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Air Pollution Control

V. A. SASTRY,
Department of Chemical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology,
Madras.

INTRODUCTION stacks, (2) Community planning in which coming the


use of the air is adopted (air zoning) and (3) control
Regardless of the air pollution problem to be at- of the process technique according to meteorological
tacked there are two fundamental approaches to con- conditions. In employing tall stacks it is hoped that
trol, (1) Contro! of the pollutant at the source so that the discharge is high enough to disperse the pollutants
excessive amounts are not emitted to the atmosphere into atmosphere without reaching the ground. Air
and (2) Control by natural dilution of the pollutant in zoning involves community planning to prevent harmful
atmosphere. ground concentration from occurring within disigoated
Control of the pollutant at the source may bo areas. In the third method, manufacturing methods
accomplished by (1) preventing the pollutant from are curtailed or completely shut down during period^
coming into existence, (2) trapping, destroying or alter- of adverse meteorological conditions.
ing the pollutant that is emitted before it enters the
atmosphere. The best method would be to prevent CONTROL EQUIPMENT FOR PARTICULATE
the pollution from coming into existence or, if this is EMISSIONS
impossible, to keep the quantity to a minimum. De-
Dust collection in general is based on the size,
pending upon circumstances this may be achieved by
shape, hygroscopic and electrical properties of the dust
raw material change, process changes, operational
particles. Dust particles evolving from known sources
changes, modification of process equipment and more
and confined to well defined gas streams can be remov-
efficient operation of existing equipment. If the
ed from a carrier gas by various collection device-.
polhitan to cannot, be prevented from forming, equip-
These devices use one of the following mechanisms
ment which destroy, alter or trap the pollutant have to
(R 7):
be used.
1. Gravity Settling: The horizontal carrier gas velo-
The common methods used for reducing a pollu- city is reduced sufficiently to allow the particles to
tant to tolerable levels before it is emitted from the settle by force of gravity.
^tack include (1) destruction of the pollutants by use of
2. Intertial Forces: By suddenly changing the direc-
fire or catalytic burners (applicable only to those wastes
that arc combustible), (2) masking the pollutant (e.g. tion of the gas flow, the greater momentum of
odour masking by substances which give stronger the particles causes them to depart from the gas
odour), (3) counteracting the pollutant (e.g. when two stream flow lines.
antagonistic odour are intermingled, both odours are 3. Filtration: Dust-laden gases pass through a porous
diminished) and (4) collecting the pollutant from waste medium upon which dust particles are trapped,
stroam using collection equipment such as bag filters leaving a cleaner gas to be discharged.
cyclone scparaters. Scrubbers, electrostatic precipi- 4. Electrostatic precipitation: Electrically charged
tators, etc. particles are attracted to objects- of an opposite-
The best method of controlling air pollution is to charge.
confine the contaminant at its source. If this is not 5. Particles Conditioning: By causing intimate con-
possible, the second alternative is to control the harm- tact of dust particles and water, a heavier water-
ful concentration of pollutants by natural dilution be- particle agglemarate is formed. This can be more
fore it can reach the receptor. Methods of attempting easily separated from, the gas stream by one of the
to accomplish natural dilution include (3) use of tall collection mechanisms

22 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f


Some of the equipment used for dust removal are FIBROUS AND CLOTH FILTERS
•ribcd briefly.
Filteration is one of the oldest method of remov-
ing particulate matter from gases. Two types of filters
SETTLING CHAMBERS are in use. Fibrous or deep-bed filters, and cloth fil-
ters. In the deep-bed filters, a fibrous medium acts as
Settling chamber is a type of dust collector which the separator and the collection takes ph in the in-
in its relativity simple form consists only of an en- terestics of the bed. The efficiency of fibrous filters may
largement of dust, where the gas velocity is decreased be improved by coating the fibrous with a viscous fluid,
to allow bigger particles to settle by gravity. This is such as a high flash point, low volatile oil. The re-
usually made as a rectangular chamber and is often sulting unit is called a viscous filter.
equipped with one or several intermediate walls to
change the direction of flow and thus also makes use Cloth filters a. _ used in the form of tubular bags
of the inertial forces. or as cloth envelopes pulled over a wire screen frame
like a pillow case. The most commonly used bag type
filter consists of cylindrical bags which are hung in a
CYCLONE SEPARATORS frame work equipped with an automatic shaking device
for cleaning the bags. The open lower ends of the
In its simplest form, a cyclone collector consists bag, are connected to a dust hopper where also the
of a cylindrical shell fitted with a tangential inlet inlet of dusting air is located. The gas passes upwards
through which the dust-laden gas enters, an axial exit
through the bags and the dust is collected on the in-
pipe for discharging the cleansed gas, a conical base,
side of the same. The accumulation of dust increases
and a hopper to facilitate the collection and removal
the air resistance of the filter and therefore it is neces-
of dust. Dust-laden gas is swirled in the cylindrical and
sary to clean the bags regularly. Bag filters require
conical section by admitting it tangentially at the peri-
large space and investment and maintenance cost is
phory. The gas proceeds downwards into the conical
high. A relatively recent development in bag filters is
section, forms another spiral upward within the down-
the self-cleaning reverse jot filter.
ward spiral and thence travels to the outlet. Particles,
which are thrown from the rotating streamlines and are
A wide variety of filter cloths like cotton, fabrics,
able to reach the walls of the cyclone, slide down to
wool fabrics, synthetic fabrics, etc. are available com-
the hopper. The collecting efficiency of a cyclone de-
mercially. The greatest problem inherent in cloth filters
pends, apart from the diameter, height and dimensions
of central pipe. is rapture of cloth. The most extensive use of cloth
filters is in metallurgical industries, food and chemical
For certain applications where a high collecting process industries in connection with grinding and dry-
efficiency is desired and large gas volumes are involv- ing operations. Maximum continuous operating tempe-
ed, it has been proved to be economical to build to- ratures reported for various filters and their chemical
gether a large number of small diameter (about 150 resistance data are given in Tables 1 and 2 respec-
mm) cyclones, to form a so-called multi-cyclone. In a tively.
multi-cyclone, the two features of having a small dia-
meter to increase the centrifugal force, and a large Table 1 : Maximum operating Temperatures Reported for various
cross sectional area to maintain a low pressure drop, Fabric Filter Media
are combined. The small diamensions of the cyclones
Fabric Maximum onerating T e m p e r a t u r e
in a multi-cyclone permit them to be made of cast iron, * (.C)
which makes them comparatively more suitable for col-
lection of abrasive dust. Cotton 80-90
Wool 100-1.15
The cyclone is the most universal equipment Vinyon 90

avai'able for dust collection, but it cannot be used for Nylon 90-110
Orion 120-175
very fine fractions. For collecting dust particles of less
Silicone covered glass cloth 250-350
than 5 micron diameter at an efficiency of more than
Abestes 350
90%, fabric filter, wet separators or electrostatic pre- Dccron 175
cipitators have to be used.

•October-December, 19S7 23
Table 2 : Chemical Resistance of various filter Fabrics of fine materials, (2) volume of gases are very large,
(3) water availability and disposal are problems and
Chemical Resistance
Fabric
(4) valuable dry material is to be recovered.
Acid Alkali
The design factors of electrostatic precipitators
•C'olton •• •. •• Poor Fiarlygood have been discussed by Schmidt and Flodin. Electro-
Wool Good Poor static precipitators are now being used in our country
Vinyon Good Poor for pollution control in cement plants, chemical indus-
Nylon .• •• •• Poor Good
tries, refineries, carbon black industry, etc.
Asbestec . . . . . • Poor Good
Orion Good Poor
The efficiency of electrostatic precipitators in col-
lecting fly ash in thermal power plants varies from 98
The heat and chemical resistance of filter fabrics to 9 9 . 9 % . In cement industries in India, the capital
.such as these used in bag filters have improved stea- plus running cost of electrostatic precipitators would
dily in the past decade through the use of such syn- work out to approximately Rs. 4 / - per tonne of dust
thetic materials as glass fibre. removed annually.

ELECTROSTATIC PRECIPITATORS WET SCRUBBERS


When gas containing an aerosol is passed between
In a scrubber, gas cleaning is done by injecting
two electrodes that are electrically insulated from each
water into a high velocity turbulent gas stream. The
other and between which there is considerable differ-
ence in electrical potential, aerosol particles precipitate high velocity area is created by either a ventury sec-
on the low-potential electrode. Electrostatic precipita- tion, an orifice plate or sprays. This turbulence serves
tion requires a discharge electrode (usually negative) of to break up the water into very fine droplets and to
small cross-sectional area such as a wire and a collect- trap the solid particles within the droplets. The final
ing electrode (usually positive and at ground potential) collection is made by the separation of the water spray
of large surface area such as a plate or a tube. Basi- from the gas stream,. The scrubbers in common use
cally an electrostatic precipitator has four principal in air pollution control include: (1) gravity spray tower,
parts:,. (1) a source of high voltage, (2) high voltage (2) YClUUfi Scrubber, (3) disintegrator, (4) wet-type
ionising electrodes and collecting electrodes, (3) a dynamic precipitator, (5) wet impinger scrubber,
means for disposal of the collected material and (4) an (6) collector with self induced sprays, (7) wet contri-
outer housing to form an enclosure around the elec- fugal scrubbers and (8) cyclone spray chambers.
trode. There are four steps involved in electrostatic pre-
cipitation: (1) electrically charging the particles by A wet separator can, in practice be used for
ionisation, (2) transporting the charged particles by the cleaning operation for contaminants in any state (solid,
force exerted upon them in the electric field to a col- liquid or gaseous), at temperature upto 300°C or even
lecting surface, (3) neutralising the electrically charged
above. Generally wet scrubbers find use where (1) fine
particles precipitated on the collecting surface and
particles must be removed at high efficiency, (2) cool-
(4) removing the precipitated particles from the collect-
ing is desired and moisture addition is not objection-
ing surface.
able, (3) gaseous contaminants as well as particulates
There are two broad classes of electrostatic preci- are involved, (4) gases to be treated are combustible.
pitators: (1) one-stage precipitators and (2) two-state (5) volumes arc relatively low and (6) large variation
precipitators. The one-stage precipitators like wire-in- in process flows must be accommodated.
tube type or wire-in-plate type combine ionisation arid
collection in a single step. In the two-stage electro- SELECTION OF DUST COLLECTING
static precipitator, there is a preionising step followed EQUIPMENT
by collection. It is generally unsuitable for dealing with
heavy dust concentration. Thus, it finds its principal The selection of a dust collector in an industry
application in air conditioning plants. involves many considerations. Some are subject to
scientific rationale and others are gained by experience.
Electrostatic precipitators find their use where' Successful selection requires careful balancing and eva-
(J) very high efficiencies are required for the removal luation of the following factors:

24 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f


1 . Particle Characteristics: Size distribution, shape, age when the gases or vapour to be controlled are
density, stickiness, hygroscopity, electrical proper- organic in nature. Equipment employing the principle
ties. of flame combustion include (1) fume and vapour in-
cinerators, (2) after-burners and (3) flares, either steam
2. Carrier Gas Properties: Temperature, moisture
injection or venturi flare. The use of after-burners on
content, corrosiveness, flammability.
incinerators has been met with varying success depend-
3. Process Factors: Clas (low rate, particle concentra- ing on the kind of after-burner used and the type of
tion, allowable pressure drop, continuous or inter- incinerator. Flare design should provide for smokeless
mittent operation, desired efficiency, ultimate w; combustion of gases of variable composition and a
disposal. wide raage of flow rates. Venturi flares mix air with
the gas in the proper ratio prior to ignition to achicve
4. Economic Considerations: Installation cost, opera- smokeless burning. Steam injection flares mix stream
tion cost, maintenance cost. with the stack gases as they reach the stack.

The suggested minimum particle size ranges for


When the concentration of combustible portion of
•different collecting equipment are shown in Table 3.
gas stream is below flammable range and when lower
Table 3 : Ranges of minimum particle size for different collections operating temperatures are desired, catalytic combus-
tion processes are used. Catalytic combustion process
Minimum Particle Size,
Type of Collection (m) is used with success for the control of effluent gases,
Settling chamber 100-200 fumes and odours from refineries burning waste crack-
Inertia! collector 50-200 ing gases, phenolic-resin curing ovens, paint and ena-
Centrifugal collector 40-60 mel baking ovens, coffee roasting processes, foundry
Cyclone (Small diameter) .. 20-30
0.5—2.0
core baking ovens and chemical plants discharging
Filter
Wet collector 1.0—2.0 maleicand pathalic anhydrides. Gases and fumes con-
Electrostatic precipitators 0.001—1.0 taining excessive amounts of particulate matter reduce
the effectiveness of catalytic combustion units due to
Through improved technology, good charging pro- coating that forms on the catalyst.
cedure and incorporation of the appropriate cleaning
equipment it is possible to reduce considerable air pol- ABSORPTION
lution from different industries. Maintaining air pollu-
tion control equipment at designed efficiency requires In this process, effluent gases arc passed through
constant attention, ll is not unusual to find electro- absorbers (scrubbers) which contain liquid absorbents
static precipitators that appear to be operating pro- that remove one or more of the pollutants in the gas
perly but are actually performing at 5-10% below de- stream. The efficiency of this process depends on
sign efficiency because the operating conditions have (1) amount of surface contact between gas liquid,
changed from the conditions used to design the equip- (2) contact time, (3) concentration of absorbing
ment. medium, and (4) speed of reaction between the absor-
bent and the gases. Absorbents are being used to re-
CONTROL METHODS FOR GASEOUS move sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, sulphur trio-
POLLUTANTS xides and fluorides and oxides of nitrogen. The absor-
bents may be either reactive or non-reactive with the
The control of gaseous pollutants from stack gases pollutant removed by them. Some of the reactive ab-
depends on their properties. The methods of control sorbents arc regenerative (i.e. they may be treated and "
include: reused), while others are of non-regenc. „tive type.

(1) combustion, (2) absorption, (3) adsorption,


(4) closed collection and recovery systems and The equipment using the principle of absorption
for the removal of gaseous pollutants include (1) pack-
(5) masking and counter action (odours).
ed vver, (2) plate tower, (3) bubble-cap plate tower,
(4) spray tower and (5) liquid jet scrubber absorbers.
COMBUSTION Selective chromatographic absorption of gases on small
Combustion processes like flame combustion or pellets may offer much higher rates than those achiev-
catalytic combustion can be utilised to greatest advant- ed in packed towers.

•October-December, 19S7 25
The absorbents commonly used for different gases gaseous pollutants by absorbents are: (1) contact of
is given in Table 4. the gaseous or vaporous pollutant with the solid ab-
sorbent, (2) separation (deserption) of the absorbed
Table 4 : The Common Absorbing Solutions used for Removing
gaseous pollutant from the solid absor- ;nt by regene-
Different Gaseous Pollutants from Gas Streams
ration or replacement of the absorbent and (3) recovery
Gaseous Pollutant C o m m o n A b s o r b e n t used in Solution of the gases for the final disposal. The efficiency ol" re-
Form moval of gases by absorbents depends on (1) the phy-
sical and chemical characteristics of the absorbent in-
Sulphur dioxide Dimethylaniline, jniKtu.ro of xylidine
and water ( 1 : 1 ) ammonium sulphite, cluding the surface area per gram of absorbent and
basic aluminum sulphate, cthanol (2) the concentration and nature of gas to be absorbed.
amines (monoclhenol amine, dicthano!
ajnine, methyl dictlutnol amine or Desorption is accomplished by raising the temperature
iryothanol amine), sodium sulphite,
ammonium sulphite and bisulphite,
of the granular bed above the uoiling temperature of
water, alkaline water, a suspension the pollutant by superheated steam, submerged heating
of calcium hydroixde, calcium sulphite
calcium sulphate, barium thionates elements or combustion gases. Desorption may also be
a n d sulphates. performed by reducing the pressure. The absorbents
Hydrogen sulphide Sodium hydroxide and phenol mix commonly used for removal of different gases are
(mole ratio 3 : 2) tripotassium phos- :,'n in Table 5.
phate, sodium alajnine or potassium
dimethyl glycine, otluiriolamines, soda
ash solution containing suspended
iron oxide or hybroxide, soda ash Table 5 : The Common Absorbents used for Removing Different
alone, sodium thioaisonate, a m m o - Gaseous Pollutants from Gas Streams
niacal liquor from coke ovens.
Hydrogen fluoride Water, sodium hydroxide. Gaseous Adsorbents used in solid form
Oxides of nitrogen Water, aquous nitric acid. Pollutant

Sulphur dioxide Pulverised limestone or dolomite, alka-


lisod alumina (aluminium oxide plus
Packed tower consists of a vertical shell, filled sodium oxide)
with a suitable packing material and liquid flows over Hydrogen sulphide Iron oxide
the surface of the packing in this films. The efficiency Hydrogen fluride lumpline stone, porous sodium f l u o -
of packing towers are being improved in recent years ride pellets
Oxides of nitrogen Silica gel
by use of new kinds of packing materials. Plate tower
Organic solvent vapours Active carbon.
consist of a vertical shell in which are mounted a large
number of equally spaced circular perforated plates:
gases and vapours bubble upward through the liquid CLOSED CIRCUIT AND RECOVERY SYSTEMS
seal above each plate. Bubble-cap plate tower consists
Gases like sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and
of a vertical shell in which are mounted a large num-
hydrocarbons can be recovered from the waste gas
ber of equally spaced circular bubble-cap plates. In
streams if they are present in sufficient concentrations.
spray tower the absorbing liquid is sprayed through the
For example, where the concentration is of the order
gas. By applying centrifugal force and the liquid spray
of 5 to 10% sulphur dioxide, as in smelter gases, the
to the gas path at the same time, maximum contact
sulphur content may be recovered economically. The
of gas and liquid is possible. In the liquid jet scrubber,
most usual method at smelters is to use the sulphur
the absorbing liquid enters the equipment under pres-
dioxide stream as the raw material for the manufac-
sure through the top and vapours and gases are let in
ture of sulphuric acid. Similarly the vapour-recovery
the upper side. Pratt and Rutherford have described the
methods used in refiners are useful when the concen-
design and operation of a spray scrubber used to re-
tration of hydrocarbons in the effluent stream is high
duce the hydrogen sulphide from a rayon plant.
and relatively uncontaminated.

ABSORPTION Oxides of nitrogen from waste gas streams in a


nitric acid plant are recovered using-commercial zeo-
In this process the effluent gases are passed lite. Oxides of nitrogen absorbed in the bed are re-
through absorbers which contain solids of porous struc- covered as enriched oxides of nitrogen and nitric acid
ture. The commonly used absorbers include active car- by regenerating the bed at elevated temperature with
bon, silica gel, activated alumina, lithium chloride, acti- hot air or steam.
vated bauxite, etc. Active carbon appears to be the
absorbent most suitable for recovering organic solvent In the allcalised alumina sorption process, oxides
vapours. The steps necessary for effective removal of of sulphur in the stack gas are absorbed on spheres

26 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f


( I . b 111111) of aikalised alumina (a mixture of alumi- (4) spreading or floating on contaminated surfaces
nium oxide and sodium oxide) in a bed suspended without dilution.
in t h e s t r e a m . The oxides are t! removed f r o m By using perfumes like nitrobenseno, citronelia,
the spheres by reaction with a reducing gas containing synthetic ro< \ pinotar, alpha cinnamic aldehyde,
hydrogen and carbon monoxide, producing carbon dio- cucalyptour citriedora, votivar oil, jasmine oil, etc.,
xide and hydrogen sulphide. The hydrogen sulphide is pleasant smells were imparted to leathers during pro-
converted to elemental sulphur, which can be sold, and cessing itself.
the regenerated aikalised alumina is recycled. The pro-
cess would remove about 90% of the oxides of sul- The methods for source control of odorous gases
phur in the stack gas. On a 800 MVV power plant include; (1) change of composition of process material
burning coal of 3% sulphur content, it would produce or removal of causative impurities, (2) drawing the
about 180 tons of sulphur per clay. odorous air from working atmosphere by exhau;. --2S
and diluting and relatively clean air, (3) masking,
In another process known as wet lime process for counteraction or sorptions of odorous gases in a suit-
removing sulphur oxides from power plants, pulverised able solvent or by absorption using active carbon, (4)
limestone is injected into the boiler furnace, where the removal of odour bearing dusts by cyclone separate:
heat drives off carbon dioxide, converting the calcium and (5) combustion of odorous compounds to odourless
carbonate to the reactive oxide form. The oxide then non-objectionable products.
reacts with the sulphur oxides to form solid sulphites
and sulphates. Some of the conversion takes place be- AIR POLLUTION FROM AUTOMOBILES
fore the stack gas reaches the water scrubber, but most
of it takes place in the scrubber after the reactants The three main types of automotive vehicles being
dissolve in the water. The resulting solids, as vvei! as used in our country are (1) passenger cars powered by
the fly ash removed in the scrubber, go to the settling four stroke gasoline engines, (2) motor cycles, scooters
pond, and water from the settling pond is recycled to and autorickshaws powered mostly by small two
the scrubber. stroke gasoline engine and (3) large buses and
trucks powered mostly by four stroke diesel engines.
MASKING AND COUNTERACTION OF Emissions from gasoline powered vehicles are generally
ODOROUS GASES classified as (1) exhaust emissions, (2) crank-case-
emissions and (3) evaporative emissions. The amount
Odour masking and odour counteraction are be- of pollutants, that an automobile emits depends on a -
coming extremely popular in odour control, because of number of factors, including the design and operation
their effectiveness and comparatively low cost. Odour (idle, acceleration, etc.). Of the hydrocarbons emitted
masking is based on the principle that when two by a car with no controls, the exhaust gases account
odours are mixed, the stronger one will predominate. for roughly 65%, evaporation from the fuel tank and
Thus, when a sufficient amount of a pleasant odour carburettor for roughly 15'% and blowby or crank-case
is mixed, with unpleasant one, the latter will become emission (gases that escape around the piston rings)
unnoticeable by using perfumes like odonel, putrifac- for about 20%. Carbon monoxide nitrogen oxides and
tive odours are masked. lead compounds are emitted almost exclusively in the
exhaust gases. Effect of engine operating conditions on
Odour counteraction, on the other hand, is based
the- composition of auto exhaust is shown in Table 6.;
on the principle that certain pairs of odours, in ap-
propriate relative concentrations, are antagonistic. Thus, Table 6 : Effect of Engine Operating Conditions on the Composition
when two odours are mixed the noticeability of each is of Auio Exhaust
greatly diminished. Selection of the proper counter- Idle Accelert - Cruising Decelera-
actant is more difficult than the selection of a mask- tion lion

ing agent. The application usually consists of spraying 11:1-12.5:1 11:1-13:113:1-15:1 11:1-12.5:1
Air-fuel ratio
on, over or about the odoriferous area by means of
Exhaust Analysis
calibrated atomising nozzles.
CO % 4-6 0-6 1-4 - 2-4
N o , ml/m 3 10-50 100 -40000 1000-3000 10-50
Odour masking on a commercial scale is a relative- Hydro carbons,
ml/m 8 500-1000 50-500 200-3C0 4000-1200
ly new development with the following possible applica-
tion routes; (1) spraying, vaporising or atomising the Unburn! Fuel
/^supplied fuel 4-6 2-4 2-4 20-60
selected odorant into air, (2) adding to a process
(1 ml/pi 3 —1 ppni)
wherever possible, (3) adding to scrubbing liquors and
6
•October-December, 19S7
Diesel-powered vehicles create relatively minor poi- Emissions of hydrocarbons from the crank case
Itilioit piobtnir. umipaicil to gasoline powwul which." . til atitoimibiH'?; I'itu Ik* liiigolv climimttpii by nosiiivr
The diesel engine exhausts only about a tenth of tire crank case ventilation (PCV) system. These system^
amount of carbon monoxide exhausted by a gasoline recycle crank case ventilation air and blowly gases
engine, although its hydrocarbon emissions may ap- the engine intake instead of venting them to the
proach those of the gasoline engine Blowby is negli- atmosphere.
gible in the diesel, since the cylinders contain only air
on the compression stroke. Evaporative emissions arc E V A P O R A T I V E EMISSIONS
also low because the diesel uses a closed injection fuel
Through a short term experiment ' ^termination
system and because the fuel is less volatile than gaso-
of Indian Im:'!.ute of Petroleum it has been estimates
line. The major problems of diesel engine are smoke
that an average Indian passenger car would emi:
and odour.
20 Kg of hydrocarbons through evaporation annually.
. . controlling evaporation of fuel from the carbure -
E X H A U S T EMISSIONS tor and fuel system, are being developed that store
fuel vapours in the crank case or in charcoal canister
The important exhaust emissions from a gasoline that absorb hydrocarbons, for recycling to the engine
engine are carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons, Evaporative emissions mig; also be dealt with b>
nitrogen oxides and particulates containing lead com- changing the properties of gasoline such us reducing
pounds. These emissions vary with air-fuel ratio, spark the volatility of. fuel and replacing the C, and - elo-
timings and the engine operating conditions. finic hydrocarbons in the fuel with the less-reaca\c
C< and C 5 paraffine hydrocarbons. Mechanical -
To meet the exhaust emission standards for car- can also be used to control evaporative emissions.
bon monoxide and hydrocarbons, the automobile manu-
facturers have used two basic methods. The first is to The panel on Electrically Powered Vehicles n
inject air into the exhaust manifold near the exhaust USA estimated that the systems used now to cenircl
valves, where exhaust gas temperature is highest, thus carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon in autoe.\hu'.:>;s - i -
inducing further oxidation of unoxidise or partially- $25 to $50 to the cost of the car. The p^ne'. s-1J
oxidised substances. The second basic method is to de- that it should become commercially feasible in the n o :
sign cylinders and adjust the fuel-air ratio, spark tim- decade to reduce emissions from automobiles using in-
ing and other variables to reduce the amounts of internal combustion es... ;e to 500 ml/'m 3 (500 ppm
hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide is the exhaust to hydrocarbons, 0.5% carbon monoxide and 250 ml; sf
the point where air injection is not required. (250 ppm) nitrogen oxide. The systems used, t..e pin;"
estimated, might add $50 to $300 to the cost of the
Devices and methods to control hydrocarbon emis- car produced in 1975-1989.
sions fall into three classes: (1) devices that modify
engine operating concisions such as intake manifold C O N T R O L O F H Y D R O C A R B O N EMISSIONS
vacuum breakers, carburation mixture improvers, th FROM AUTOMOBILES
tie retarders, etc. (2) devices that 'troat' exhaust gases Devices and methods ? control hydro, -boa emis-
such as afterburners, catalytic converters, absorbers and sions fall into three classes.
adsorbers and filters, (3) use of modified or alternate • 1. Devices that modify engine operating cona -
fuels. tions.
2. Devices that treat exhaust gases.
C R A N K CASE EMISSIONS 3. Use of modified or alternate fuels.

Crank case emissions consist of engine blowby Devices proposed for modifying engine operating
which leak past the piston mainly during the compres- conditions, usually called induction devices have as th:!:
sion stroke, and of oil vapours generated into the goal improvement of combustion during all or a por-
crank ease. The quantity of blowby depends on engine tion of the driving cycle. They may be generally classi-
design and condition and operating .conditions. Worn fied as follows:
out piston rings and cylinder liner may greatly in-
1. Fuel cut off during d e c l a r a t i o n .
crease blowby. These gases mainly contain hydro-
carbons and aacount nearly 25% of the total hydro- 2. Intake manifold vacuum breakers.
carbons emissions from a passenger car. 3. Exhaust system vacuum breakers.

28 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f


4. Throttle retarders. engine cylinder and is quenched so rapidly as it leaves,
5. Vacuum control throttle openers. the cylinder that it does not have sufficient time to
decompose. It will, of course, eventually decompose at
6. Carburetion mixture improvers.
atmospheric temperature, but the reaction rate under
Improved carburettors involving heating of the fuel these conditions is extremely slow. An obvious attack
or fuelnair mixture to vaporise the fuel completely or is to maintain exhaust gases at a high temperature for
alternately, mechanical disporsion of fuel droplets to a sufficient length of time to promote decomposition at
lire and stable aerosel are in use but they do not greater than atmospheric temperatures of a catalyst
marketly reduce the hydrocarbon content of exhaust. could be found to further accelarate the reaction, it
could be incorporated in a suitable device that could
The advantages of. devices to remove hydro- be installed in the automobile exhaust system.
carbons directly from exhaust gas is that the same de-
vice may be used for all phases of the operating cycle, Carbon monoxide remains in the exhaust if the
although the physical dimensions and the chemical oxidation of Co to CO- is not complete. Generally this
composition of the exhaust gas will vary from one phase is due to a lack of sufficient oxygen. After burners,
to another. The various devices proposed may be catalytic reactors etc. are used for CO oxidation, the
classified as; catalytic reactor or catalytic converter, can operate
1. Afterburners either on rich or lean mixtures and operates at lower
temperatures than the thermal reactor. A catalytic de-
2. Catalytic converters
vice consists of the active catalyst deposited on a sup-
3. Liquid washing devices (absorbers) port system and place in a can that looks about the
4. Absorbers (porous solids) muffler. General Motors has evaluated about 800 mate-
5. Miscellaneous filters, condensers, and air rials as possible catalyst. Platinum and Palladium are
dilution devices. possibilities for the oxidising catalyst.
The principle of after burners involves the igni- For control of pollutants in diesel exhaust a
tion and burning of the hydrocarbons in exhaust gas. variety of after burners, both catalytic and direct flame,
Two of the inherent problems of the after burners, have been used to reduce hydrocarbons, aldehydes,
flame maintenence and difficulty of low temperature carbon monoxide, smoke, hydrogen and other combus-
ignition, are overcome by the catalytic convertor. The tibles. The biggest problem here is the low temperature
most vexing problem faced by those working on the and low combustible concentration of the exhaust. Both
catalyst problem is over coming, catalyst susceptibility factors limits the effectiveness of any practical device.
to lead compounds formed from the tetraethyl lead
used as an antiknock additive in fuels. Lead is a noto- The solutions to the automobile exhaust is not yet
rious catalyst poison. found. It is apparent that the most probable solution
will be complete oxidation of exhaust hydrocarbons,
The liquids proposed for washing out pollutants either catalytically or by direct flame, or the decom-
from exhaust gas include water, solutions of inorganic position of nitric oxide, or both.
substances such as potassium permanganate, dichro-
mate or perorcides and various organic solvents includ- SMOKE CONTROL FROM DIESEL ENGINES
ing fuel oil. So far no system using this method is
The following remedial measure have been con-
commercialised.
sidered to reduce smoke and considerable success has.
The use of antiknock agents other than tetraethyl been achieved.
lead has been tried. The compound, methyl cycle 1. Good maintenance of injective system.
pentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl is under test. 2. Improved combustion process brought about
by
CONTROL OF OXIDES OF NITROGEN (a) Carburation of a lighter supplementary
Several methods for reducing the nitric oxide con- fuel
tent of auto exhaust have been studied. The most ap- (b) Fumigation of a part of the diesel fuel.
pealing of these is catalytic decomposition of nitric 3. Modification of the combustion chamber de-
oxide between the exhaust valve and the end of the sign.
tail pipe. Nitric oxide is not stable at atmospheric 4. Derating the engine.
temperature. The only reason it is present in exhaust 5. Use of smoke supprosent additives like
gases is that it forms at the high temperatures in the barium based and manganese based additives..

•October-December, 19S7 29
ip—ssmemt of Emissions f r o m Industries device depends on many parameters, namely, the tem-
perature and pressure encountered, the moisture con-
The emission from industries are usually assessed
tent of the gas, the physical and chemical properties
^ following methods (a) material balance, (b) using
of the dust and the gas stream to be sampled. The
• emission factors and (c) carrying out stack sampling,
different types of trapping media used in collection of
r The first two methods give the theoritically possible
dust samples from stack gases bubblers and their
r emission and the third one measures the actual emis-
characteristics are shown in Table 12.
sions coming out of any industry.

From input and output quantities following mate- Table 12 : Characteristics of Trapping Media used in (he Collec-
tion of Dust samples from Gaseous Streams
rial balance calculations, the emissions can be assess-
ed. Emisision factor is a statistical average of the Trapping medium Characteristics of the medium
mass of pollutant emitted from each source of pollu-
tion per unit quantity of material handled, processed A l u n d u m thimble Resistant to temperature upto 540°C
a n d high moisture contents; suitable f o r
or burnt. By using emission factor for the specific high dust loading.
process, one can calculate the total emission of diffe- Paper thimble Suitable for temperature upto 120°C,
low moisture contents a n d high dust
rent pollutants by knowing the quantity of material loading.
manufactured, processed or burnt. Fibre glass filters Suitable for high dust loading; higlv
collection efficiency.
Membrane filters ±tigh collection efficiency; low resis-
The purpose of stack sampling is to determine tance to gas flow.
Bubblers D u s t not suitable in water; resistant to
the actual quantity and types of pollutants that are corrosion.
contained in the gases emitted from a source. The
purpose of stack sampling survey is (a) to provide REFERENCES
basic data for the design of air pollution control 1. Desai, H. B. " A i r pollution control technology in petroleum,
equipment, (b) to check the performance of control refineries" Proc. Symp. Air. Pol. Control• Techniques, CLI,
C P H E R I & S O C L E N Bombay (Sep. 1973).
equipment, to determine the compliance or otherwise 2. Sinha, J. K. "Pollution from cement industry" Proc. 3rd
of emissions with emission standards or norms and Cement Industry Operation Seminar, New Delhi (1973).
(d) to determine the emission factors for use in the 3. Engineer, N. B. a n d Doshi, V. C. "Air pollution in cement
industry" Proc. Symp. Air. pollution control Techniques,
compilation of emission inventories. C P H E R I & S O C L E N , Bombay (Sep. 1973).
4. " R e p o r t of the sub-committee appointed by the panel on
The dust in a gas steam is usually collected in a cement industry" Cement Industry Assn. Bombay (1973).
filtering media which allows the gas to pass through 5. Mathura, H. B., Ja, G. S. and Bakshi, R. K. " C o n t r o l of
particulate emissions from iron a n d steel industry" Proc.
and retains the dust upt'o a certain minimum size. Symp. Air pollution Control Techniques, CLI, CPHERI &
The dust can also be collected through impingement S C C L E N , B o i r b a y (Sep. 1973).
6. A n o n "Industrial plants and stations show progress in pollu-
by bubbling through water. The selection of trapping tion control" power, 114, 27 (1970).

J uty-September, 1987 31
Pollution Problems from Different Industries

DR. C. A. SASTRY,
Professor and Head,
Centre for Bio-Sciences &
Bio-Technology, I.I.T.
Madras.

Introduction Information on emissions associated with different


industries is given in Table 1.
Even though there are many ditfcrent sources
-which contribute to air pollution, industries contri-
Petroleum Refineries
bute a major share. There are a number of indus-
tries like cement factories, petroleum refineries, iron Depending on the size and complexity of the re-
& steel industry, non-ferrous metal industries, thermal finery, the number and type of units could vary con-
power plants, fertilizer industry, inorganic and organic siderably from one to another. Some of the common
chemical industries, and pulp and paper industries etc. processes that one would come across in a medium
which are responsible lor air pollution. Industrial sized refinery, are high vacuum distilation unit for
sources generate a range of air pollutants specific to preparation of cracking and bitumen food stocks,
the process involved. catalytic cracking, thermal cracking, catalytic reform-
ing, asphalt blowing and acid/caustic treating. Modern
Air pollution sources are divided for convenience refineries have hydrosulphurisors. The pollutants
into two classes, (a) specific and (b) multiple sources. commonly found in petroleum refineries include sul-
Specific sources are largely industrial in nature, thus phur dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide,
permitting their potential to pollute a community odorous materials, particulate matter.
atmosphere to be readily assayed on an-industry-by-
industry (source-by-source) basis. They are fixed and Information on potential sources of pollutants
commonly occupy a limited area relative to the com- from petroleum refining is given in Table 2.
munity. Multiple sources are those which cannot be
assayed practically on a source-by-source basis The characteristics of substances found in refinery
e . g . combustion of fuels in stationary sources, emissions depend upon the types of crude processed
combustion of fuel for power production, for trans- and the complexities of the refineries. In general,
portation and domestic purposes, etc. incineration of the estimated daily emissions (without rigourous con-
solid wastes, evaporation of petroleum products and trols, from a refinery processing 10,000 tonnes of
odour sources come under multiple sources. crude per day is shown (1) in Table 3).

Table 1 : Air Pollution Problems from some Typical Industrial and other sources

Besides smoke, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen a n d fly-ash, the


Sources following specific pollutants may also be found

Fertiliser indus try and aluminium manufacturing plants Hydrogen fluoride, ammonia, fluorides, fertiliser dust and sulphuric
acid mist.
Heavy chemical industry like acid plants, synthetic fibre, etc. Acid fumes.
Lead casting and melting, pigments, etc. Tin, lead, etc. fumes and oxides solvents and thinners.
Tanneries and leather industry Mercaptans and sulphides
Cement industry Cement a n d lime dust
Paints, pigments and dye industry Nitrobenzene and aniline, thinners, solvents and base material
C a r b o n black manufacture Polynuclear hydrocarbons, carbon soot a n d hydrogen sulphide
Coal tar industry Polynuclear hydrocarbons and aerosols of tar
Paper and paper products Hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans
Refinery and pelro-chejnical industry Hydrogen sulphide, hydrocarbons, odours of mercaptans
Metallurgical industry Metallic fumes, dust
Electrolytic manufacture of chlorine Chlorine
Coal burning (power plants) Soot
Vehicle emission
(a) Petrol Hydrocarbons, H C H O
(b) Diesel Hydrocarbons, H C H O

J uty-September, 1987 25
Table 2 : Potential Sources of Pollutants in a Petroleum Refinery

; of emission Potential source

Hydrocarbons Air blowing, barometric condensers, blind changing, blow-down system, boilers, catalyst regeneratorss
compressors, cooling towers, decoking operations, flare, heaters, incinerators, loading facilities, pro-
cessing vessels, pumps, sampling operations, tanks turn around operations, v a c u u m jets, effluent-
handling equipment.
Sulphur oxides Boilers, catalyst regenerators, decoking operations, flares, heaters, incinerators, treaters, acid sludge
disposal.
Carbon monoxide Catalyst regenerators, compressor engines, coking operations, incinerators.
Nitrogen oxides Boilers, catalyst regenerators, compressor engines, flares.
Particulate matter Boilers, catalyst regenerators coking operations, heaters, incinerators.
Odours Air blowing, barometric condensers, drains process vessels, steam blowing tanks, treators, effluent
handling equipment.
Aldehydes Catalyst regenerators, compressor engines.
Ammonia Catalyst regenerators.

However with adequate controls the levels of the The prevailing environmental conditions in our
above emissions could be brought down to reasonable country has been studied by Central Mining Institute,
values. In the Esso refinery at Bombay, reductions Dhanbad and the concentration of air borne dust at
have been achieved as given (1) in Table 4. different operations in ten cement factories reported
(2). The findings of these studies are shown in Table
Table 3 : Estimated Daily Emissions from A Refinery Processing 5.
10 kt/d
(without rigorous controls)
Table 5 : Air Borne Dust Concentrations at Different Locations
Pollutant Estimated range of emissions in a Cement Factory
t/d

C a r b o n monoxide 40—120 Concentration of air borne d u s t


Sulphur dioxide 30—90 particles per mi-
Sulphur trioxide less than 2 Operation/
Hydrocarbons 30—60 location Minimum M a x i m u m Average
Particulate matter 3—10
Oxides of nitrogen 1—3 (1) (2) (3) (4)
A m m o n i a , aldehydes, organic
acids a n d aerosols less than 1 Lime stone crushing 957 6,905 2,367
At the kiln firing end 110 1,596 580
At clinker cooler area 430 6,430 1,394
Around cemunt mill 146 3,267 1,214
Table 4 : Quantity of Pollutants Emitted from the Esso Refinery Packing of cement 1,024 8,480 3,330
Loading of cement into wagon 3,670 18,020 6,723
(with controls) A r o u n d coal crushing plant 771 4,180 1,843
A r o u n d coal drier 1,920 3,385 1,609
Pollutant R a n g e of emission?, t/d A r o u n d coal mill 325 4,000 1,769
General atmosphere within fac-
C a r b o n monoxide 20—30 tory area 145 950 567
Sulphur dioxide 10—20 In front of office 35 918 181
Hydrocarbons 5—10
Particulate matter 0.5—1.0

The concentration of air borne dust at limestone


Cement Industries crushing, cement packing machines, around' wagons
Portland cement is manufactured from a suitable during cement loading, and at the coal grinding and
mixture of limestone and clay, or from marls which coal drier areas was rather high, whereas the same
are first crushed and ground, either in the dry state around the kiln firing end, clinker cooler and cement
or with water. The raw mixture is thereafter burnt mills was within the permissible limits.3
at a sintering temperature and the clinker thus ob-
tained is ground to a fine powder with the addition
The question of fixing dust emission standards
of gypsum to give cement. Cement is packed in jute
bags and despatched in this form in railway wagons for cement kilns has been engaging the attention of
or trucks. Alternately, it is also despatched in bulk various countries. In India a recommendation was
as loose cement. Thus by the very nature of the made 4 that dust emission should be restricted to 200-
above processes, there is considerable generation of .300 mg/m 3 in wet processing plants and to 300-340
dust, size of which ranges from 1 tolOO m and above. mg/m 3 in dry and semi dry process plants.

26 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f

-j
and Steel Industry cesses. Various kinds of dust collectors and gas
cleaning equipment are being employed in steel mills
The steel industry is one of the major sources
to suit different operations.
air pollution. During the operation o\ an ffiXegf^.-
cJ steel plant many harmful materials are emitted
which are in the form of fumes, dust, smoke and Non-Ferrous Metal Industries
gases. The processes with high potential for air pollu- The non-ferrous metal industries such as copper,
tion are (1) metarial handling, (2) coke making and lead and aluminium are also major sources of air
(3) steel making. Raw materials used include, (a) pollution.
iron ore, (b) coal and (c ) lime and dolomite. AH
Copper sulphide is the major ore used for pro-
the materials handling operations like unloading of
duction of copper. The ore is crushed, slurry is made
raw materials, coal handling and washing are gene-
treated in flotation cells and the rich ore is sent to
rally carried out in open air. The emissions from
the smelter. The rich ore is normally roasted in a
stocking and handling of raw materials can be re-
multiple hearth furnace to remove moisture, to burn
duced to a great extent by the correct use of grabs,
part of contained sulphur and to preheat the material
covered tipplers and conveyors.5 Production of metal- before changing into reverberatory furnace. The
lurgical coke is essential for blast furnance operation, emissions from this industry include dust and sulphur
as coke helps the reduction of iron ore and pig iron. dioxide of about 2 — 8% in the flue gases.
The very nature of coking process results in the emis-
sion of pollutants like smoke, grit and dust. The Lead is produced from lead sulphide and its
rate of emission is highest during the charging opera- manufacturing method is more or less identical to
tion, the actual quantity varying widely from plant to copper production. The major emissions are dust,
plant depending upon the condition of the oven, the fumes and sulphur dioxide. During sintering the sul-
type of coal used and the mode of operation at phur dioxide ranges between 1.5 to 5% in the emis-
each plant. sion. Dust load varies from 2 — 15 g/m 3 during
sintering, 5 — 15 g/m 3 in blast furnace waste gases
Refining of steel by oxygen generates copious and 3 — 20g/m 3 in reverberatory furnace gas.
fumes containing very fine iron oxide particles. The The aluminium metal is produced by electrolytic
most commonly employed processes of steel-making reduction of alumina- Gases like CO, C0 2 , HF,
use either an open hearth furnace, oxygen-converter CF 4 , SO;>, are liberated along with dust, alumina, etc.
furnace or an electric arc furnace. Fumes from The carbon monoxide is burnt to carbon dioxide.
oxygen-converter furnace are more intense compared The major pollutants emitted are gaseous fluorine com-
to those from other furnaces. Oxygen converter fur- pounds, sulphur dioxide and fluoride particulates.
naces using top blown oxygen process give out 8 to
12 kg of fumes per tonne of steel produced. The Fertilizer Industry
potential sources of pollutants in iron and steel in- The major fertilisers made in India include phos-
dustry are shown in Table 6. phatic fertilisers, urea ammonium sulphate, ammonium
nitrate, nitrophosphates and combination of some of
Table 6 : Potential Sources of Pollutants in iron and steel Industry these. The raw materials required (sulphuric acid,
Pollutant M a j o r source nitric acid, phosphoric acid, ammonia, etc.) are made
in the industry itself. The potential sources of pollu-
Dust or particulates Material handling dolomitic plant, LD
converters, electric smelting furnaces, tants and the type of emissions from a fertiliser in-
electric are furnace, grinding equipment, dustry is shown in Table 7.
etc.
Sulphur dioxide All stack gases from furnaces and boilers
C a r b o n monoxide LD Converters, electric furnaces and Table 7 : Sources of Pollutants from Fertiliser Industry
other furnaces
Acid fumes Pickling tanks, acid regeneration plant and Potential source T y p e of emission
battery room
Oxide fujnes Electric furnances, LD converters Sulphuric acid plant SO2, S 0 3 a n d acid mist
Oil a n d solvent fumes Oil storage tanks, cold mills, painting Nitric acid plant Oxides of nitrogen
chambers of the maintenance shop Phosphoric acid plant Fluorides, phospheric acid mist
•Odour Pickling tanks, coke ovens, etc. A m m o n i a plant S 0 2 , oxides of nitrogen, ammonia
Heat Furnaces, boilers, confined work areas, Urea plant Urea dust, ammonia
work space near machines. Nitrophosphate plant Fertiliser dust, ammonia, fluorides
A m m o n i u m nitrate Dust, ammonia

Gases such as sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen In the urea plant, there is possibility for leakage
•etc. are also emitted from some of the above pro- of ammonia from various places. The various loca-

J uty-September, 1987 27
lions from which ammonia normally leaks in a total such as raw materials used, products made, processes
recycle process include ammonia charge pumps, re- adopted and types of equipment used. Almost all the
covered solution charge pumps and recovery tower. pollutants are traced in the stack emissions from diffe-
In the gasification section, the gas produced contains rent chemical industries. The predominant ones are
46% carbon monoxide which is toxic. There is like- oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, hydrogen sulphide and
lihood of carbon monoxide pollution of atmosphere if fluoride, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide (organo
any leaks develop in the system. Normally these leaks chemical industries), mercury and chlorine gas (chlor-
are very nominal and the air samples do not indicate alkali plants) and particulate matter.
presence of carbon monoxide.
The sources of different pollutants from chemical
Thermal Power Plants
industries are shown in Table 9.
Thermal power plants utilise fuel to produce
steam for power generation. The combustion of fuels Nature and quantity of pollutants discharged into
produce significant amount of air pollutant. The atmosphere by chemical industries depend upon raw
types of pollutant depend on the nature of fuel used. material, products, processes and equipment use.
If coal is used, fly ash, sulphur dioxide, oxides of.
nitrogen are the major pollutants. In the case of fuel Table 9 : Pollutants from Different Chemical Industries
oil sulphur dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen are major Pollutant Source
pollutants emitted to the atmosphere. The amount
of fly ash and sulphur dioxide released depend on the Sulphur dioxide Sulphuric acid plant, CS., plant, oil
refineries etc.
sulphur and ash content of the fuel used. Data on Hydrogen sulphide Viscose rayon, oil refinery, CS» plant,
particulate emission from coal fired boilers without air dye manufacture, tanneries.
pollution control is given6 in Table 8. Oxides of nitrogen Nitric acid manufacture, explosive in-
dustry, automobiles.
Table 8 : Particulate Emission from Coal Fired Boilers Hydrogen fluoride Fertilisers, chemical, aluminium indus-
(without rigorous pollution control) try.
C a r b o n monoxide Oil refinery, furnaces, automobiles.
Particulate in kg per t of
Types of furnaces coal burnt Mercury and chlorine Chloroalkali industries.
Hydrocarbons Organic chemical industry, refineries,
Pulverised automobiles.
General 7.3 A Particulates Mine quarries, pottery and ceramic,
Dry bottom 7.8 A power station, cement.
Wet bottom without fly ash reinjection 6.OA
Wet bottom with fly ash reinjection 10.8A
0.9A
Cyclone Absorbents and adsorbents like magnesium oxide
slurry, lime slurry, soda ash, ammonia alkalised
Spreader stoker
Without fly ash reinjection 6. OA
alumina, activated carbon, monoethanolamine are used
with fly ash reinjection 9.1A for removal of sulphur dioxide from stack gases from
All other stockers 2.3 A chemical industries. Hydrogen sulphide is removed
by adsorption on iron oxides, absorption in liquid
Note : A is multiplication factor representing % ash in coal caustic soda, combustion, catalytic conversion to sul-
values represent mass of particulates reaching control
equipment used on this type of furnace; they are not
phur or scrubbers. Oxides of nitrogen are removed
emissions. by adsorption, burning and catalytic combustion.
The three major air pollutants from power station
are thus: particulate matter (fly ash and soot), sul- Sulphuric Acid Plants
phur oxides (SO^ and SOH) and oxides for nitrogen Sulphuric acid is produced by burning sulphur
(NO and NOu). Besides, these, there is possibility to sulphur dioxide, which is converted to sulphur
of emission of carbon monoxide and unburnt carbon; trioxide over vanadium pentoxide catalyst. The sul-
but in the modern thermal power stations with auto- phur trioxide is then absorbed in towers with circulat-
matic combustion control system, the formation of ing sulphuric acid to yield 98.5% commercial grade
these products is eliminated. Another pollutant from acid.
coal fired stations is coal dust emission from the coal
handling plant. In sulphuric acid plants usually pollutants dis-
charged are S0 2 and acid mist. There will be occa-
Chemical Industries sional gas leaks. In normally well operated plants gas
The nature and quantity of air pollutants let out leaks can be avoided to a great extent. Frequent
by chemical industry will depend on number of factors fertilizers. The estimated production of P2O5 and

28 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f


downs of plant, due to power failure, low vol- sulphuric acid for the next three years is given in
effcct not only the performance of the pant Table 10.
also increase SOL, emission. Material fatigue on Table 10 : Estimated Demand of Sulphuric Acid and P a O f r
tings and converter can cause leaks due to failure- ('000 metric tonnes)

Normally the conversion efficiency of SCX to SO:i 1986-87 1987-8 1988-89 1989-90
PaO s 1676 1917 2209* 2247*
by catalyst is 98 - -98.5%. By use of quench air HgSOt 5172 5416 5548 5898
system, SO- discharge in the system can be reduced.
* more nitro phosphates expected.
An absorption tower has to be operated with 98 to
99'i sulphuric acid. Any acid concentration beyond In a super phosphate plant rock phosphate is
this range of circulating acid strength induces thick ground in closed circuit grinding mills, to 80 — 85%
curdy white stack emissions. By proper control through 100 mesh. By using dust collector bags parti-
absorption tower operation, acid mist can be controll- culates from this section can be controlled to per-
ed. missable limits. Rock phosphate used contains
usually 3 — 4% fluorine of which about 25% is re-
A break-through in the process technology of leased during mixing operation with acid while the
manufacturiing sulphuric acid was achieved in 70's. remaining 75% is retained in single super phosphate.
Double catalyst, Double Absorption (DC DA) has At mixer exis the fluorine concentration will be about
gradually replaced the earlier single context technology 5500 — 6000 mg/NM. 3
on account of pollution control measure. The pro-
Among the gaseous pollutants, SO s has done
duction of sulphuric acid during 1985 in the country
more harm to the global environment than any other
is about 5 million tonnes. Capacity of more than
single chemical present in the stack emissions of in-
1.5 million tonnes of H 2 S 0 4 per year has been esta-
dustrialised nations. An official estimate puts a figure
blished in recent years with DCDA system. AH new
of about 5 million tonnes of SO. emissions in India
plants in India will be based on DCDA processes
from all sources including power plants during 1985.
since it is not only economically viable but profitable
If converted to sulphuric acid this would mean an
to use DCDA system for sulphuric acid plants with
acid of about 7 . 5 million tonnes.
capacity above 100 tonnes per day.
A comparison of standards laid down by IS! and
Super Phosphate Plants central pollution control board for gaseous pollutants
Sulphuric acid production in India in recent years for sulphuric acid and super phosphate plants is given
is closely following the growth rate of phosphatic in Table 11.
Table 11 : Comparison of Standards Laid Down by I S I and Central Pollution Control— Board

ISI 8635-1977 MINAS* (1983-84)


1. Fluorine (as F 2 )
(a) Phosphoric Acid plants
Existing 1.50 kg/T of P 2 0 5 N o standard
New 0 . 6 5 kg/T of P2Q5 No standard
(b) S S P P l a n t s
Existing 0.50 kg/T of product 25 m g / N M 3 as Total F or 0 . 1 2 kg fluoride/T of
New 0 . 1 0 kg/T of product product or 0 . 2 0 kgF/T of rock phosphate percent.
(c) T S P Plants
Existing 0 . 3 kg/T of product No standard
New 0.075 kg/T of product N o standard
2. Particulate matter when emitted through stacks
(a) S S P Plants 500 p i g / N M 3 150 m g / N M 3 of particulate matter for granulation
(b) T S P Plants 4 kg/T of product mixing grinding.
Sulphur dioxide
(a) plans upto 200 T P D 16 kg/T of 100% H 2 S 0 4 Single conversion of 10 kg/T of 100% H2S04
(b) Plants above 200 T P D 12 kg/T of 1 0 0 % H 2 S 0 4 D C D A 4 kg/T of 100% H 2 S Q 4
(c) New plants upto 200 T P D 12 kg/T of 100% H 2 S 0 4
(d) New plants above 200 T P D 4 kg/T of 100 % H 2 S 0 4

4. Sulphur trioxide
(a) Existing plants 5 kg/T of 100% H 2 S 0 4 50 m g / N M 3 or 0 . 0 1 kg/T of 100% H2SQ4
(b) New plants upto 200 T P D 5 kg/T of 100% H 2 S 0 4
(W) New plants above 200 T P D 0 . 5 kg/T of 100% H 2 S 0 4

*Minijnu»n National Standards by Central Pollution Control Board.

July-September, 1987 29
Paper Industry can voltalize or be thermally degraded into vol-.—
Odorous and particulates pollutants are emitted substances which are subjected to heat. Volan_e
matter is driven oil and is condensed on cooling into
from diiferent stages of pulp and paper making.
a blue haze of droplets, most of which are in
During digestion, some cellulose is demethylated which
range of 0.1 to 1 micron diameter. The most com-
reacts with sulfide to yield mercaptans and methyl
mon source of oil mists in the textile industry is ix
sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide may also be produced. tenter frame, because of the higher operating tempera-
Build-up of head pressure in the digester is inter- ture which range from 125 — 150°C. Compound
mittently relieved to the atmosphere, thereby contri- in tenter exhausts are partially oxidised and; therefore,
buting small volume of volatile and turpentine com- more odourous and corrosive. Other processes pro-
pounds. It is reported that Euclyptus pulping gives ing oil mists include heat setting and drying Te.\i_-
out very small quantities of isopropyl mercaptan. rizers produce the cleanest oil mists, consisting mainiy
Digestion parameters like pressure, temperature, nature of spinning oils.
•of wood, time and concentration of cooking materials
influence the quantities of pollutants discharged.
Plastilizers are driven off from all high tempera-
•Odorous noncondensable gases escape from blow heat
ture processes involving vinyl, such as extrusion coat-
recovery system, unless collected and treated. From
ing, tentering and calendering.
pulp washing, some occluded volatile sulphur com-
pounds are lost from the residual black liquor and
usually exhausted through roof vents above washers. Acid mists are produced during the carbonizing
•Considerable quantities of methyl mercaptans, methyl of wool and during some types of spray dyeing. Or-
sulphide and hydrogen sulphide leave multiple effect ganic solvent vapours are released during and after all
•evaporators through barometric leg of the jet condenser solvent processing operations. Solvent dyeing and
from chemical recovery section hydrogen sulphide, printing and the application of finishes from solvent
methyl mercaptan, sulphur containing compounds and solution create problems.
non sulphur organic compounds are released in small
•concentration into the atmosphere usually recovery Odours are often associated with oil mists and
furnances are provided with electrostatic precipitator. solvent vapours. In other cases odorant is present
Magnitude of loss of sulphur compounds from recovery mainly in vapour phase. The most common odour
furnaces is estimated as "sulphidity". Emissions problem of this type are the carrier odours from
from this source include hydrogen sulphide and mer- aqueous polyester dyeing and processes subsequent
captans. The dust concentration from the stack of to it. Resin finishing also produces odours, chiefly
recovery boilers vary from 600 — 2000 mg/NM, 3 of formaldehyde. Other sources of odours are sulphur
sulphur dioxide concentration 60 — 150 mg/NM 3 and dyeing on cotton, reducing or stripping dyes with
hydrogen sujphide 10:— 110 mg/NM. 3 Mercaptans hydrosulphide, bonding, laminating, black coating,
in digester gas (intermittent discharge) vary from bleaching with chlorine dioxide etc.
200 — 2500 mg/NM. 3 Methods used for control of
air pollution include black liquor oxidation, combus- Dust and fly ash are produced during processing
tion, chlorine oxidation, oxidation by air or ozone, of natural fibres and synthetic staple prior to and
scrubbing, stripping, absorption etc. Ventury scrubber during spinning, napping and carpet shearing.
and principle collectors used for collection of salt cok e
from refurnace effluent gases. To a lesser extent, most other textile processes
produce lint, which, while it is not a major pollutant
by itself, complicates abatement processes for other
Textile Industry pollutants.
Emissions from textile processes excluding steam
.generation fall into four general categories (a) oil and Air pollution abatement technique in textile in-
acid mi'st, (b) solvent vapours, (c) odours and (d) dustry include (a) those that destroy the pollutants,
dust and lint. (b) those that collect the pollutant in a revolatively
concentrated dry form and (c) those that wash the
Oil mists are produced when textile materials pollutants from exhaust gases into water or some
containing oils, plasticizer and other materials that other collecting fluild.

30 Industrial Safety C,./onic!f