UV/EB Technology Helps Reduce VOCs


CHEVY CHASE, MD—Reductions of volatile organic compound (VOC) and greenhouse gas emissions go hand in hand with ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) technologies, according to a position paper just released by RadTech—The Assn. for UV and EB Technology. UV and EB technologies are used widely across the spectrum of U.S. manufacturing industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical devices, wood and building products, and printing and packaging.

“While the technology helps manufacturers become more competitive, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local air quality Districts recognize UV and EB as environmentally proactive,” says David Harbourne, president of Radtech and Fusion UV Systems. “As our statement points out, the use of UV/EB curing processes can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing reliance on the burning of fossil fuels."

Most UV and EB coatings, inks, and adhesives contain little or no volatile solvents. VOCs may become tropospheric (ground-level) ozone precursors, estimated by the EPA as the third largest contributor to climate change. Moreover, attempts to eliminate VOCs by incineration may generate greenhouse gases from combustion. The emission or attempt to eliminate VOCs is nearly eliminated with the use of UV/EB technology. In one study by a major U.S. manufacturer, UV offered an over 65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions—the study also found an 80% reduction in the total amount of energy used by the facility’s process, compared to a conventional system. As a result of these energy efficiency advances, the study notes that the savings offered by UV/EB technology translated into not only big energy savings, but also as much as a 55% reduction in capital and installation costs.

For a complete copy of the statement, visit radtech.org.

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