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Adsorption plants are an efficient way of filtering VOC (volatile organic compounds) or other pollutants from exhaust air, flue and exhaust gases in industrial and municipal applications. In comparison to absorption processes, in which harmful substances are bound by the use of liquids, an adsorption plant concentrates the pollutants: These are physically attached to an adsorbent such as zeolite or activated carbon.

The adsorption process is efficient and cost-effective, especially for low to medium pollutant concentrations in large volume flows. If necessary, concentrated solvents, for example, can be recovered and reused with the help of other technologies.


Due to the comparatively simple design of an adsorption system, the investment costs are significantly lower compared to other exhaust air purification technologies.


Especially for exhaust air streams with low or medium concentrations of VOC and other harmful exhaust gases, the use of so-called VOC concentrators is of great advantage. The adsorption units run with consistent efficiency even if the concentrations of VOC in the incoming exhaust air fluctuate. Regular, cost-intensive replacement of the adsorbent is not necessary. The adsorbent is cleaned automatically by the desorption air.


VOC concentrators and downstream exhaust air purification systems such as regenerative thermal oxidation plants (RTO) can be realised by Wessel-Umwelttechnik turnkey without interfaces. These plant combinations are modular in design. This means that the plants can be adapted to the respective space conditions and requirements for exhaust air purification.


The adsorption plants from Wessel-Umwelttechnik are designed to be very low-maintenance and long-lasting. Special attention is paid to the selection of materials for the individual components. The low system costs of the VOC concentrator from Wessel-Umwelttechnik are also a big plus. Especially considering the minimised operating costs.


VOC are removed from a low-concentration exhaust air stream. The adsorbed solvents are released again in a highly concentrated small exhaust air stream for further treatment.

The central component of the adsorption units is the rotor. It is continuously rotated slowly in the exhaust air stream and passes through three zones that are sealed off from each other in order to concentrate the VOC.

In the first step, the exhaust air, already freed from dust, is passed through the adsorption zone of the rotor, where VOC are bound in an adsorbent, usually zeolite. Subsequently, the air pollutants are expelled again with the help of a small hot air flow in the desorption zone. This air stream is highly enriched with pollutants and must then be purified. In the case of VOC concentrators, this is done in a downstream thermal incinerator. Regenerative or catalytic processes are also possible. In the third zone, the previously heated adsorbent (zeolite or activated carbon) is cooled down and is now available to absorb pollutants again. This desorption air flow is highly concentrated and up to 20 times less than the actual exhaust air flow to be cleaned. Due to this circumstance, thermal exhaust air purification can be realised in a cost-optimised way. The operating costs are also reduced to a minimum, as so-called autothermal operation, i.e. operation without the use of fuels, is given.


Adsorption plants clean large volume flows of exhaust air and waste gases. Insofar, this technology is suitable in industrial environments where a lot of exhaust air has to be cleaned continuously. VOC concentrators have proven their worth in many different industries, including:

  • automotive and supplier industry
  • printing and coating industry
  • semiconductor industry
  • paint manufacturing
  • foundries
  • chemical industry
  • battery cell production

Do you have any questions on adsorption plants?

If you have any need or interest, please do not hesitate to contact us! We look forward to hearing from you:

Tel.: +49 (0) 40 22 868 19 - 0
E-mail: info(at)wessel-umwelttechnik.de

Or send an online request by using our contact form.

Adsorption using activated carbon (WE-SORB)

The adsorption of pollutants with the help of activated carbon is considered to be particularly efficient and cost-effective. The use of activated carbon as a filter material is suitable for a variety of applications – not only to separate pollutants such as solvents, but also odours from exhaust gases, vents, and wastewater. Activated carbon can also clean large volume flows without any problems.

The advantages of activated carbon in exhaust air purification

Due to its highly porous structure, activated carbon has a large internal surface area and is used in a number of applications for exhaust gas and waste air purification. Systems with activated carbon show high separation efficiencies – even with changing exhaust air loads. At the same time, they require comparatively low energy costs, are extremely safe to operate and require little maintenance and operation.

Sustainable technical solution

The loaded activated carbon used can usually be reactivated and then reused – this distinguishes the use of activated carbon as a sustainable solution.

As an indication: In contrast to one container of fresh carbon, the same amount of reactivated carbon saves about 93 tonnes of CO2.

Customised activated carbon adsorption

Activated carbon adsorption systems mean maximum efficiency while complying with the legal requirements for clean air. Wessel-Umwelttechnik offers simple and robust exhaust air purification technology in modular container design. Adsorption plants can thus be tailored exactly to the space available on site.


Minimised operating expenses

Our WE-SORB activated carbon adsorption systems are designed as a multi-chamber system. Two units with activated carbon are connected in series. Exhaust gases and vapours can flow through the containers in different sequences using the down-flow principle. The background is to achieve a maximum service life of the activated carbon until it is replaced – without violating the legal clean gas values.


All-round carefree package

Please send us your enquiry about activated carbon adsorption and get more detailed information about our plants. We will tailor the ideal system for your application and requirements and install it at your site. Of course, we also provide guarantees for compliance with the legally required clean gas values. As a special service within the scope of our 360° support, you can also have the loaded activated carbon replaced and reactivated by us during ongoing operation.

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