Safety priority when removing CMR molecules

Correct handling of CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, Reprotoxic) molecules is a major challenge for many companies. On the one hand, they need these substances in their production processes, and on the other hand, they have to get rid of these molecules in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Desotec's mobile Aircon filters provide a guaranteed healthy, budget-friendly and ecologically sound solution. 

CMR molecules (such as benzene, acrylonitrile and dichloromethane) are among the 'substances of very high concern' that require extra attention. Every industrial company that works with CMR molecules is obliged to carefully identify the emissions of these substances and to take targeted action in a safe and cost-efficient manner.

Gas combustion

In the past, gas combustion was the most common choice to get rid of the CMR molecules. However, this approach had three main disadvantages: it was a heavy investment with high operational costs (due to the discontinuity) and the very high CO2 emissions were not particularly environmentally friendly. 

This was experienced by a well-known French pharmaceutical company. Under pressure from the government, the company had to look for a quick and forceful approach to the problem, otherwise, a production stop was imminent. The management contacted Desotec for effective treatment.

After close consultation with the customer, our project team worked out a turnkey solution that tackled the pharmaceutical company’s two air emission points based on activated carbon filtration. For each emission point, we installed a series of mobile Aircon filters, which completely and safely eliminated the emission of the CMR molecules and perfectly compensated for the discontinuity of the treatment process by ensuring a continuous airflow over the installations.

Several of the customer’s problems were solved simultaneously: the rental solution avoids heavy investments, the operational costs are only 25% of the previous approach and CO2 emissions are ten times lower. Of course, the continuity of the production process is also guaranteed. 

Besides, the filter concept has been designed in such a way that no manual intervention is required so that the filtration process is carried out in a 100% safe manner. In this way, there is no longer any risk to the health of the employees, both at the customer’s or at Desotec’s premises. 


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 its emissions are under continuous on-line monitoring, which guarantees that only harmless water vapour is seen exiting the chimney.