Air Products Home

News ReleaseRising Cost of Waste Drives Interest in Sustainable Solvent Recovery, Says Air Products

February 12, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

With landfill costs due to rise from the start of April 2004, the UK chemical and pharmaceutical industries are turning to the latest cryogenic methods of emissions control, capable of enhanced sustainability, in order to drive efficiency, according to Air Products.

In the past many chemicals and pharmaceutical businesses have relied on traditional emission abatement technologies, which work by a process of adsorption onto activated carbon, in order to manage the recovery of harmful solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, one significant drawback of such systems is the need to dispose of the VOC contaminated carbon materials at designated landfill sites.

From 1st April 2004 the cost of 'active waste' disposal is rising from £11 per tonne to £15 per tonne - an increase of 36% and are expected to rise further by 2010. According to Air Products, this increase in costs, is prompting many businesses to review their emissions control systems.

Diana Raine, business manager for cryogenic applications at Air Products, said:

"This hike in Landfill tax costs represents another cost burden for the UK chemicals and pharmaceutical industries, which will impact on their competitiveness.

"In readiness, many businesses are reviewing emissions control systems and where possible are adopting more sustainable solutions, such as cryogenic systems, capable of reusing recovered solvents."

Cryogenic solvent recovery technology is suitable for use across a range of manufacturing processes and such systems are now more compact and capable of recovering even the most complex VOCs at low gas flow rates. The systems can also be adapted quickly and easily on site to allow for changes in gas flows.

However, to date, only relatively few companies have found ways of reusing recovered solvents. Diana Raine explains:

"Pharmaceuticals and chemicals businesses are often required to go into production as quickly as possible - for example, as soon as a new drug has been sponsored. At this stage little thought is given to how waste substances may be reused. However, where the reuse of recovered solvent has gone ahead some companies have been able to achieve major savings, significantly reducing their solvent consumption.

"In terms of sustainability, cryogenic solvent recovery systems are an ideal solution. Not only can manufacturers reuse the recovered solvent as part of their own processes, they can also choose to sell the recovered solvent elsewhere if they prefer. In addition, the liquid nitrogen used as part of the cryogenic freezing process can itself be recovered and reused elsewhere on site to ensure an inert process environment."

For more information about cryogenic condensation technology, contact Air Products on 0800 3890202, visit or email  

About Air Products

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates.

Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. With annual revenues of $6.3 billion and operations in over 30 countries, the company's 18,500 employees build lasting relationships with their customers and communities based on understanding, integrity and passion. For more information, visit  

Issued by Citigate Communications on behalf of Air Products. For further information please call:
Christine Warren, Gill Holtom or Debbie Hall
Phone: 0121 456 3199

Connect with us on:

An error has occured, please fix the highlighted fields.
To request a quote or for more information about Air Products, please fill out the form below, and an Air Products representative will contact you shortly.
Please use the form below to contact us.

What can we answer for you?

  1. What kind of inquiry?

If you would prefer to contact us by phone, you can call any of our Air Products locations worldwide by visiting Worldwide Locations & Phone Numbers.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us to better understand our users. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Legal Notice to learn more.