Control of High-Volume, Low-VOC-Concentration Air StreamsEPA Contract Number: 68D60053
Title: Control of High-Volume, Low-VOC-Concentration Air Streams
Investigators: Wijmans, J. (Hans) G.
Small Business: Membrane Technology and Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1996 through December 1, 1998
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1996) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Air Quality and Air Toxics
Description:High-volume, low-VOC-concentration air streams are produced by a broad range of industries. The most widely used conventional treatment technology is carbon adsorption. However, carbon adsorption produces dilute aqueous waste streams as a secondary waste, is difficult to adapt to particulate-containing streams, and is too expensive to be applied to some industries. Scrubbing the air with a absorbent liquid is a low-cost alternative technology, but it is generally limited to scrubbing with water because of the expense and difficulty of regenerating non-aqueous scrubbing liquids. The technology proposed here uses a low volatility organic scrubbing liquid to remove VOCs from the dilute air stream. The liquid is regenerated by a combined stripper/membrane vapor separation unit.
In Phase I of the project, the technical and economic feasibility of the scrubbing liquid regeneration step was evaluated in laboratory tests with a stripper/pilot-scale membrane system. An economic analysis prepared on the basis of these results shows the process offers significant cost and operating advantages over alternative technologies for VOC-containing streams in the 500 to 5,000 ppm range. In the proposed Phase II project, a scrubbing unit will be added to the existing system for evaluation of the complete process at the large pilot plant scale.