Deutsch: Wäscher / Español: Depurador / Português: Lavador / Français: Épurateur / Italiano: Scrubber

A scrubber in the industrial and industry context refers to a type of air pollution control device that is used to remove particulates and/or gases from industrial exhaust streams. Scrubbers play a crucial role in environmental management by helping industries comply with air quality standards and regulations, protecting the environment and human health.


Scrubbers work by bringing the polluted exhaust gases into contact with a scrubbing liquid, typically water or a specialized solution. The contaminants are either absorbed into the liquid or undergo a chemical reaction with it. There are several types of scrubbers:

  • Wet Scrubbers: These remove pollutants by capturing them in a liquid droplet. They are effective at controlling both gases and particulate matters.
  • Dry Scrubbers: Instead of a liquid, these use a dry reagent or slurry that is injected into the exhaust stream to neutralize the pollutants.
  • Electrostatic Scrubbers: Use electrical forces to charge and collect pollutants before they are removed from the exhaust flow.

Application Areas

Scrubbers are employed in a variety of industries including:

  • Power Plants: Particularly in coal-burning plants, to remove sulfur oxides and other pollutants.
  • Chemical Manufacturing: To capture and neutralize acidic gases and chemical fumes.
  • Metal Processing Facilities: For controlling particulate matter produced during smelting or other metallurgical processes.
  • Waste Management Facilities: To treat gases produced in waste incineration.

Well-Known Examples

  • Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) Units: Commonly found in power plants, these wet scrubbers remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust gases, a major contributor to acid rain.
  • Venturi Scrubbers: Utilized in various industries, these are particularly effective at removing fine particles and are known for their ability to handle high-temperature and high-humidity gas streams.

Treatment and Risks

The effective operation of scrubbers involves several considerations:

  • Maintenance and Operation Costs: Scrubbers require regular maintenance to prevent clogging and corrosion, and to ensure efficient operation.
  • Waste Disposal: Handling and disposing of the waste products collected by scrubbers, especially in wet systems, can be challenging and requires adherence to environmental regulations.
  • Water Usage: Wet scrubbers consume a significant amount of water, which can be a concern in areas where water conservation is a priority.

Similar Terms

  • Air Cleaner: Generally refers to devices that clean air but may not necessarily deal with heavy industrial pollutants.
  • Filter: Used to remove particles from air or liquids, but typically does not involve chemical reactions or liquid solvents.
  • Emissions Control System: A broader term that includes various devices and systems designed to reduce pollutants released into the environment.


Scrubbers are essential devices in industrial pollution control strategies, helping to significantly reduce harmful emissions from industrial activities. By employing various technologies, scrubbers ensure that industries meet environmental standards, contributing to cleaner air and better public health.


You have no rights to post comments