Contaminated ground water or surface water occurs when manmade products such as gasoline, oil and chemicals get into the water and cause it to become unsafe and unfit for human consumption. Since half of the United States population is dependent on groundwater it is extremely important to protect this resource. Drinking contaminated groundwater can have serious health effects. Wildlife can also be harmed by contaminated groundwater. A good example are the pesticides and fertilizers that can find their way into groundwater or other water supplies. Other examples of sources of groundwater contamination include storage tanks which may become corroded, crack and develop leaks, Septic systems that are not maintained properly, Hazardous waste that is not properly disposed, landfill runoff, road salts and atmospheric contaminates.
One of the most efficient ways to clean contaminated ground water or surface water is to utilize an air stripper. Air stripping is the process of moving air through contaminated groundwater or surface water in a treatment system. Air Stripping removes chemicals called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that easily evaporate which means they can change from a liquid to a vapor. The air passing through contaminated water helps evaporate VOCs faster and more efficiently. After treating the water, the air and chemical vapors are collected, and the vapors are either removed or vented. Air stripping uses an air stripping column to force air through contaminated water and evaporate VOCs. The most popular type of air stripper is a packed column air stripper which is a vertical tank filled with plastic random packing such as kempac’s Tri-Pack, plastic Pall Ring or plastic Saddle. Contaminated water is pumped into the top of the column and sprayed over the plastic random packing material. The water trickles downward though the spaces between the plastic random packing. Air is blown into the bottom of the column. As the air rises through the column it flows across the packing and contaminated water. The plastic random packing provides an area for the air and contaminated water to mix and helps to increase the rate of evaporation. The air is collected at the top of the column and can be released or treated while the water is collected at the bottom of the column and where it can be tested. This process can take months or even years depending on contamination concentrations and the amount of water required to be treated.
Selecting the proper plastic random packing is important when designing an air stripper. Kemflo manufactures three types of packing that should be considered when designing an air stripper under the kempac brand name. these packing include the Tri-Pack style, Plastic Pall Ring and the Plastic Saddle. The Tri-Pack is available is 1”, 2” and 3.5”. The Plastic Pall Ring is available in 1”, 2” and 3.5”. The Plastic Saddle packing is available in 1”, 2” and 3”. The Tri-Pack style is most commonly used in air stripping applications due to its unique design. The Tri-Pack is a spherical column packing that is constructed of a network of ribs, struts and drip rods. The Tri-Pack’s superior geometric shape and active surface area make it the ideal random packing for air stripping applications.
For more information about kemflo’s Kempac plastic random packing product line please visit our website at www.kempac-packing.com.