We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Absorption Tower?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An absorption tower is an industrial tower used to separate out components of a rising gas with the use of a falling liquid to trap the gas. This equipment is used in a variety of settings for purification, processing of materials, and other activities. The absorption tower usually needs to be custom designed for a specific application to ensure efficient and smooth operation. Like other components of a factory, it needs regular cleaning and maintenance to function properly and can be subject to inspection by regulatory officials.

In an absorption tower, the gas is pumped in at the bottom of the tower. It, along with any impurities it contains, begins to float to the top. As it moves toward the top, aerosolized liquid is sprayed into the tower. The droplets catch impurities in the gas and carry them to the bottom of the tower for collection. Some towers can have multiple points where liquid is sprayed out to capture different impurities or maximize the amount of material trapped.

A common use for an absorption tower is as a scrubber. Scrubbers remove material from gases vented from factories to reduce pollution. Air quality standards usually require the use of scrubbers and other safety devices to trap pollutants. In factories using an absorption tower for scrubbing, the waste products captured by the fluid can be safely collected and properly disposed of, or converted into use in other industrial processes. These devices can also be used in settings like refineries to separate out different usable components of gases.

The flow of fluid and gas has to be carefully controlled, as does the temperature, as these factors can have an impact on how much the water can absorb. If conditions in the tower or the factory change, adjustments may need to be made to compensate. Operators can take steps like shutting off components of a factory, using shunts to move waste material to different towers, and so forth to control factory operations and keep conditions as safe and efficient as possible.

For cleaning and maintenance, an absorption tower typically needs to be shut down to allow workers to access it safely. If the tower handles potentially hazardous or toxic substances, special gear may be required to enter it and employees are monitored for signs of exposure. Inspectors can include absorption towers in the list of factory components they examine to confirm compliance with the law and verify claims made by the factory about how it operates.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon344839 — On Aug 13, 2013

Does anybody know how much could it cost? I'm finishing my project just to get my engineer title so I need the price of some equipment and I haven't found anything about the prices of this towers or columns.

By anon330061 — On Apr 14, 2013

How would you determine the efficiency of a gas absorber by only having the hydraulics profile provided by aspen 7? Key components on the separation are hydrogen and ethylacetate.

By Babalaas — On Jun 28, 2011

@Valleyfiah- I can partially answer your question. For the most part, chemicals collected in the gas absorption process are reprocessed into useable materials. From what I understand, there is a lot of research going into reprocessing waste, especially as resources are becoming scarcer. In many cases, reprocessing waste is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than landfill disposal.

Some of the examples of waste reprocessing are as follows. Wet scrubbers collect water-soluble mercury from coal exhaust. The mercury solution is then reprocessed to produce mercury, which is then used for other industrial purposes. Limestone based dry scrubbers in coal plants produce synthetic gypsum. This synthetic gypsum is used in the building supply industry to make drywall. Absorption towers can extract many harmful products and turn them into useable goods.

By ValleyFiah — On Jun 26, 2011

@Alchemy- What is the difference in a wet absorption column and a dry absorption column? I assume the tower described in the article is a wet column, but how does a dry scrubber column work? What is done with the waste that is collected in wet and dry columns? Do energy and chemical companies reprocess scrubber waste for other industrial purposes or do these companies bury the waste in landfills?

By Alchemy — On Jun 24, 2011

@comparables, A packed bed or packed column is simply a filter medium used to react with acidic gases in an exhaust stack. Think of it as a large filter similar to what you would find in your HVAC filter. The difference being they are much bigger, and can filter out much more harmful pollutants. The packing fits inside of the absorption tower, and works by attracting ionic compounds in the gas.

The packing material must be removed when it is fully saturated. After removal, the packing is disposed of by either extracting the chemicals it traps, or burying them in landfills meant for hazardous waste. Packed bed scrubbers are often considered dry scrubbers because they do not use a liquid to absorb pollutants.

By Comparables — On Jun 23, 2011

What is a packed bed, and what does it have to do with an absorption tower? My energy professor brought up the term, but I have no clue what he was talking about. It was in the context of an absorption tower and its use in scrubbing pollutants from smokestacks in coal plants.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.