What is a Wet Scrubber?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Wet scrubbers are a class of devices that are used to remove various types of pollutants from the gas streams in a furnace, flue, or other device. Manufacturing plants and facilities that process propane and other types of natural gas often make use of these devices. Most wet scrubber designs manage this process by using a solution known as scrubbing liquid. The gas is moved through the liquid in some manner, with the gas emerging from the process without the contaminants and pollutants that were present before going through the scrubber.


Depending on the design of the wet scrubber, this process of clearing contaminants from the gas may be handled in a couple of different ways. One of the more common approaches is to spray the cleaning solution into the gas. The solution attracts the heavier pollutants, causing them to disengage from the gas and attach to the liquid. As the gas passes through the stream, the contaminants are left behind.

Another approach calls for a wet scrubber design that forces the gas through a pool of scrubbing fluid. As in the spray approach, the contaminants are collected and bound by the fluid, while the gas passes through the filtering action of the pool. The result is gas that is free of dust particles and any other contaminants that could interfere with the efficient use of the gas.

In general, wet gas scrubbers include a few components that are found with any design. The typical scrubber includes ductwork and some sort of fan system that helps to force the gas through the chambers. Some type of pump is also present, as well as a collection area for the scrubbing liquid that has been used to clean gas. The pool design will also have a saturation chamber, while both basic designs will have some type of elimination system that moves the contaminated liquid away from the gas itself.

There are several advantages associated with the use of a wet scrubber. The devices can handle a wide range of temperatures and moisture content, making them ideal for operation in just about any environment. Any type of contaminant can be removed, assuming the configuration of the device is correct. This includes corrosive gases that are mixed in with the gas that requires decontamination.

While there are many benefits to the use of wet scrubbers, the devices do require maintenance in order to continue operating efficiently. Corrosion is an ongoing problem owing to the range of contaminants that are removed and the high humidity that is sometimes generated in various chambers of the scrubber. However, with routine maintenance and care, a wet scrubber can be used repeatedly over a number of years before it must be replaced.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Very good article, helped a lot with my essay. Thanks!!

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