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FRP Wet Scrubbers: Corrosion Resistance and Longevity for Emissions Control

Topics: wet scrubber, FRP Scrubbers

Posted on February 14, 2024
4 minute read

Wet scrubbers can be made from various materials, including metal alloys, stainless steel, thermoplastics, or fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). In this blog, discover the benefits of FRP wet scrubbers for corrosive environments and which industries or applications are best suited to this material. SLY offers several types of wet scrubbers for emissions control.

  • Learn about the properties of FRP as a material for wet scrubbers
  • Find out which industry applications are best suited for FRP
  • Discover how the consultative approach fosters a better, tailored solution

The good news is that air quality has improved. According to government reports, the most recent data from 2022 show that in eight out of ten cities in the United States, there were fewer pollutants in the air.1 Air quality improvements date back to 1980 and earlier, with strides towards better air quality linked to the Clean Air Act and amendments made over the years.

Render-PackedTower-FRPA wet scrubber is a critical tool that manufacturers and processors rely upon as an air pollution control device. Wet scrubbers help eliminate toxic or hazardous chemical gases and vapors from industrial exhaust streams. A wet scrubber passes the contaminated gas through a liquid solution, usually water, which absorbs or captures the harmful compounds. Removing toxic pollutants makes the emissions safe to release into the atmosphere.

As more good news, operators have different choices for a wet scrubber, including material selection from various metal alloys, stainless steel, thermoplastics, or fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). Sly, LLC has extensive experience fabricating wet scrubbers to suit myriad industrial environments and from a variety of materials. However, process engineers might not be as familiar with the properties and application potential of FRP compared to other materials, and it is worth a closer look.

The Advantages of FRP Wet Scrubbers

  • Corrosion Resistance: A standout feature of FRP wet scrubbers is this material’s exceptional resistance to corrosion. Industries that rely upon or produce corrosive chemicals can turn to FRP as a cost-effective, longer-lasting alternative to stainless steel. Steel scrubbers will corrode or pit under the destructive power of chlorides and other aggressive agents, while FRP scrubbers can supply greater longevity and durability.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cost considerations feature prominently in any decision-making or purchasing process. A wet scrubber fabricated from FRP offers significant cost advantages for budget-conscious projects. Fiberglass-reinforced plastic components or systems deliver ongoing cost savings by requiring minimal maintenance and prolonging the time between replacements. This long lifespan and corrosion resistance make FRP scrubbers a cost-effective choice and smart financial capital investment.
  • Low Maintenance: The shortage of skilled labor impacts every industrial practice, and the maintenance staff is no exception. Due to their impressive durability, FRP scrubbers require less time and resources spent on repairs and maintenance checks.

Pairing Industry Needs with FRP Wet Scrubbers

Industries that rely on FRP wet scrubbers include:

  • Agriculture: FRP scrubbers can be used to control ammonia emissions in the agrochemical industry, often related to fertilizers, removing what are commonly considered nuisance odors.
  • Chemical Processing: FRP is resistant to corrosive chemicals commonly found in chemical plants, ensuring longevity and reliability in emissions control.
  • Metal Finishing: Metal finishing operations, such as pickling or plating, produce acidic and caustic fumes. FRP wet scrubbers effectively capture harmful compounds generated during metal finishing operations, and their corrosion resistance can supply a prolonged operational life.
  • Mining: FRP scrubbers effectively capture hazardous gases from hydrochloric acid usage. Its capture must be carefully monitored and ensured. Hydrogen cyanide is also used in producing certain synthetic fibers, plastics, and pesticides.
  • Pharmaceuticals: While pharmaceutical companies often use thermal incineration for emissions control, FRP wet scrubbers can pose a reliable alternative for efficiently capturing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
  • Pulp and Paper Mills: FRP scrubbers are used to control emissions of sulfur compounds and other malodorous gases, like mercaptans. FRP scrubbers can absorb and mitigate nuisance emissions before being released to the surrounding community and offer a cost-effective and long-lasting solution.
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing: This industry relies on various chemicals, including chlorides and fluorides, with FRP supplying the corrosion resistance properties required for a cost-effective, durable solution.

These industries benefit from FRP wet scrubbers due to their corrosion resistance, cost-effectiveness, and longevity. This helps companies reach environmental compliance goals and assists with safe operating conditions.

An additional consideration when planning or designing a wet scrubber system is the footprint it will occupy. Pulp and paper mills are typically older facilities that require evaluating and replacing existing scrubbers. In contrast, semiconductor facilities often are new builds. While footprint and space remain essential considerations, the placement and planning for a wet scrubber can be figured into the design and building plans from the start.

The Question Tree to Evaluate Wet Scrubber Requirements

While exact measurements and specifications are required to start a building project, some of the questions asked of a customer by the engineering team at Sly can be summarized as:

  1. What is the gas flow rate that needs treatment?
  2. What are the temperature and pressure conditions?
  3. Which specific contaminants are involved in the processing stream?
  4. What capture efficiency or emission reduction target is required?
  5. Based on contaminants:
    • Is it a gas or particulate?
    • If particulate, is it liquid or solid?
    • If solid, is it soluble or insoluble?
    • If solid, how abrasive is it?

These questions can help guide the selection and design of the appropriate wet scrubber system for a given application.

Consultative Approach

At Sly, while the core of any solution is technology, this core is wrapped within a mantle of trust and collaboration. Our consultative approach sets us apart in the industry. We take the time to understand your unique requirements and offer tailored solutions that align with the goals of that facility. With decades of experience and a commitment to excellence, we are more than just a supplier; we are a trusted partner for air pollution control systems for hundreds of companies worldwide.

If you want a deeper dive into the function and applications of wet scrubbers, we’ve published a new white paper. Download it here. For information on the complete line of wet scrubbers or specifications on FRP wet scrubbers that Sly can install, visit our product pages here. Or, contact us to discuss your next project. Our engineering staff is happy to discuss your specifications to help configure a system tailored to meet your emissions requirements.

  1. https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/air-quality-us-improved-2022-data-shows-rcna76568

Tags: wet scrubber, FRP Scrubbers

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