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Home / Blog / VOC Wet Scrubber: An Effective Air Pollution Solution - A Comprehensive Guide to Air Purification

VOC Wet Scrubber: An Effective Air Pollution Solution - A Comprehensive Guide to Air Purification



Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are airborne organic compounds present in the atmosphere. They are the primary air pollutants in industries such as printing, woodworking, dyeing, electronics, plastics, furniture, petroleum refining, rubber, chemicals, papermaking, tanning, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and other odorous gases and plant-derived volatile organic compounds.

An industrial VOC air scrubber is an essential device used to effectively remove organic volatile emissions from industrial exhaust streams, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and improving air quality.

What is VOCs and Why is it Harmful?

VOCs are a general term that encompasses various substances such as hydrocarbons, alcohols, amines, ethers, and others. Their sources can be diverse — they can be solvents used in manufacturing processes, chemicals released during cooking or combustion of materials, as well as various organic products.

There are over a thousand volatile chemical compounds a long list of chemical compounds characterized as gases or liquids at room temperature, usually containing fewer than 12 carbon atoms, as well as elements such as oxygen, fluorine, bromine, sulfur, and nitrogen.
The prevalent volatile organic compounds found in the atmosphere comprise methane, toluene, butane, pentane, ethane, benzene, propane, and ethylene. These compounds are formed in various industrial processes that involve organic solvents (such as acetaldehyde, benzene, aniline, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, acetone, ethanol, etc.).
The source of this classification is a compilation of commonly recognized categories of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) based on their chemical nature and properties. It is important to note that various sources and organizations may have slightly different classifications or variations within these categories.
The health hazards and environmental impact they can have vary depending on the specific compound.
Furthermore, all volatile organic chemicals, in combination with nitrogen oxides and sunlight, act as precursors to ground-level ozone (tropospheric ozone), which is highly detrimental to health as it causes severe respiratory issues.
It is also problematic that volatile organic compounds are typically odorous substances, and therefore, their production can have a very negative impact on the environment.

To mitigate the harmful effects of air contaminants emissions, industrial facilities must implement effective control measures. One widely used method for pollution control is the installation of scrubbers, devices that utilize liquid solutions to capture and remove pollutants from the air stream.

Methods for Air Purification

Air purification from air pollutants can be achieved through various methods. Let's consider some of them.
  • Air filtration: One of the most common methods of air purification is the use of specialized filters. These filters are capable of capturing the tiniest VOC particles, allowing only clean air to pass into the space. When choosing a filter, it is recommended to pay attention to its efficiency and its ability to capture different substances.
  • Use of adsorbents: Adsorbents are substances that can accumulate or attract contaminants from the air. They can be used as dedicated air purification products or integrated directly into the ventilation system of a room.
  • Ventilation and airing: Natural ventilation and airing of spaces help reduce the concentration of volatile air pollutants in the air. Regular airing assists in removing polluted air and replacing it with fresh air.

How Do Wet Scrubbers Work?

The operating principle depends on the design. Wet scrubbers utilize water or a special solution to capture and neutralize air pollutants. Due to the solubility of most gases in water and the equipment's specific features allowing the use of an active solution in the working circuit, these systems effectively filter out chemical and gas impurities. Contaminated air enters the scrubber, where it comes into contact with the cleansing solution. Contaminants dissolve or react with the liquid, efficiently removing them from the air. Then, the clean air is discharged back into the environment, either indoors or outdoors.
Venturi Scrubber Operation Diagram
Venturi Scrubber Operation Diagram

Cost Considerations

When evaluating the implementation of wet scrubbers for VOC control, cost is a crucial factor to consider.

The cost of VOC wet scrubbers can vary depending on factors such as facility size, air volume, and specific industrial process requirements.

When selecting a filter, attention should be paid to several characteristics:
  1. Capacity: It should be chosen based on the production requirements, specific processes, or equipment. Filtration systems can be used to enhance capacity and increase productivity.
  2. Filtration Efficiency: This refers to the cleanliness of the outgoing gas. It can range from 90% to 99.99%, depending on the desired level of purification.
  3. Fan Power: The power of the individual fan used in the filtration system.
  4. Capacity of the water and solution (absorbers) circulation pool: This refers to the size or capacity of the pool used for water and solution circulation.
Additionally, maintenance and operating expenses should be taken into account when calculating the overall cost.

Effectiveness of Wet Scrubbers

Wet scrubbers have proven to be highly effective in removing air pollutants from industrial air streams. The scrubber's VOC control efficiency is determined by factors such as the design of the scrubber, the contact time between the air and the scrubbing solution, and the characteristics of the airborne contaminants being targeted. Venturi scrubbers and VOC gas scrubbers are examples of wet scrubbers that offer high efficiency in capturing and removing volatile chemical compounds.

Benefits of Wet Scrubbers:
1. High pollutant removal efficiency: Scrubber equipment has demonstrated excellent performance in removing a wide range of contaminants and solvents, making it an effective choice for industrial air pollutant control.
2. Versatility: Wet scrubbers possess the capability to effectively treat a variety of pollutants, encompassing both water-soluble and insoluble volatile contaminants present in the air.
3. Simplicity of operation: Wet gas scrubbers are relatively easy to operate and require minimal operator intervention once properly set up.
4. Environmental compatibility: Unlike some other air pollutants control methods, wet cleaning system do not produce harmful byproducts or generate secondary pollutants.
Torch-Air Manufactured Scrubber
Torch-Air Manufactured Scrubber


Several types of scrubbers are suitable for air purification from volatile organic compounds. Some of them include:
  • Packed Bed Scrubbers consist of a packed tower filled with materials that increase the contact area between the air and the scrubbing liquid, enhancing the removal of volatile organic chemicals.
  • A Venturi Scrubber for VOCs utilizes the principle of high-velocity gas flow to create turbulence, enabling the scrubbing liquid to effectively capture and remove pollutants.
  • Solvent Scrubbers, known as absorption scrubbers, use a liquid solvent to absorb volatile air pollutants from the air stream, effectively removing them.
  • Adsorption Scrubbers utilize adsorbent materials to capture and remove air contaminants from the air by adsorbing them onto the surface of the material.
The selection of scrubber design depends on the presence of specific volatile organic chemicals, their concentration levels, and the desired degree of removal.

Top-notch Scrubbers: Case Studies

Tornado ST | Spray Tower Scrubber | Spray Chamber Scrubber
In the pursuit of cleaner and healthier air, the use of scrubbers has proven to be an effective solution for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the atmosphere. Scrubbers employ various mechanisms to eliminate harmful pollutants and enhance indoor air quality. Here, we present examples of innovative scrubber technologies along with their respective links, showcasing their efficiency in combating VOCs and promoting a fresh and breathable environment.

TORNADO-SP Packed Bed Scrubber with Structured Packing

Performance 600 — 30 000 cfm (1000 — 51000 m³/h)
The TORNADO-SP, created by Torch-Air, is an advanced air purification system that has been specifically engineered to effectively target and eliminate a wide spectrum of VOCs. The system utilizes a wet scrubber technology that incorporates a layer of packings, strategically positioned within support distribution grids. These packings possess a branched surface structure, maximizing the contact area for gas as it passes through while being simultaneously irrigated by water or an alternative solution.

TORNADO FB Fluidized Bed Scrubber

Performance: 100 — 175 000 cfm (170 — 297000 m³/h)
The TORNADO FB features multiple layers of packings, typically two or three, arranged on support-distribution grids. Each level of filtration includes a top grid with a generously-sized open section, strategically placed to prevent the erosion of floating beds within the unit. Its compact design and user-friendly interface make it an excellent choice for air purification needs.

Venturi Scrubber With a Cyclonic Separator

Performance: 100 — 175 000 cfm (170 — 297000 m³/h)
Experience efficient cleaning with our innovative system that utilizes mass exchange processing in the neck hole of the Venturi tube. Boost your air purification capabilities with our cutting-edge technology for a cleaner and healthier environment. Don't let harmful pollutants linger any longer - invest in our system to achieve superior cleaning results and breathe in fresh, contaminant-free air.

Ion BOREAS Compact Ion-Exchange Fiber-Bed Scrubber

Performance: 30 000 cfm (51000 m³/h)
The Ion-exchange scrubber, manufactured by Torch-Air, offers a high level of air purification by effectively removing volatile pollutants. This state-of-the-art technology is designed to efficiently capture a wide range of contaminating substances, including acidic, alkaline, and organic compounds, as well as unpleasant odors. Transform your exhaust, induction, and circulation ventilation systems into pristine environments, ensuring clean and fresh air for all.

Solvent Scrubbers

Solvent air scrubbers can utilize a variety of solvents depending on the specific application and requirements. Commonly used water, alcohol-based solvents, organic solvents (such as acetone or toluene), and specialized chemical solutions designed for air pollutants removal. The choice of solvent depends on factors such as the nature of the air contaminants to be removed, efficiency requirements, and environmental considerations.

Dry Scrubber vs Wet Scrubber for Removes VOC

Both wet scrubbers and dry scrubbers are used to remove volatile organic compounds from industrial emissions. However, they employ different mechanisms for volatile air pollutants removal.

A VOC wet scrubber uses a liquid (usually water) to capture and remove pollutants from the gas stream. The gas stream is passed through a chamber where it comes into contact with the liquid, causing the volatile organic substances to dissolve into the liquid and then treated or disposed of separately.

A dry scrubber utilizes solid adsorbents or reactive chemicals to capture and neutralize airborne pollutants from the gas stream. The gas stream is passed through a chamber containing the adsorbent or chemical, where the volatile air pollutants are adsorbed or chemically reacted with the material. The treated gas stream is then released into the atmosphere.
The choice between wet scrubbers and dry scrubbers for pollutants removal depends on factors such as the specific volatile organic chemicals to be removed, gas volume and concentration, water availability, regulatory requirements, and economic considerations.


The ability of scrubbers to remove a wide range of pollutants and solvents from the air makes them a popular choice for many facilities. Keep in mind that the cost of wet scrubber VOC control depends on various factors, so it is important to assess your specific needs and consult with experts to determine the most suitable solution for your business. Feel free to reach out to us for assistance!
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We always make extremely precise calculations and provide assistance in choosing the optimal cleaning systems, which usually takes 1 to 2 days.
Head of Engineering,
Vladimir Nikulin
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