If you’re following the news, then I’m sure you know how significant environmental concerns are in the world today.
Because of this, air pollutants have dropped significantly since 1990. However, there is still work to do, and businesses that pollute are stepping up.
With consumers adopting healthier lifestyles and reducing their environmental impact, you’re probably wondering what exactly factories and other industrial businesses are doing to help solve this problem. That’s why we wrote this post.
Keep reading below to learn what factories are doing today to reduce pollutants that they are giving off.
What is Air Pollution?
Air pollution is defined as the presence of unwanted particles and chemicals in the air that would not usually be there.
These pollutants can cause many problems for areas that have more factories. Here are a few of the common side-effects:
- Damage to the ozone layer
- Lung damage
- Respiratory illness
- Increased risk of cancer
- Water contamination
- Acid rain
Factories have long been one of the worse actors by releasing hazardous air pollutants. These pollutants have led to investigations into how they are contributing to this problem.
What Causes Factories to Produce Pollution?
Fossil fuel emission is one of the most significant sources of environmental pollution today. An estimated 22% of the total emissions come from industry.
Several different factory sources add to this problem.
Coal is a vital source of power, but it comes at a cost. When coal is heated, it releases a large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is because the weight of the carbon dioxide released weighs more than the amount of fuel produced, so the excess gets released.
It may not seem like it, but manufacturing plants come with different pollution sources.
Much of this comes from the heating of items to transform them into the products you love. Manufacturing plants will heat various oils and petroleum to high levels to break it down. This process is what helps the factory tick.
A side effect of this, however, is the release of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.
Does making food in bulk create pollution? Unfortunately, it does.
Different methods of cooking will release particulates into the atmosphere.
If you have a process which handles flour or grains, that will create a lot of dust. If that isn’t handled correctly then that all goes out as pollution.
Frying and smoking is also a significant contributor. When you use either of these cooking methods, soot makes its way into the air as a result.
How Are Factories Going to Reduce Pollutants?
It sounds simple, but it can be a complicated process to get right.
A lot of technology has been developed to help capture and destroy pollution before it gets out into the wild.
Here are some of the ways factories are tackling this problem.
The first thing to do is streamline your process, so there is no wasted energy. By reducing the power needed, you reduce the need for your factory to use excess heating and production methods that cause the release of pollution.
Switch to Natural Gas
While fracking has been a hot topic for debate, it does offer many benefits over coal and other fossil fuels.
The most significant improvement is that natural gas is a cleaner fuel. While it does have emissions, it is 50% less than coal. This amount is a significant improvement and a good stopgap until we can develop renewable sources that businesses can invest in.
Investing in Green Energy
Green energy has become a substantial investment in the manufacturing industry. Here are a few of the developments:
- Replacing smokestacks with wind turbines
- Switching to solar energy for power generation
- Investments in hydropower
- Development of photovoltaic (PV) systems systems
Some factories will use a dry scrub filter like the Wet Electrostatic Precipitator. A precipitator works by using static electricity to remove the soot and ash from fumes before they reach the smokestacks.
Gas Phase Filters
A gas phase filter will target substances such as sulfur oxide, nitric oxide, and VOCs. It works by putting small pellets inside of your filter and coating them with sodium permanganates which helps increase the absorption rate.
A catalytic oxidizer is a device that is placed near the point of emission in the air treatment area. It works by lowering the operating temperature which can result in fuel savings when treating any waste byproduct that comes from a factory.
Recuperative Thermal Oxidizer
A recuperative system acts similarly to a catalytic oxidizer by reducing the cost of running a system. It works by performing a heat transfer between steel heat exchangers. This will store the heat and move it back into a combustion chamber, reducing the need for it to heat itself.
Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer
A system using a regenerative thermal oxidizer will heat pollution to a high temperature to destroy it. It works by using temperatures of around 1500°F and handles pollution in high volumes.
A large, dense ceramic stoneware structure is used for heat storage. Pollution that passes through this is then destroyed thanks to the high heat.
When using a scrubbing device, pollutants are forced to pass through the scrubber which will absorb and destroy any contaminants that pass through it.
These scrubbers contain either liquid or cleaning material which acts to grab pollution as it passes through. The specific compound will depend on the type of emissions you are targetting.
Looking to the Future
The environment is a hot topic today, and it is something that needs to be addressed.
The improvements that are being made by the industry are proving that they are willing to look forward and take action to make sure that they can reduce pollutants now and in the future.
Are you looking to read more about the business world? Check out or business section to get more information.