Troubleshooting Air Scrubber Internals

Having to troubleshoot air scrubber internals can be a complex process because there are so many things that can contribute to an under performing system. Air scrubber internals are typically designed based on very specific process data and performance parameters. Many details must be considered in the design and selection on Air scrubber internals such as material selection, configuration of the part and cost to name a few. All scrubber internals must be designed to work to gather in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Because there are so many factors involved in designing air scrubber internals troubleshooting an under-performing system can be complex and time consuming.

The first task that should be addressed when troubleshooting an air scrubber is to confirm and check all calculations and design data. In some cases a simple adjustment in the scrubber pressure or liquid rate may fix the efficiency issue. You can also consider making adjustments to the systems operations and settings. Secondary equipment such as blowers and pumps should also be tested to ensure that they are performing per their specific specifications.

It is important to check all process piping and connections for leaks. Leaks in piping, fittings or any other connection may result in significant pressure drop adversely affecting air scrubber’s performance. Another consideration when trouble shooting is the recirculation liquid. The solids concentration in the recirculation liquid may be too high and may require bleed-off and an increase in fresh water.  Air scrubbers and air scrubber internals may also be susceptible to corrosion which can lead to an increased amount of abrasive solids in the system which can cause plugging which affects the system’s pressure and may cause damage throughout the air scrubber. It is important to monitor the system’s PH levels in order to reduce corrosion.

A detailed inspection of the air scrubber internals may also be in order while troubleshooting. Each individual air scrubber internal including the mist eliminator, liquid distributor, bed limited, packing support, plastic random packing or any other internal may need to be inspected to confirm the design and check for damage. There are a number of potential issues related to the plastic random packing in a system. The plastic random packing or scrubber media is a very critical air scrubber internal because it provides an area for liquid and air contact.

The following are problems or concerns with respect to scrubber packed beds. If the system is experiencing water rate and pressure issues it may be because the liquid distributor is not evenly or fully distributing liquid over the bed of plastic random packing. The operator should check for plugs and confirm the liquid distributor’s pattern if possible. The packed bed may also flood if the liquid or gas flow is too high.

Careful inspection of the plastic random packing should also be done. The scrubber packing bed may become plugged due to solids. There are types of plastic random packing that are less susceptible to plugging such as the Kempac Tri-Pack or Pall Ring packing. Both the Tri-Pack and Pall Ring packing are specifically designed to prevent build-up and plugging. The chances of having to troubleshoot your air scrubber and air scrubber internals can be greatly reduced by implementing a maintenance program.