Integrated system with enhanced features on volatile organic compounds desorption


The adsorption technique, using beds of materials like activated carbon, macroporous polymers, and zeolites, is largely adopted for the abatement of VOCs (products, solvents, fuels, etc.). Technology is also widely used as a guard or finishing step after final treatment facilities.

Adsorbers normally work in adsorption/desorption cycles, where desorption is normally performed by heating the beds using different sources such as steam or nitrogen. The use of steam is very effective for thermal supply, but the process generates polluted water. Depending on solvents, this pollutant water can create increased difficulties on downstream treatment due to possible azeotropic formation, or it can cause hydrolysis of different compounds.

Polaris has developed a proprietary technology based on hot nitrogen regeneration (also under vacuum) in a closed loop in order to enhance environmental protection and safety. Further to desorption process a saturated and reduced flow is sent to the cryogenic condensers for VOC condensation, which discharges only pollutant free streams into the atmosphere.


Advantages of the technology

  1. No Byproducts: By using nitrogen instead of steam, there is no generation of wastewater that requires additional treatment to separate pollutant compounds. This is particularly advantageous when components create azeotropic mixtures that require high costs for separation.

  2. Flexible Solution: The plant is highly flexible and can handle various stream flowrates and VOC concentrations. The unit can work in a wide range of operating cases with minimum impact on normal operating costs. The automatic control system, completely developed by Polaris specialists, allows the plant to easily adapt to new working conditions.

  3. Easy Treatment: As a recuperative technology, solvents are collected in liquid form in a dedicated tank, thus allowing customers to reuse them as they are, purify them for further reuse, or easily collect them as waste without generating any additional by-product or contaminating/creating wastewater.

  4. Eliminates Secondary Emissions: Polaris’s technology is based on the condensation of pollutants, therefore there are no secondary emissions (CO, NOx, etc.) created as happens with other non-recuperative technologies. This also eliminates the need for a second stage of purification, saving time, money, and the environment.

  5. 360° Process Solution: If combined with our Internal Reflux Column (LINK to INTERNAL REFLUX COLUMN TECHNOLOGY), it is possible to achieve the contemporaneous fractionation of the different components in the same facility.

  6. Reduced Energy Consumption: By using macroporous polymers as the adsorption material, the overall energy consumption is reduced thanks to the weaker bonds of adsorption in comparison with those of activated carbon.


Typical plant configuration

The plant is normally composed of adsorbent tanks and a small cryogenic condensation unit, requiring only a small footprint.

The plant is skid mounted and supplied as a packaged unit.

Polaris makes the preliminary process analysis and optimization in order to define and propose a more adequate system configuration and method to recover products with higher yields and quality, and at a better cost/benefit ratio.


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