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The Benefit of Ammonia Scrubbers in Acetylene Operations

Could your acetylene operations benefit from an ammonia scrubber?

What is Ammonia:

Ammonia is a colorless gas composed of nitrogen and hydrogen that has a distinct pungent smell and is widely used in various applications. However, ammonia is hazardous and can cause serious skin and respiratory irritation. It has specific exposure limits and precautions.


Ammonia can be extremely hazardous to acetylene operations. Raw acetylene, as it exits a wet calcium carbide generator, contains several impurities. One of these impurities is ammonia. The ammonia content in generated acetylene results from the reaction of calcium cyanamide with water during the production process. Upon compression, ammonia becomes a thick, black, semi-loquacious compound. This  compound can cause valves, sensors, gauges, manifold lines, safety equipment, and even cylinders themselves to become clogged. Thus, reductions in performance and safety equipment effectiveness ultimately requires more maintenance, mostly through replacement, not repair or cleaning. The alternative is to use an acetylene purifier and purification compound, Monkey Dust, to remove these impurities. This process is costly as the material requires regeneration and/or replacement, resulting in down-time for plant operations.


Ammonia is water soluble.  As long as the water doesn’t become saturated, the process can continue/be repeated with high efficiency.  Rexarc’s ammonia scrubbers are designed to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of ammonia absorption through the acetylene generation process.  With proper placement in the purification stream, approximately 99% of ammonia is removed, producing industrial grade purity without the use of a purifier, equipment down-time, or as frequent down-stream equipment cleaning and replacement.

As a result: 

The investment in a Rexarc ammonia scrubber quickly pays for itself by minimally doubling the service life of downstream equipment such as valves, flashback arrestors, and cylinders. Safety is also enhanced because compressed ammonia sludge isn’t putting undue pressure on valving  Additionally, there is also the ability to easily connect the ammonia scrubber controls to the compressor controls. In the event that an eminent overflow of water be detected, it will signal the compressor to shut down, thereby greatly reducing the risk of compressor failure and destruction. An Ammonia Scrubber is an integral addition to acetylene operations helping to minimize environmental impact and enhance operational efficiency.

Learn more

Rexarc is an expert manufacturer and designer of acetylene plants and equipment and custom pressure vessels in carbon and stainless steel. If you have questions about pressure vessels, would be interested in a custom vessel quote or to learn more and how they can be used in water treatment, we’d be happy to chat with you!



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