Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and odors are natural by-products of many chemical manufacturing processes. The manufacturing of powdered and liquid flavorings & fragrances involves production phases where VOCs and odors can escape into the ambient air. Recapture of the VOCs is important in the prevention of air pollution and smog. Smog is formed when VOCs react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of sunlight. The reaction forms ground level ozone, airborne particulates, and some other pollution. Ozone has been selected as the standard to measure ground level pollution, a precursor under EPA’s criteria pollutant program. Areas of the country that have ozone readings above EPA guidelines are ruled nonattainment areas and have stricter regulations for VOC, CO, and NOx emissions. This proves that although the compounds that create offensive odors may not be present in sufficient concentrations to present a health risk, they can diminish the quality of life for the community surrounding the manufacturing process.
CPI is taking a technical leadership position offering multiple oxidation solutions to eliminate VOCs emitted from chemical manufacturing. Oxidation of VOCs and other air pollutants works by simply oxidizing the air pollutants with oxygen and heat. In this environment the VOCs are converted to harmless inert byproducts like CO2, water vapor (H2O), and usable heat. These harmless by-products are released to the atmosphere or used within primary or secondary energy recovery techniques to further lower the operational costs.
Both catalytic oxidizers and thermal oxidizers are appropriate control technologies applicable to VOC and odor emissions from flavoring processes. However, regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) are recognized as the most effective and cost-efficient way to destroy both VOCs and odor causing compounds from these processes. In the flavoring and fragrance industries, most processes are batch in nature and the organic and inorganic makeup may differ widely batch to batch or product to product.