2. VOC removal

Do you need to remove VOCs from your process ?

Do you know what kind of service are available for VOC removal ?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) cause the generation of photochemical oxidants and SPM in ambient air and can result in harmful effects to the human body and environmental destruction. Due to the start of legal action from 2006, the companies which produce and consume VOCs must reduce VOC emission regardless of company size. In this section, emission control equipment using VOC removal techniques are introduced for your information.

Why is VOC removal necessary ?

(1) VOCs are harmful and toxic to the human body.

VOCs released into atmosphere make a chemical reaction with nitrogen oxides when exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and generate harmful photochemical oxidants and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM). It has been confirmed that photochemical oxidants cause the generation of photochemical smog and can cause eye irritation with pain and the ‎respiratory failure such as coughing. Particle of SPM that are 10 micro meters or finer can stay in the atmosphere for long periods of time and can get trapped in respiratory organs. It is quite harmful and toxic to humans when inhaled. Furthermore, it can result in the health hazards like Sick Building Syndrome and Chemical Sensitivity when VOCs are in indoor environments as well as outdoor environments.

(2) VOCs are harmful to the environment and destroy the nature.

Air Pollution by VOCs contributes various environmental problems, and contributes the destruction of the ozone layer and global warming. As pointed out recently, the VOCs can damage forests and farm crops. Accordingly, emission control cannot only improve the atmospheric environment but can also prevent the mal odor generation. Finally, it can minimize the risk of complaints from adjacent housing.

(3) VOC emissions have been legally regulated.

Currently, VOC emission is being controlled by the proper combination of legal regulation and self-regulatory organizational efforts within the industry.

Facilities targeted by legal regulation are typically larger scale facilities which would generate more VOC emission than allowed by emissions standards. They must adhere to emissions regulations in the stack (process outlet) and must perform two or more of emissions tests per year by the specified measurement method.

On the other hand, facilities subject to self-regulatory organizational efforts within the industry are all facilities which produce and consume VOCs. Since these facilities are not specified by the scale of emission, any company can participate in self-regulatory emission control efforts if they are using VOCs. Specifically, some creative and innovative efforts by each company, such as participation in the industrial association, setting-up VOC reduction programs, cost-effective proposals, recognition of your own VOC emission levels and etc., have been required.

What is VOC removal technique ?

VOC abatement equipment is a system to recover the exhausted VOCs from facilities and to decompose them with combustion by thermal oxidizer. In larger leading companies, they have made progress towards worldwide VOC emission control. However, for small and medium-sized companies, it has been pointed out that VOC emission control is lacking and it has been required of them to take measures with VOC abatement equipment.

Currently, a varity type of VOC abatement technique have been supplied to the field. Inexpensive and compact equipment can remove 5 - 85 NCMM of VOC laiden air. (ref. : VOC Removal Technique Guidelines by Ministry of the Environment in Japan ) For medium-sized VOC removal equipment, services for 1,000 – 3,000 NCMM of airflow volume are available. Various manufacturers have sold abatement equipment and it is necessary to analyze and confirm the airflow volume capacity, removal technique, service available VOC components, initial cost, operation expense with maintenance as well as design and layout in detail.