A closer look at VOCs

What is a VOC?

The term VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) covers a wide range of chemicals which all contain carbon and have the potential to evaporate or vaporise at room temperature. If released into the atmosphere, VOCs can cause harm to both human health and the environment. 

VOCs can be colourless and odourless, meaning it is not always easy to establish if they are present. The hazards they pose to human health can vary depending on the length of time someone is exposed to the VOC, and how often they are in contact with the substance.

In the UK, VOCs are controlled under CoSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations which require effective control measures to be installed and maintained in order to protect people from exposure to harmful matter. Find out more by visiting www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/

Specific processes are also required to meet UK and European emission limits for VOCs to atmosphere. Environmental Permitting Guidance – The Solvent Emissions Directive published by DEFRA can be downloaded here.

VOCs in manufacturing

VOCs are commonly found in a wide range of manufacturing facilities. Paints, solvents, surface coatings and metalworking fluids can all contain known VOCs such as formaldehyde, acetone, benzene, methylene chloride and many more. 

The Chemical Hazards Compendium published on the UK Government’s website contains detailed information on specific chemicals and their associated risks.

VOC abatement

VOC abatement systems are designed to safely remove VOCs from the atmosphere. Methods used include Thermal Oxidation, Regenerative Thermal Oxidation and Catalytic Oxidation.

Find out more about Multi Fan Systems’ VOC abatement service.

Brofind Spa

Multi-Fan Systems is the sole UK representative for Italian company Brofind Spa which specialises in air treatment plants to remove VOCs and, if appropriate, to potentially recover solvents.

Brofind Spa RTO plants usually consist of three canisters containing ceramic media but, in the cases of high airflow multiple canisters, five or more can be used.

A hot side, high solvent bypasses can be used when high VOC concentrations are present to dispose of any excess heat. Brofind has also developed specific solutions which are ideal for treating emissions with lower VOC concentrations such as a two canister RTO with buffer tank system where appropriate.

Contact our team to find out more about Multi-Fan Systems’ VOC abatement service.

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