Chris Anguil, President of Anguil Environmental Systems, talks to AZoM about emission control strategies and technologies for the chemical processing industry.
Could you please provide our readers with a brief introduction to the industries that Anguil Environmental works within?
Our thermal and catalytic oxidizer systems are applied on any industrial process that is regulated for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) or Nitrogen Oxides (NOX). Some of these industries include chemical processing, pharmaceutical, automotive, composites, petroleum, printing and ethanol but there are several applications in miscellaneous industries that are also regulated.
Domestically, the control of these off-gases are enforced under the Clean Air Act but regulations are taking hold throughout the world and we are prepared to handle the increased demand. With regards to the chemical processing industry specifically, it has long been regulated for these emissions.
The applications where oxidizers are applied in a chemical plant can vary greatly in both volume and composition. I think our ability to supply custom air pollution control solutions has been crucial to our success on applications in this industry.
How has Anguil Environmental grown and changed since the company was founded in 1978?
Anguil has evolved into a global solutions provider, not just an equipment manufacturer. We did this while holding onto our family founded principals without the financial backing that many larger corporations have access to. There are challenges to organic growth but I think there is also value in the experiences learned. We are continually looking for ways to improve our offering by utilizing the strengths of our employees.
One of our more recent growth initiatives was implementing a process improvement program called Stage Gate. It forced us to take a closer look at how business is routed through our company. We are much more methodical about our project management now which has reduced errors and dramatically improved efficiencies.
Essentially a project cannot move to the next stage of production without making sure certain checks and balances have been met. That’s not to say that an engineer can’t still walk drawings on to the shop floor to expedite a project but they won’t start cutting metal until certain criteria is met. Ultimately we are able to offer customers a higher quality system at a lower price.
Why is it important that companies operating in the Chemical Processing Industry use emission control technology and have strategies in place to deal with the process emissions they produce?
When left untreated, VOCs and HAPs degrade in the presence of sunlight and contribute to low-lying ozone, or smog. In addition to their harmful effects on trees, plants and wildlife; VOCs and HAPs are known to cause respiratory ailments, birth defects, heart conditions, nervous system damage and cancer in humans.
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Chemical companies that invest in the procurement, operation and maintenance of their air pollution control systems will see benefits in the form of lower operating costs, higher destruction efficiency, fewer shutdowns and a smaller carbon footprint.
What kinds of emission control strategies and technologies can Anguil Environmental offer to organisations currently operating in the chemical process industry?
Anguil has almost 40 years of experience supplying thermal and catalytic oxidizers to companies around the world that manufacture chemicals like Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), Polyethylene Terephthalic (PET) and formaldehyde. Other chemical related installations include the production of paints, coatings, adhesives, and resins; all of which are equally as challenging from a pollution prevention perspective.
What are the key considerations to take into account when deciding upon the type of oxidizer technology which is best suited for a chemical processing application?
Oxidizer selection is based on airflow, temperature, contaminants and concentrations. It is important to consider these process parameters as well as the destruction requirements and efficiency needs when determining which type of oxidation technology to apply on a given process. Since oxidizers are designed for worst case scenario it is important to fully evaluate and understand your operating conditions.
Chemical companies can lower the capital cost of an air pollution control project by making process modifications upstream that reduce the size and workload of an oxidizer downstream. This is where working with an established and experienced oxidizer supplier will really pay dividends.
How does Anguil Environmental differentiate itself from its competitors in the emission control market?
Each one of the oxidation technologies uses high temperature combustion in a unique manner with distinct advantages for varying process conditions. The fact that we offer all of the abatement and concentration technologies gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors. It ensures that our customers get an unbiased equipment recommendation based on their process conditions, destruction requirements, and efficiency demands.
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For example, Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTOs) are arguably the most widely applied abatement technology on the market. However, catalytic oxidizers have a distinct advantage on many chemical processing off-gases. We routinely run capital and operating cost comparisons for chemical companies so they can make an informed decision.
Our service capabilities also differentiate us from most competitors. Anguil has almost four decades of experience servicing thousands of oxidizers of all makes and models. In today’s volatile market there aren’t many of our competitors that can make that claim. The fact is quite a few of our service customers own oxidizers from manufacturers that just aren’t around anymore. In fact last year we serviced systems made by 20 different oxidizer manufacturers.
Do you have any recent case studies from the chemical processing industry which you are particularly proud of?
It’s always gratifying when existing customers comes back to us for a new oxidizer system. One such customer in the Middle East had purchased a catalytic oxidizer from us back in 1990’s for their PTA plant process. When the plant decided to double production capabilities they asked us to take a look at the oxidizer options. We replaced their existing Anguil catalytic oxidizer with two, energy-efficient Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTOs).
When compared to the old catalytic oxidizer, the new RTOs collectively emit 5,000 fewer tons per year of CO2 emissions and 5 tons each year of NOX emissions, which corresponds to approximately 10 MMBTU/hr of reduced auxiliary fuel consumption.
The plant essentially doubled the capacity of the abatement device, lowered operating costs and reduced their carbon footprint all while achieving greater than 98% destruction of the targeted pollutants.
How do you see the emission control industry progressing over the next ten years and how do you see Anguil Environmental being part of this change?
Some experts argue that while oxidizer systems prevent hazardous chemicals from being released into the atmosphere, they also emit significant amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Nitrous Oxides (NOX). Contrary to popular belief, CO2 and NOX are not necessarily a by-product of these air pollution control devices, especially the newer technologies.
However, there are certain features that an oxidizer should have in order to achieve self-sustaining, fuel-free destruction. With mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting on the horizon, oxidizer operators will really need to pay attention to operating costs and look for ways to reduce the energy demands of their oxidation systems.
About Chris Anguil
Over the past twenty years, Chris Anguil has devoted his career to the technical sale and application of Anguil Environmental’s air pollution control and energy recovery systems.
As the President, he is currently responsible for both the revenue and profit for this internationally recognized supplier.
Chris holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. He serves on the environmental committee for numerous trade associations and is intimately familiar with the air pollution control needs of industry.
Anguil Environmental Systems is proud to be a family owned and operated company headquartered in Milwaukee, WI and engaged in an industry that ensures future generations a sustainable environment. The entire organization remains dedicated to its’ slogan, “Committed to Cleaner Air.”
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