Removing contaminants from air emissions during cleaning and maintenance actions

Many industrial companies around Europe are already taking steps to lower their manufacturing emissions. But now, a lot of companies are also starting to tackle those emissions produced during cleaning and maintenance work.

The Problem

This specialty chemical plant in eastern France produces varnishes, paints and coatings. It has a tank containing butyl acrylate on site, which undergoes regular cleaning and maintenance by a specialist industrial services company to ensure it is free of damage and cracks.

The cleaning process produces emissions of butyl acrylate which, while harmless, are odorous. If left untreated, the odor nuisance would be unpleasant for neighbors, who might also have concerns that the emissions were dangerous.

Therefore, it is important that the chemical company keeps relations with neighbors positive and avoids complaints by ensuring the removal of butyl acrylate from emissions during scheduled maintenance operations.

The Solution

The industrial services company had already worked with DESOTEC on another project involving different odor molecules, so contacted us directly concerning this new plant.

After analysis and tests, we supplied a small filter on a two-week rental basis: our AIRCON 3000 model. This is capable of handling the flow rates and contains enough carbon to adsorb the expected amount of butyl acrylate of the two-stage maintenance process.

The first stage consists of pumping the chemical from the tank into an iso-container at a flow of about 500 m3/h, which takes around one to two days.

The second stage involves drying the tank with a fan, producing a flow rate of 2 000 m3/h for about five days.

Emissions are saturated with butyl acrylate at the start of the process, but the chemical vaporises quickly during the drying operation. In total, the operation takes one to two weeks.

DESOTEC mobile filters are supplied on a rental basis, making them an easy-to-use, cost-efficient and space-saving solution for temporary operations as well as longer-term usage.

The Results

The outcome has been excellent: the odor has been completely removed, and the air can be safely discharged.

Both the specialty chemical company and its industrial services partner have been pleased with the simplicity of DESOTEC’s solution. Maintenance operations can be complex and busy, with lots of people working on site. However, while DESOTEC staff are available 24/7 if necessary, they rarely need to be on site during the operations as our filters are easy to install and can run independently.

Our flexible, modular activated carbon filters are supplied on a rental basis, so are ideal for maintenance procedures which are carried out only once every few years. They can treat a variety of concentrations, flow rates and compounds, making them ideal for both smaller and larger sources of emissions, including VOCs. Our filters do not require an upfront investment, and do not take up valuable space at busy plants while they are not in use: they are collected as soon as operations are complete. Many companies, however, decide to install our filters on a long-term basis, for example as back-up system, once they have seen them in action.

For companies that clean tanks by rinsing them, DESOTEC also offers filtration solutions to treat chemical residues and cleaning agents in water.