Air Pollution Control Innovations

Andy Bartocci

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Oxygen Strippers Using Natural Gas

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Tue, Jun 09, 2020 @ 08:30 AM

Oxy Petroleum Stripper TowersVintage Petroleum, LLC, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation operates oil and gas fields in Lost Hills, California, northwest of Bakersfield. The fields operate steam boilers that use nearby canal water. High concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the canal water caused excessive corrosion in the boilers.

Vintage was looking for an effective means to reduce oxygen content in the canal water to prolong boiler life and reduce maintenance costs.

The customer selected Envitech to design and build two stripper towers. The towers use high pressure natural gas to strip oxygen from the canal water. The water is pumped 1,000 feet from the canal to the tower locations. After stripping to remove oxygen, the water is pumped to an existing fresh water tank.

The vessels are constructed of carbon steel with a 3/16 inch corrosion allowance and painted internally and externally. The
vessels are fabricated in accordance with ASME Code Section VIII Division I requirements and stamped. The maximum vessel design working pressure is 100 psig at a maximum design temperature of 300 °F and also designed for half vacuum.

The lower vessels are 6 feet in diameter. The upper packed bed sections are 4 feet in diameter. The overall vessel height is 27 feet.

The first system was installed in 2013. The second system was installed in 2014. Both systems are operational and the facility reports success in prolonging boiler life. Designed to the parameters summarized in the adjacent table, the stripping towers resulted in an innovative process solution to solve a unique operational problem.

  • Gas flow rate, mscfd: 328
  • Water flow rate, gpm: 450
  • Operating temperature, oF: 60 to 120
  • Operating pressure, psig: 40
  • Oxygen content of in stripping gas, ppm: 70
  • Dissolved oxygen content in canal water, mg/L: 9
  • Dissolved oxygen removal: > 90%

Click on the link below to download literature about this application.

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Topics: particulate control, Scrubbers, Incinerator Scrubber, quenchers, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

Auto Shredder RTO and Acid Gas Scrubber

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Tue, Jun 02, 2020 @ 08:30 AM

The metal recycling industry provides tremendous societal benefit by preserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gases. Metal recycling entails pulverizing and shredding vehicles and appliances into smaller pieces to facilitate melting processes. Large mega shredders are often eAuto Shredder RTO Scrubber_Browsenclosed to capture process emissions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are released during shredding, including small amounts of halogenated compounds.

In recent years, some state and regional regulatory agencies have begun requiring Best Available Control Technology (BACT) to treat shredder exhaust gases for VOCs and other HAPs. One facility had a need to treat a large volumetric flow rate from their shredder enclosure. The equipment must meet stringent performance limits, be reliable, and capable of 24/7 operation.

Envitech partnered with Process Combustion Corporation (PCC) to provide a comprehensive BACT solution. The partnership leverages PCC’s 50 years of experience engineering thermal systems for air pollution control with Envitech’s wet scrubber expertise. PCC provided a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) for VOC control and interconnect ductwork and incorporated an Envitech packed bed acid gas scrubber system. The scrubber scope of supply includes two (2) equal trains consisting of a horizontal Hastelloy C276 quencher, 13 foot diameter fiberglass packed bed absorber, instruments, pre-assembled recirculation pump skid with redundant pumps, and stack.

The horizontal quenchers ensure the gas is fully saturated across all operating conditions and simplifies ductwork between the RTO and scrubber.

CFD modeling minimizes pressure drop and prevents re-entrainment.

The system will be installed and operational in 2021. Guarantees are provided to meet the below design conditions. The combined PCC/Envitech process provides a reliable, comprehensive solution to meet the demands of a more stringent regulatory environment.

  • Gas flow rate: 140,000 acfm
  • VOC destruction: > 98%
  • Acid gas removal (HF and HCl): > 99.5%
Click on the link below to download literature about this application.

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Topics: particulate control, Scrubbers, Incinerator Scrubber, quenchers, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

Thermal Oxidizer Quencher Treating Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) Particulate and HCl

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Wed, May 27, 2020 @ 07:26 AM

A pharmaceutical company, Roche Carolina, operates a thermal oxidizerThermal oxidizer SiO2 Quencher (TO) that treats a rich stream of chlorinated compounds and an organic silicon compound. HCl and silicon dioxide (SiO2) particulate are formed during combustion. The exhaust is treated by a Hastelloy evaporative quencher followed by a caustic scrubber.

The quencher utilizes spray pig tailed nozzles, some of which are orientated upward into the gas to prevent fouling from SiO2 accumulation on the spray headers. The pigtails gradually plug both inside and outside as SiO2 particulate collect outside the nozzles.

The stainless inlet duct flange connection frequently springs leaks, causing shutdowns for repairs. It was thought that the upward pointed nozzles wetted the welded flange surfaces resulting in acid gas corrosion from HCl and possible stress from thermal expansion differences between the two metals.

An improved design was sought to increase reliability and eliminate operational and maintenance problems. The design needed to address the potential for:

    • Spray nozzle plugging from SiO2 particulate.
    • SiO2 accumulation on the quencher walls.
    • Acid gas corrosion.
    • Weld leakage and failure.
The customer selected a custom engineered Envitech quencher.

Tangential pipes with large orifices at the top of the quencher keeps the walls fully wetted and prevents SiO2 particulate build-up.

A barrel at the inlet flange extends into the quencher with the same diameter as the inlet duct. The tangential nozzles are placed behind the barrel wall to protect injected water from traveling up into the duct.

Elimination of the pigtail nozzles prevents associated gradual nozzle plugging.

Because water is not put into the quencher-inlet duct interface, the possibility of leaking from this connection is eliminated. Risk of corrosion attack is also minimized.
Weld leakage and failure.

The bottom section is the same as the original design to facilitate integration.

The quencher has been operational since 2008 to the below design conditions. The facility reports good results and significantly improved reliability and lower maintenance costs.

  • Max flow rate, acfm: 6,700 acfm
  • Nominal flow rate: acfm 3,000 acfm
  • Max inlet temperature, oF: 850
  • SiO2 particulate, gr/dscf: up to 0.1
  • HCl, ppmv: 31
  • Saturation temperature, oF: 145

Click on the link below to download a case study and related quencher and wet scrubber literature.

Download Literature

Topics: particulate control, Scrubbers, Incinerator Scrubber, quenchers, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

International Confernce on Thermal Treatment Technologies

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Tue, May 19, 2020 @ 10:16 AM

IT3 2021 Logo

The Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA) has announced details for this years International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies and Hazardous Waste Combustors ( IT3/HWC). The Conference will be held January 27-28, 2021 in West Palm Beach, FL. New topics added for 2021 include PFAS sampling, methods, and laboratory analysis, waste/compliance impacts of health pandemics and natural disasters, plastics to energy/closed loop processing, and comprehensive performance testing (CPT). There is a call for abstracts (CFA) due July 27, 2020. Envitech will host a booth in the exhibit hall and will be presenting a paper. We look forward to seeing friends and colleagues at the conference. If you haven’t already, please put it in your calendars.  Hope to see you there.

Topics: Announcements

Refinery Thermal Oxidizer SO2 scrubber and Sulfuric Acid Mist Candle Filter

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Wed, Apr 08, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

Sulfuric acid mist arrangementWaste oil is recycled and refined into low sulfur marine diesel and other industrial fuels at West Coast refineries. Waste gas is sent to thermal oxidizers for volatile organic compound (VOC) destruction. Sulfur compounds in the waste gas are oxidized to SO2 and removed by a packed bed scrubber. A fraction of SO2 converts to sulfur trioxide (SO3) before entering the scrubber. SO3 further converts to sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and generates a submicron liquid mist upon quenching the gas. New ground level pollutant regulations require removal of sulfuric acid mist before exhausting the flue gas to atmosphere. A multi-pollutant solution is needed to remove both SO2 and sulfuric acid mist. 

The customer selected an Envitech SO2 scrubber, candle filter system. The arrangement includes a quencher to cool the gas to saturation, a caustic packed bed absorber to remove SO2, and a candle filter to capture sulfuric acid mist. Internal ducts with outlets near grade simplifies ductwork between the caustic scrubber and candle filter and between the candle filter and ID fan. The scrubber comes with pre-assembled pump skids. Instruments are pre-mounted in pre-assembled piping and pre-wired to a junction box to reduce installation time and cost.

Both scrubbers have been shipped to the sites. The smaller system was put into service in early 2020. The scrubbers meet the design conditions summarized below.

candle filter


Design Plant 1 Plant 2
Flow rate, acfm 10,000 4,500
Inlet temp, oF 1,600 376
SO2 removal > 90% > 95%
H2SO4 removal > 99% > 99%







Click on the link below to download a case study and related wet scrubber literature.

Download Literature

Topics: Scrubbers, SO2 Scrubber, Acid Gas, SO3 Aerosol, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

BP Amoco Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) Plant Quencher

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Wed, Jan 29, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Venturi_Quencher_BP_AmocoBP Amoco was engaged in expanding production capacity for purified terephthalic acid (PTA) at the CAPCO 6 and Zhuhai 1 petrochemical plants in China. PTA is used in the manufacture of polyester resin and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles. It is also widely used in the pharmaceutical, food, textile and packaging industries. The expansion projects were part of efforts to achieve process simplifications and lower capital costs. Project goals were to reduce plot area and the number of equipment pieces by 40%

The process includes up to 530,000 acfm of corrosive exhaust gases that are cooled to the adiabatic saturation temperature. Cooling large flow rate gases is challenging due to potential void spaces in the water spray system. Splitting flows into smaller exhaust trains is a common method to overcome this challenge. However, this adds ductwork and installation cost. For capital cost reductions, the customer wanted to saturate the gas in a single train in a horizontal arrangement to conserve space and to minimize ductwork.

BP Amoco PTA Venturi QuencherThe customer selected a custom engineered Envitech horizonal quencher. The material of construction is Hastelloy C276 to provide corrosion resistance at high inlet temperatures. A proprietary internal water injection and throat design splits the stream inside the vessel to ensure turbulence for mixing gases and water. Gases accelerate through the throat areas in combination with a recirculated water spray system. A small pressure drop cools gases over a wide flow rate operating range and minimizes the number of nozzles. The water spray header is removable to facilitate nozzle replacement and maintenance. The vessel is 13 feet in diameter in a horizontal arrangement. This allows the quencher to be shop fabricated so that inspection and quality assurance are done in a controlled environment. The unit is shipped as one piece.

The Envitech quenchers were installed in 2001 and operate to the design parameters summarized below. The proprietary design contributed to BP Amoco’s goals to reduce footprint area, process equipment pieces, and capital cost.


  • Max flow rate: 530,000 acfm
  • Inlet temperature: 560oF
  • Inlet pressure: 518 In. W.C. 
  • Guarantee: Cooling to +/- 40oF of the saturation temperature

Click on the link below to download a case study and related wet scrubber literature.

Download Literature

Topics: Venturi scrubbers, Scrubbers, quenchers, Wet Scrubbers

Pharmaceutical Fermentation H2S Scrubber

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Tue, Jan 21, 2020 @ 06:00 AM

A major pharmaceutical company is implementing an expansion project in their Midwest facility. It includes two production Fermentors,Fermentation H2S Scrubber a secondary feed tank and secondary make-up tank. Combined vent gases contain up to 1,500 ppmv (24 lb/hr) of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) in air.

H2S is a highly toxic gas that can kill or seriously harm human health when exposed to it. For general industry the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 20 ppm for an 8 hour period. The specification requires 99.9% removal which achieves less than 1.5 ppmv, well below the PEL.

Installation is on the first floor with a limited footprint area of 18 ft L x 8 ft W. Redundancy is required for pumps and ID fans. The customer desires maximum integration and pre-assembly to limit installation work on site.

The customer selected an Envitech H2S packed bed scrubber. The scope includes a fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) packed bed absorber, instruments, recirculation pumps (1 operating, 1 spare), pre-assembled CPVC piping, valves, and fittings with pre-mounted instruments, metering pumps, ID fans (1 operating, 1 spare), interconnect duct, and stack.
The stack passes through a second floor before breeching the roof.  Fans are located near the outlet on a mezzanine. A custom arrangement accounts for obstacles and interferences in the installation space.

H2SFermentation scrubber vesselVent gases enter the bottom of the absorber and travels vertically upward. A removable spray nozzle in the quench zone pre-scrubs and cools the process vent stream. Recirculated water sprayed over the packed bed mixes with counter current upward flowing gas. A dilute solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) metered into the recirculation line neutralizes and oxidizes acid gases. Chemical addition is controlled by pH and ORP.

An entrainment separator at the top of the absorber removes water droplets before exiting the scrubber.

The equipment has been delivered and will be installed in early 2020.  Design and performance parameters are summarized below.


  • Inlet flow rate: 3,000 acfm
  • Inlet temperature: 102oF to 212oF
  • H2S inlet concentration: 1,500 ppmv 
  • H2S Removal: > 99.9%

Click on the link below to download a case study and other packed bed scrubbing literature.

Download Literature

Topics: Scrubbers, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

Renewable Energy Food Digester Ammonia Scrubber

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Tue, Jan 14, 2020 @ 07:00 AM

The University of California, Davis (UCD) operates an anaerobic biodigester that converts 50 metric tons of Env Lab Scrub Sketchfood waste per day into 100 MMBtu/d of renewable energy biogas. The digester is sited near campus at a decommissioned landfill.

The biodigester produces a digestate liquid waste stream. It’s odor and high ammonia concentration render it unsuitable for composting or direct land-applied fertilizer. To avoid expensive hauling costs, a distillation column strips ammonia out of the digestate into the vapor phase so that the digestate can be treated in an existing Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). An Ammonia Scrubber Package is needed to meet air emission limits and to recover a saleable liquid fertilizer product from the vapor phase ammonia.

Ammonia is an odorless gas that is harmful to human health with a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 ppm. The scrubber must have high removal efficiency and be capable of treating a low flow rate exhaust and be robust and reliable.

The customer selected an Envitech ammonia lab scrubber. The scope of supply includes a fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) packed bed absorber, instruments pre-wired to a control system wLab Scrub Mktg 1ith HMI, pre-assembled pump, piping, valves and fittings, ID fan with VFD, and free-standing interconnect duct and stack.

Ammonia laden stripped gas enters the scrubber and travels vertically upward through the packed bed, counter-current to downward flowing recirculation liquid. Scrubbing liquid is collected in the sump and is re-circulated to the top of the packed bed. Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is metered into the recirculation line to neutralize ammonia and is controlled by pH. A blowdown stream purges ammonia sulfate (NH4)2SO4 reaction products which can be sold as fertilizer. A mist eliminator at the top of the scrubber removes entrained water droplets before exiting through an induced draft fan and stack.

The ammonia scrubber will be commissioned in the 1st half of 2020 and will meet the design parameters and performances below.



  • Inlet flow rate: 1,000 acfm (capable of up to 2,000 acfm)
  • Inlet temperature: 160oF
  • Gas Composition:  Air with 1.4% mole ammonia
  • Ammonia Removal: > 97.5% permitted (capable of > 99% removal).

Click on the link below to download a case study and other packed bed scrubbing literature.

Download Literature

Topics: Scrubbers, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

Peat Dryer Horizontal Venturi Scrubber

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Thu, Jan 09, 2020 @ 05:30 AM

An agricultural solutions company, American Peat Technology, transforms locally harvested unprocessed peatPeat Dryer Horizontal Venturi into a consistent granular media. The media is used as a natural microbial carrier to inoculate millions of acres of food crops each year. The transformation process relies on drying harvested material in industrial rotary dryers. A fraction of the material becomes entrained in the flue gas as particulate emissions. The facility is expanding operations to double the capacity. A scrubber solution is needed to reduce total plant particulate emissions.

The customer selected two identical Envitech horizontal Venturi scrubbPeat Dryer Horizontal Venturi_long viewers. The scrubbers are comprised of a variable throat Venturi scrubber and a chevron style entrainment separator mounted on an equipment skid. The scope of supply for each scrubber includes a control system, re-circulation pump with pre-assembled piping, valves and fittings. Instruments are pre-mounted in the piping where possible and pre-wired to a junction box on the skid. The horizontal configuration provides a compact design to fit inside the building with easy maintenance access to valves and instruments.

The skid arrangement allows the scrubbers to be shop assembled and tested prior to shipment.  The combination of a variable throat Venturi with a chevron style mist eliminator allows a wide turn-down ratio while maintaining high performance. The use of a wet scrubber instead of a bag-house eliminates the potential for bag fires that could be caused by occasional hot embers entrained in the gas.  The facility is also able to make use of the latent heat absorbed by the scrubber, making use of hot recirculated scrubber water to thaw out frozen peat in the winter before it is fed to the dryers. 

The scrubbers were commissioned in December 2019 and are now operational. Both scrubbers are used for two dryers providing a wide operating range. The scrubbers meet the design parameters listed below:


  • Inlet flow rate: 25,000 acfm
  • Inlet temperature: 185oF
  • Inlet Particulate: 15 lbs/hr 
  • Particulate Removal: > 99%

Click on the link below to download a case study and other Venturi scrubbing literature.

Download Literature

Topics: particulate control, Venturi scrubbers, Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers

Pigment Manufacturing Ammonia Recovery System

Posted by Andy Bartocci on Tue, Jan 07, 2020 @ 07:00 AM

A pigment manufacturer operates batch reactors that emit very low volumes of highly concentrated ammoniaAmmonia Recovery Scrubber. Batches occur over a 20-hour period and ammonia concentrations varies from <1 to 96%.

Ammonia is an odorless gas with a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 ppm. Ammonia can also form explosive mixtures in air with a lower explosive limit (LEL) of 15% and upper explosive limit (UEL) of 28%.

The customer needs to recover a 25-28% (w/w) aqueous solution of ammonia for re-use as a raw material while meeting air emission limits. The recovered ammonia can have no potential silicone due to sensitivity of the end-product. The system must be robust and safe to operate.

The customer selected a custom designed Envitech ammonia recovery system based on Envitech’s proprietary design for low flow rate applications. The scope of supply includes a compressor, a packed bed concentrator, a packed bed absorber, instruments, PLC and HMI control system, and an equipment skid containing pre-assembled vessels, instruments, control system, pumps, piping, valves, fitting, and instruments with pre-wiring. Panel and components are explosion proof. Vessels are 316SS fabricated to pressure vessel ASME code for 90 PSI. All components are specially selected to ensure no possible silicone contamination.

The gas is drawn out of the reactor using a specially selected compressor ideally suited to handle corrosive, low flow rate gases and to generate high pressures while generating an upstream vacuum.

The concentrator uses recirculated water to absorb and concentrate ammonia. A 2nd stage absorber recovers residual ammonia to meet air emission limits.
Blowdown from both stages purge concentrated ammonia for re-use as raw material.

The recovery system will be commissioned in early 2020 and will meet the design parameters and performances below.


  • Inlet flow rate: 50 acfm
  • Inlet temperature: 68oF
  • Carrier gas composition:  N2
  • Peak ammonia concentration: 96%
  • Concentration of recovered ammonia: > 25%
  • Ammonia removal: > 98% 

Click on the link below to download an ammonia recovery system case study and other scrubbing literature.

Download Literature

Topics: Scrubbers, Packed Bed Absorbers, Packed Bed Scrubbers, Wet Scrubbers