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Ethylene Oxide is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) with the chemical formula of C2H4O. Ethylene Oxide is colorless gas that has a slightly sweet odor; this odor is particularly noticeable when concentration in the air meets or exceeds 500ppm. This gas is highly flammable and carries a plethora of health risks. Ethylene oxide is water soluble and is highly reactive with many acidic and alkaline compounds. Because of this, Ethylene Oxide is commonly used in the creation of dozens of industrial and sterilization chemicals.
Where is Ethylene Oxide Found?
Though first identified in 1859 by a chemist in Germany, Ethylene Oxide made its commercial debut in 1914 when BASF opened a facility that used what is now considered an inefficient process to create the compound known as the chlorohydrin process. The process has since evolved to become safer, and more efficient making Ethylene Oxide the most commonly used industrial chemical on the planet. [Read more…]
CASE STUDY – TANK TERMINAL
- Employees: 5,700
- Industry: Chemical and Gas Storage
- Project Type: Tank Storage
- Project Goal: Providing efficient pollution control for tank storage facility
- Location: Deer Park, TX
- Equipment Type: Vapor Combustor Unit
Gulf Coast Environmental Systems was tasked with finding a pollution control solution for a tank terminal located near Houston, TX
This customer is the world’s largest independent tank terminal operator specializing in the storage and handling of liquid and gaseous chemical and oil products with 69 tank terminals in 25 countries around the world. The facility we were asked to provide a solution for is located in Deer Park, TX on the Gulf of Mexico. This terminal currently holds 243 tanks that store a number of biofuels, chemicals, petroleum products, base oils, and lubricants. [Read more…]
What is a Bake-Out, and Why Is It Necessary?
Field service and maintenance on pollution control equipment can be complicated. GCES prides itself on having one of the most capable teams of service experts in the field service, with over 75 combined years of industry specific experience. Our team understands the importance of a customer understanding their equipment’s specific needs. In their continuing commitment to extending the life of pollution control equipment for GCES customers, they regularly provide maintenance tips, based on their real-world experience.
A bake-out is a maintenance function that must be performed on a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer, in order to clean the media bed. The bed of the RTO accumulates process specific aerosols and particulates over time, which can cause alter the unit’s ability to function as it was designed to. Efficiency, capacity, and reliability of the unit may be compromised, if the ceramic media beds performance is inhibited. If left unclean for a prolonged period, the risks of fire, and total shutdown may become more prevalent.
A bake-out involves heating the ceramic media beds to a predetermined, extremely high temperature, in order to burn off all the accumulates. Temperatures may vary, depending on the design of the equipment. This area of the RTO can be difficult to manually access, so a bake-out is the most efficient way to remove and destroy these particulates. Think of it like the “self-cleaning” button on your kitchen oven. [Read more…]
CASE STUDY – NUCLEAR WASTE
- Industry: Nuclear
- Project Type: Soil Remediation
- Location: Benton County, Washington
- Project Goal: Treat highly contaminated waste vapors
- Equipment Type: Thermal Catalytic Oxidizer
Gulf Coast Environmental Systems was tasked with finding a solution for decommissioned nuclear waste storage tanks that were leaking contaminated toxic vapors into the environment.
Seventy years ago, this site produced plutonium for the United States’ nuclear arsenal. Now, it’s run by the Department of Energy through a contractor. The contractor is managing a $110 billion cleanup of 56-million-gallons of chemical and nuclear waste, stored in 177 underground tanks. It is estimated that 150-300 gallons of radioactive waste per year was leaking into the environment. This cleanup project is expected to last the next 50 years. This contractor asked GCES to find an extremely long lasting solution that would destroy 99% of the toxins in the polluted waste vapors, that were escaping the tanks. [Read more…]