The fluidized bed carbon concentrator with a direct-fired thermal oxidizer from Pro-Environmental Inc. is successfully meeting all of the nail-polish-enamel maker’s operational and air emission compliance needs.

A large manufacturer of nail-polish enamel replaced its aging shell-and-tube recuperative thermal oxidizer with a fluidized bed concentrator system and addressed concerns with VOC emissions and poor equipment efficiency.

The oxidizer at the facility was installed more than 30 years ago. The nail-polish enamel maker operated on a single shift, thus requiring frequent oxidizer startups and shutdowns. Reliability concerns became more pronounced as tubes and expansion joints failed, and the costs of maintaining the heat exchanger climbed. A system supplied by Pro-Environmental Inc., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., allowed the beauty product maker to achieve a quick turnaround

Due to the low VOC concentration, the facility initially only entertained offers for regenerative thermal oxidizers but ultimately decided to consider alternative VOC control technologies. The proven track record of some of the carbon-adsorption technologies proposed helped alleviate concerns about alternative systems being effective handling the acetone in the vapor stream.

The facility evaluated bids for two-canister regenerative thermal oxidizers and a fluidized bed carbon concentrator with a direct-fired thermal oxidizer. In final analysis, the fluidized bed concentrator technology came out a winner. Some of the reasons for selecting the fluidized bed system over the other proposed technologies were the fluidized system’s features, such as:
  • Lowest capital and operating costs for this application.
  • Simplicity of operation, especially the ease with which this equipment can be started up and shut down.
  • Hard-wired controls.
  • Single exhaust point.
  • Relatively small fan and motor sizes that eliminate noise concerns.
  • The company’s proven track record of no bed fires in more than 1,500 installations worldwide.
  • Ability to provide the required VOC destruction and removal (DRE) efficiency of 98 percent.
Testing was conducted a few weeks after the equipment was fully operational. The results showed that the destruction efficiency of the system was well over the guaranteed 98 percent.