We have over 15 years of experience in designing emission control systems a range of application.

Custom systems include:

  • VOC control systems
  • HAP
  • Mist elimination
  • Particulate removal
  • Acid gas scrubbers
  • Packed bed scrubbers
  • Wet dust collectors
  • Carbon adsorption systems
  • Biological treatment equipment

VOC, HAP, mist elimination, particulate and acid gas scrubbers.

Contact us today to learn more about how Clean Harbors can build a custom system for your emission control needs.

Vapor-Phase Granular Activated Carbon Adsorption


Vapor-phase Granular Activated Charcoal (GAC) is a treatment technology that removes contaminants from air.  Contaminated air is passed through one or more vessels containing GAC.  Contaminants sorb onto the surfaces of the activated carbon grains.  Thermally processing carbon,  often made of coal or coconut shells, creates small particles with a large internal surface area.  This processing activates the carbon.  The activated carbon attracts and adsorbs molecules as well as certain metal and inorganic compound  molecules. When the concentration of contaminants in the off-gas exiting the vessels exceeds a certain level, the carbon must be replaced. Spent carbon can be removed and regenerated at an off-site facility or removed and disposed.

Limitations and Concerns

Some degradation products such as vinyl chloride and smaller molecules are not sorbed well, and consequently must be monitored carefully.

All spent carbon eventually needs to be disposed in landfills or regenerated. There are few regeneration facilities, especially if the spent carbon is classified as hazardous waste. 

Carbon used for some contaminants (e.g., metals) may not be regenerated.

Spent carbon transport may require hazardous waste handling.

Relative humidity greater than 50% can reduce carbon capacity.

Elevated temperatures from SVE pumps (greater than 38° C or 100° F) inhibit capacity.

Some compounds, such as ketones, may cause carbon bed fires because of they generate heat upon adsorption.


Activated carbon technology is used to treat off-gas contaminated with VOCs and some fuels.

The technology is well proven, and is frequently part of remedial designs.