EA offer advice to operators on fire risks in activated carbon filters.

Activated carbon is widely used for emissions and odour treatment. Under normal operating conditions the likelihood of fire is low, however, there are certain circumstances in which fire could occur.

Activated carbon is usually processed charcoal which has a high surface area in comparison with other packing media. It is used in many industrial processes to adsorb organic chemicals including Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) for example as a primary abatement, removing impurities from biogas to protect CHP engines or as a polishing 'tertiary' process. It can be impregnated with a range of different chemicals for specific applications, for instance it is commonly impregnated with 5-10% caustic soda to improve the removal of hydrogen sulphide.

How does it work?

Organic chemicals in an airstream 'stick' to the activated carbon as they pass through it. The size of the carbon filter, concentration of pollutants and the airflow will determine how long the carbon lasts before it is saturated and requires replacing

For further information on this and the EA Technical Guidance note 12, please click HERE

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Jun 23
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