Meet the Cousin of the Cooling Tower… the Air Stripper

Air Strippers & DegassifiersA cooling tower is a piece of process equipment that uses the principles of convection and evaporation to release waste energy and heat into the environment reducing the temperature of the processed water. There are tens of thousands of industrial plants that require large amounts of cooling water to run their facilities. Cooling towers were originally invented to recycle water that would otherwise be wasted, and they save about 98% of the water used in their application. This has also resulted in savings to the environment in the form of water and energy. Cooling towers are used most commonly in chemical plants, power stations, and oil refineries; but can also be found in HVAC systems in used to cool buildings. They range in size and shape from small structures designed for roofs to the large curved structures generally pictured next to power plants in the cultural eye.

Some cooling tower manufacturers have found other positive environmental applications for this technology to be used in as well. Often, especially in the petrochemical industries, harmful chemicals are mixed in with groundwater or surface water, contaminating it for further human consumption or other environmental use. Air stripping solutions are responsible for the safe removal of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in many groundwater sources. Air strippers work through aeration of the water stream by forcing air through the water, releasing harmful vapors.

The most common types of air stripping solutions are packed-column strippers, which are cylindrical towers filled with a random or structured packing material- normally made from plastic. The contaminated water is pumped into the top of the tower, and distributed over the packing material. As the water flows over the material, it maximizes the surface area that is exposed to the air blowing from the bottom of the tank. The VOCs transfer into the air stream and move to the top of the tower where they are either released to atmosphere or they are ducted away for further treatment as necessary. The finished water is collected in the sump of the tower and tested to verify tower performance. This is one of the most environmentally safe and effective ways of removing harmful VOCs from ground water, and the water that is purified can be used even in municipal water sources when it is clean.

Delta’s broad knowledge and vast experience has enabled the company to continually develop and refine the Delta Vanguard® line of standard air stripping towers. Read more here.

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