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Comment PDF Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Improved ethylene-oxide scrubber design can meet stringent regulations

By Scott Jenkins |

Improvements in the design of ethylene oxide (EtO) scrubbers made by The Clean Air Group, Croll Reynolds Co. (Parsippany, N.J.; www.croll.com) have helped users meet increasingly stringent regulations for EtO emissions, as well as meet tower height restrictions. “Our designs have achieved efficiencies of 99.99% or greater for removal of ethylene oxide, compared to 99–99.9% with alternative technologies,” says Carolyn Byszewski, manager of The Clean Air Group. The highly flammable and corrosive EtO — the simplest epoxide — is used as a raw material for manufacturing a range of personal care products, as well as a sterilization agent in healthcare settings. Environmental regulations on EtO emissions from chemical producers and sterilizers have tightened in many areas because of EtO’s carcinogenic and teratogenic properties. To eliminate it, EtO undergoes acid-catalyzed hydrolysis to form ethylene glycol in a scrubber. Croll Reynolds offers designs with efficient tower packing that maximizes contact between the contaminated gas and the scrubbing liquid, as the downward-flowing, scrubbing liquid meets the upward-flowing, EtO-containing gas. The company’s scrubber designs allow hydrolysis to occur…
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