble odors, which dry scrubbers can’t do.
- Handling abrasive or sticky dust: Other filtration systems, such as baghouses, can quickly become contaminated when sticky substances bind to filters, increasing costs for replacement filters and labor. Abrasive particles can also cause damage to rotary valves, conveyors and dust collectors, requiring additional maintenance and work. Wet scrubbers don’t need filters, making them capable of handling abrasive and sticky dust without replacing filters or causing wear on the equipment.
- Removing mists and fine particulates: Most wet scrubbers can remove up to 95% of particulates, with the most efficient models removing up to 99% of particles. This includes particles too small to capture by cartridge filters and baghouses. Wet scrubbers can utilize ultra-fine droplets, entrap small particles and hold them in the solution, where they’ll later be removed. Wet scrubbers are capable of removing more particulates than a dry system.
- Minimizing maintenance: Wet scrubbers require very little maintenance. The only required maintenance you should perform regularly is changing the scrubber water. You should change your scrubber water often enough to meet your pollution control targets. Maintenance schedules will vary based on your industry’s specific pollution reduction needs.
Wet scrubbers have many benefits across many industries. These devices can remove particles from gases and odors, making them more efficient than dry scrubbers. Wet scrubbers can also handle contaminants that dry scrubbers or other filtration systems can’t, such as abrasive or sticky particles. Wet scrubbers are a worthwhile investment for many industries that work with gases that can pollute the environment, helping reduce your business’ emissions.
How to Dispose of Wet Scrubber Waste Emissions Safely
Wet scrubbers can remove particles from gases, but these particles don’t disappear. The particles removed from gases remain in the wet scrubber and must be safely disposed of to prevent contamination. Some companies turn their wet scrubber emissions or sludge into recyclable materials, such as synthetic drywall. The sludge can also be used to create bricks, which can be used for various applications.
However, most emissions created by wet scrubbers are placed in specially sealed containers, then in landfills. Some wet scrubber sludge is also dumped into the ocean. If wet scrubber emissions or sludge aren’t sealed and stored correctly, the wet scrubber emission can seep into the ground, polluting groundwater and harming the ecosystem. While wet scrubbers are efficient at removing particles from gas, this doesn’t remove them from the environment entirely. However, if you seal emissions correctly, you won’t have to worry about posing any risks to groundwater.
Since wet scrubbers can contribute to secondary pollution, new wet scrubber technology was developed to help reduce emissions. A newly developed wet scrubber system utilizes multi-sand filtering technology, which can help improve the filtration of particles and reduce the risk of wet scrubber emissions. Filtration tanks can also be outfitted to the outlet of the wet scrubber.
If your business is disposing of wet scrubber emissions, it’s essential to seal the sludge or pollutants in specially sealed containers to reduce the risk of secondary pollution. Since the containers often end up in landfills, more research needs to be done to find better methods of disposing of wet scrubber emissions. As technology develops, more efficient ways of disposing of wet scrubber emissions will become available. Using the proper disposal methods, you can reduce the risk of groundwater contamination.
Learn More About Wet Scrubbers
Removing pollutants from the air is essential to keep the environment safe and stable. Wet scrubbers can remove contaminants and harmful gases from the air, helping reduce the emissions your business creates. If you’re looking for a wet scrubber for your applications, MACH Engineering can help.
We can design and engineer wet scrubbers based on your needs and applications. We’ll send our design to our trusted manufacturer, helping your business receive a high-quality wet scrubber you can rely on. We utilize various materials, elements and sizes to help you find a wet scrubber solution that can help your business reduce your emissions.
Contact us today to learn more about our wet scrubbers and how they can help your organization.