According to Robert Stark, Vice President, Southern Region for Envirogen, the synergistic combination of process expertise, high-tech media and service program is key to the dramatic cost-reductions available with EnviroHPA Systems. "Activated carbon has been an excellent tool in environmental treatment for decades for its low cost and adaptability into different applications. However, advances in material science have given us a whole new range of adsorbing media, which when expertly applied, have incredible performance characteristics and offer significant improvements in both treatment efficiency and cost performance. With EnviroHPA Systems, we can achieve both," he said. "In the past, the high initial costs and the complexities of working with these high performance media have been considered, by some, to present risk that would not justify moving away from dated activated carbon systems. Because of our thirty-plus years of experience with adsorptive media and our system design capabilities, Envirogen has been able to eliminate the risk to customers and to guarantee performance and costs over the life of an installation. This sets the stage for the dramatic cost and carbon footprint reductions we can now offer," he added.
Advanced media technology key to performance and costs
For industrial aqueous and vapor phase treatment applications, Envirogen employs synthetic adsorbents manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company (DOW). These adsorbents offer a very high surface area and optimized pore size distribution – characteristics that offer substantially increased absorption capacity, rapid adsorption kinetics, a range of desorption options and excellent physical and chemical stability. Faster kinetics and higher contaminant loading can translate into higher hydraulic rates with a smaller system footprint - decreasing operations and maintenance costs for the treatment process and lowering initial capital expenditures for overall site improvements and utilities that accompany an adsorbent installation.
Enhanced desorption characteristics allow media to be regenerated in place with heat, steam, aqueous acids or bases – leading to an extended media bed life in use. The extended bed life of EnviroHPA System media is critical to a number of advantages over activated carbon. These include substantially lower lifecycle media costs when activated carbon must be reactivated or disposed off-site when it is spent, because of the energy that is required to conduct the reactivate or transportation and disposal costs. In-place reactivation eliminates the transportation associated with supply and removal of activated carbon from the site, and can offer significant reduction in the scale of site improvements and truck traffic. Regeneration of the EnviroHPA System media provides a more predictable, lower cost for operation and maintenance over the life of the project – especially when fluctuating prices for activated carbon are factored in. It is also a more sustainable solution with lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
According to Dr. Bob Goltz, a 30-year Separation Scientist and DOW veteran, with proper system design, operations and management, DOW synthetic media has the potential to substantially reduce lifecycle costs and treat difficult waste streams. "DOW is pleased to be working with Envirogen and stands ready to assist with decades of product and application development expertise for use of our products in aqueous and vapor phase applications," he said.
Bob Stark agrees that the performance and economics of the EnviroHPA Systems merit a long look by environmental facility managers and consulting engineers who are considering or using activated carbon as a treatment technology. "We're very excited about the opportunity EnviroHPA Systems represent as a high-performing, cost-effective alternative to activated carbon installations – and to working with DOW to optimize this technology for the market. In many instances, we are able to offer predictable, lower operating costs, and guaranteed performance for the life of these installations. And, we're doing it in a way that is better for the environment – by lowering the overall carbon footprint," he said. "While certain applications and contaminant types are a better fit for EnviroHPA Systems, today, we feel that anyone who is looking at activated carbon should consider the EnviroHPA Systems approach," he added.