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Ethylene Oxide Sterilizer - recovery of ethylene glycol

Hello all,

Is anyone extremely familiar with ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilizers. 
There is only like 80 in the U.S.  and we have one here in my county.  

Here is my question.  I am unfamiliar with the operation.  The facility
uses an acid scrubber to remove EtO from the airstream.  The scrubber
produces ethylen glycol as a by-product.  The facility used to be able
to have a sellable product in the ethylene glycol (EG) by drawing off
partial amounts of liquid from the scrubber so that the EG was at a 50%
concentration.  However, this was in violation of the Air Quality MACT
for sterilizers.  This was considered a partial transfer according to
the rule.  Now, the waste is not at 50% EG so the EG is all hauled as
hazardous waste.  

Any ideas on how this process works and is there some way to get this
waste into a sellable concentration.  I copied parts of their permit
below to see if anyone is aware of a viable compliant alternative to
ethylene glycol recovery:

Essential Potential to Emit (PTE) Parameters

A.1.  Capacity.  The permittee shall not allow the sterilization unit

A.	Initiate more than 3 sterilization cycles in any one day.
B.	Exceed a daily maximum ETO usage rate of 420 pounds (140 pounds
of ETO (mixture)/cycle; three cycles/day).
C.	The Damas scrubber's liquid level shall be kept between 40"
(initial charge) and 79"(maximum design) inches deep and no higher than
the level (site-specific operating parameter) established during the
most recent compliance test.
D.	Removing scrubber liquid (or partial transfers) in order to stay
below the site-specific operating parameter established during the most
recent compliance test is prohibited.
E.	Have a device which reduces the vertical momentum or dispersion
of the exhaust gas from Stack C, when operating in the Initial Mode of

Tammy L. Allen
Senior Environmental Specialist
Pollution Prevention and Resource Recovery Program
Pinellas County Environmental Management
512 S. Ft. Harrison Ave.
Clearwater, FL  33763

(727) 464-4761
Fax (727) 464-3174

e-mail: tallen@co.pinellas.fl.us

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