System Upgrades that Treat EtO Emissions for Better Safety & Compliance
Intense regulatory scrutiny regarding ethylene oxide has left sterilization plants scrambling to meet new, more restrictive emissions requirements in some states. Many of these facilities have already invested heavily in air pollution control equipment to treat ethylene oxide (EtO) and lack the budget and timetable to purchase new and compliant systems. For these plants, retrofitting or upgrading existing equipment may be the most suitable solution for the long-term, or for the time being.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to altering an existing pollution control system to achieve higher destruction efficiencies from ethylene oxide sterilization operations. Many factors must be considered, including a plant’s operational goals, DRE requirements (or expected new requirements), waste stream, and existing system limitations. Some abatement equipment will allow for fairly simple modifications or minor adjustments, while others may require extensive retrofits.
Below are just a few examples of ways we’ve overcome compliance and/or safety challenges for customers with EtO sterilization applications:
- Replacing the current catalyst in a catalytic oxidizer with a higher-performing catalyst
- Changing fan configuration from forced draft to induced draft to maintain a negative pressure on the system, further reducing the potential impact of fugitive emissions through leakage
- Inspecting equipment to identify and repair any leaky components or bypasses
- Adding specific equipment to prevent highly concentrated chamber emissions “spikes” from causing an upset condition
- Developing a proactive maintenance plan to keep instruments calibrated correctly to avoid deviations or outages
- Reconfiguring the system to provide secondary treatment to the stream
Controls upgrades should also be considered, as control system design is vital to process equipment reliability, functionality, and efficiency. Newer PLC models offer advanced features that enable faster prediction and prevention of system issues, enhancing safe operation as well as compliance. These can also improve operational efficiencies and data collection, providing real-time key performance indicators for everything from PMS management to business analytics.
Our technical services division, PolSys Services, repairs, retrofits, and upgrades every make and model of air pollution control equipment, including catalytic oxidizers for treatment of EtO sterilization emissions. We’re unique in that we also have the experience and technical expertise to upgrade industrial controls. Whatever your EtO abatement needs, we can recommend the right solution to ensure compliance and safety while providing high on-stream time and reliability. Contact us to learn more.
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