The term wet scrubber describes a variety of devices that remove pollutants from a furnace flue gas or from other gas streams. In a wet scrubber, the polluted gas stream is brought into contact with the scrubbing liquid, by spraying it with the liquid, by forcing it through a pool of liquid, or by some other contact method, so as to remove the pollutants. The design of wet scrubbers depends on the industrial process conditions and the nature of the air pollutants involved. Inlet gas characteristics and dust properties are of primary importance. Scrubbers can be designed to collect particulate matter and/or gaseous pollutants. Wet scrubbers remove dust particles by capturing them in liquid droplets. The droplets are then collected with the liquid dissolving or absorbing the pollutant gases. The resultant scrubbing liquid must be treated prior to any ultimate discharge or being reused in the plant.
The uptrend in the wet scrubber market can be attributed to its many advantages. One benefit of installing wet scrubbers is that scrubbers reduce the temperature and volume of the unsaturated exhaust stream. Therefore, vessel sizes, including fans and ducts downstream, are smaller than those of other control devices. Smaller sizes result in lower capital costs and more flexibility in site location of the scrubber. In comparison to baghouses or Electro Static Precipitators (ESPs), wet scrubbers have no temperature limits or condensation problems and can handle high-humidity gas streams. Various dry dusts that are filtered through process plant chimneys can be flammable, the risk of which is eliminated by water spray. Moreover, wet scrubbers have the ability to collect both gases and particulate matter, and also ensure that they do not escape from hoppers or during transportation. In contrast, the market also faces a few challenges. Water and dissolved pollutants can form highly corrosive acid solutions, hence proper construction materials are very important. Also, wet-dry interface areas can result in corrosion.
Besides, high collection efficiencies for particulate matter are attainable, but only at high pressure drops, resulting in high operating costs. Furthermore, stringent government policies regarding disposal of waste-water, generated due to this process, requires plants to install sludge clarifiers or settling ponds to meet the regulations. Opportunities for this industry lie in the growing need to monitor air pollution, especially in the developing economies where industries are being set up and are thriving.
Since wet scrubbers vary greatly in complexity and method of operation, devising categories into which all of them neatly fit is extremely difficult. Scrubbers for particle collection are usually categorized by the gas-side pressure drop of the system. Three broad categories are: low-energy scrubbers, medium-energy scrubbers and high-energy scrubbers. However, most scrubbers operate over a wide range of pressure drops, depending on their specific application, thereby making this type of categorization difficult. Another way to classify wet scrubbers is by their use - to primarily collect either particulates or gaseous pollutants. Again, this distinction is not always clear since scrubbers can often be used to remove both types of pollutants.
Regionally, the wet scrubber market is mainly concentrated in industry-oriented economies. The United States is the chief demanding country in the North American continent. The European section is being led by Germany, Norway, Turkey, Russia and the United Kingdom. The Asia Pacific expanse is dominated by demand from China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia. Countries from the Middle Eastern peninsula and Africa, along with Latin America represent the somewhat untapped segment of the industry.
Some of the major players in wet scrubber systems market are: KCH Services Inc., Croll Reynolds Company Inc., Met-Pro Environmental Air Solutions, Continental Blowers Inc., Fabritech Engineers, Severn Trent Services, Edlon Inc., Hamon Research Cottrell Inc. ,Beltran Technologies Inc. and others.
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