Rapid response after RTO breakdown in Germany

The petrochemical industry must meet strict emission standards throughout the world. If a system fails and threatens a company’s capacity to comply, it is crucial to take action fast. DESOTEC delivers mobile filters rapidly in an emergency, providing effective alternative solutions during the urgent repair of thermal oxidisers (RTOs) and other technologies.

The problem

A German lubricant production plant had an RTO in place to purify air emissions of odorous compounds, including aromatic hydrocarbons, paraffins, and traces of organic sulphur components.

When the RTO malfunctioned for unknown reasons, the company needed an urgent solution to avoid causing a serious odour nuisance and breaking the terms of its operating licence.

The company immediately sought a viable alternative, and reached out to an associate for advice. They recommended DESOTEC because they knew about our rapid, emergency response.

We received the enquiry on a Thursday evening and sent out a quotation the following morning. Our customer gave us the go-ahead immediately.

The company was given approval from the authorities to continue production subject to getting a temporary solution up and running by a very strict deadline. Failure to meet this deadline would result in a factory shutdown and a substantial financial loss.

The solution

Following a visit to the site, DESOTEC recommended a total package comprising two Aircon H-filters placed in tandem. These horizontal mobile air filters handle a flow rate of 15 000 m³/ h.

Due to the high concentration of compounds in the airflow, a third filter was also supplied immediately, ensuring that the system could continue to run without any problems. We also supplied the ventilation and piping required to connect up the filtration system.

The entire set-up was fully operational by the deadline set by the authorities.

The results

The lubricant company was able to continue production, averting huge losses while keeping the air pleasant for their neighbours.

Following analysis by the RTO supplier, it became clear that its system would be out of action for up to three months. DESOTEC’s rapid intervention meant that this supplier had the time and space to get the system working again without any inconvenience. Once repairs are complete, the lubricant producer will revert to the RTO to treat the airflow.

Our filters are ideally suited for temporary as well as longer term usage. As they are mobile, they can be delivered rapidly from our logistics hubs around Europe. They have a small footprint, so can be squeezed into crowded sites. They are plug-and-play, so start working immediately and require no expertise to operate. Plus, they’re supplied on a rental basis, so they can be removed once the original technology is operational again.

DESOTEC’s full-service approach also lifts the strain from customers, which is particularly welcome during emergency situations. Safe and sustainable filtration waste handling is integral to our service. We remove all spent carbon from customers’ sites in closed filter units, and take it to our facilities for analysis and management.

All adsorbed molecules are destroyed in our state-of-the-art furnaces in line with national and EU legislation. Our facilities are under continuous monitoring, guaranteeing that only harmless water vapour exits the chimneys. Wherever possible, the carbon is reactivated for reuse, driving down costs and boosting sustainability.