Acrylate odour removal in the automotive industry

Air pollution in the automotive industry

Acrylate odour removal

One of the main factors influencing air pollution in automotive production is the generation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the painting process. Automotive production being the production of cars, trucks, vans and busses. Several initiatives in that industry lead to reduction of these emissions during the last decades.  The introduction of water-based paints in the 1990s, for example, enabled the automotive industry to reduce solvent emissions by some 70 percent at the manufacturing sites.  Recent introduction of UV paints, where UV light is used for hardening the paint, further reduced the emissions.

UV paints - An environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative

In the industrial use of UV hardening systems, radically hardening acrylic paints have become the norm. Radically hardening UV paints contain unsaturated, polyfunctional acrylic resins as a binding agent, as well as mono or difunctional acrylates as a reactive paint thinner that acts as a solvent to regulate viscosity of the paint.

By using polymerisable reactive thinners, users can generally do without organic solvents when working with UV paints, which means they are an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative to conventional painting systems, where up to 50% of the paint components simply evaporate in the hardening process. The use of UV paints do implicate the emission of acrylate odours however, which can be removed with an activated carbon purification system.

Acrylate odour removal

Four different types of resins – sometimes also in combination – are usually implemented in radically hardening UV paints:

  • Epoxy acrylates generate hard chemical-resistant coatings of paint;
  • Urethane acrylates bring about flexibility, are nevertheless resistant to abrasion and UV light;
  • Polyether acrylates act to reduce the viscosity of the UV paint system,
  • while polyester acrylates demonstrate balanced properties and often constitute the basic substance of radically hardening paints

Acrylate odour removal with activated carbon filtration systems


As already mentioned, applying UV paints still results in the emission of acrylates odours, like from tetrahydrofurfuryl acrylate. These odours can be removed with an activated carbon filtration system, which makes it a very effective odour removal solution!

Industrial paint shops usually have large flow rates of more than 20,000m3/h that can contain odorous compounds. The DESOTEC AIRCON® adsorption systems have been designed and built to treat more than 55,000 m3/h/unit and have been used with AIRPEL activated carbon to reduce odorous VOC compounds from exhausts. The used or spend activated carbon can be recycled by reactivation. For all your questions concerning industrial odour removal systems, do not hesitate to contact our specialists!


At DESOTEC’s facilities, all used carbon is analysed so the right measures can be taken for handling and removing the saturated carbon out of the mobile filters. All molecules that were adsorbed on the activated carbon at the customers’ site, are desorbed inside DESOTEC’s reactivation furnaces. These contaminants are then fully destroyed, in accordance with National and European legislationby an incineration and neutralisation setup. The entire installation and it's emissions are under continuous on-line monitoring, which guarantees that only harmless water vapour is seen exiting the chimney.