China Waste Gas Treatment: Is the Transition to Waste Gas Equipment Underway?

A wave of equipment modernization is underway, driving the evolution of traditional industries and the strategic growth of emerging sectors. Standing at the threshold of enhanced productivity and quality, what priorities will guide the replacement of exhaust gas treatment facilities?

An official call-to-action signals the start of an equipment upgrade, as obsolete and inefficient systems are phased out.

With the conclusion of the 14th Five-Year Plan approaching and the 2030 carbon emissions peak target looming nearer, the pace of industrial transformation quickens, prompting officials to push for immediate updates. The Central Economic Work Conference late last year emphasized the imperative of equipment renewal and consumer goods upgrades. In February this year, the fourth meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Commission clarified this strategic direction.

Further advancing this agenda, the State Council convened executive meetings, approving and releasing the “Action Plan for Promoting Large-Scale Equipment Updates and Trade-In of Consumer Goods” in March. Subsequently, a video conference in the same month reiterated the need for four key actions: equipment updates, consumer goods replacement, recycling, and standards enhancement. By April, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued an “Implementation Plan for Promoting the Updating of Construction and Municipal Infrastructure Equipment,” while seven departments jointly released plans to renew industrial equipment and consumer goods.

This sweeping modernization effort, targeting aged, non-compliant, and inefficient equipment, mirrors national objectives outlined in the 2024 government work report that stresses accelerating new quality productivity. Aiming for high-tech, high-efficiency, and high-quality solutions, these renewal initiatives promise a surge in market consumption power and a transformative leap in low-carbon economic development.

Reflecting on the evolution of China’s environmental protection sector since the 1960s and 1970s, the focus has shifted considerably, notably towards air quality. From reducing smog days to achieving ultra-low emissions in coal-fired power plants, measures to combat PM2.5 concentration, coordinate pollutants like VOCs and NOx, and elevate dust removal standards have spurred extensive technological transformations over the past five decades. This sustained effort has been the driving force behind the demand for advanced domestic exhaust gas treatment solutions and technological innovations.

Focusing on Two Key Objectives for Achieving Zero-Emission Targets

While blue skies are becoming more frequent, a slight air quality setback in 2023 serves as a reminder for China’s environmental efforts. Despite meteorological factors and a low base from 2022, we await the qualitative shift in environmental quality.

Although waste gas treatment lacks large-scale projects, its demand is concentrated due to end-user orientation. On the industrial front, achieving “net-zero emissions” is pivotal for companies aiming to meet pollution and carbon reduction targets. How will the entire industry undergo upgrades and transformation? This will be the primary focus of exploration in 2024, with continued emphasis on ultra-low emission transformations.

The drive for ultra-low emission continues, boasting the world’s largest group of ultra-low emission thermal power plants and clean coal supply systems by the end of 2021, exceeding 1 billion kilowatts of ultra-low-emission coal power units. The next phase involves expanding this transformation’s impact. Meanwhile, the steel industry is intensifying efforts to pioneer low-carbon technologies, with China’s steel sector adopting the world’s most stringent pollutant emission standards. This transition extends beyond coal power and steel, with orderly transformations encompassing key industries. Policies targeting cement and coking industries set ambitious emission reduction targets, aiming to transform a significant portion of production capacities by 2025 and 2028.

Efforts begin with “three high” enterprises and key polluting industries, prioritizing equipment upgrades for regions identified by environmental inspectors.

Central Environmental Inspections Highlight Industry Challenges and Prioritize Remediation

As the focus shifts towards renewal and transformation, central and local environmental inspections have unearthed pressing issues within key industries. Each problem flagged by environmental inspectors demands immediate attention and often centers on complex challenges in industrial waste gas management.

Recent reviews revealed biopharmaceuticals exceeding non-methane hydrocarbon emission standards, lingering outdated steel production equipment, excessive particle emissions from sintering machines, low collection efficiency in petrochemical coke oven flue gases, unregulated emissions, and sulfur dioxide concentrations surpassing limits in the coking industry. These recurring issues stem from insufficient environmental awareness and the improper use, obsolescence, technological backwardness, and idleness of waste gas treatment facilities.

Environmental inspectors prioritize pollution-intensive industries like urban infrastructure, steel, chemicals, mining, and pharmaceuticals due to their substantial environmental impact.

The push for equipment updates addresses both primary challenges and the nuances of exhaust gas treatment. In industrial waste gas treatment, particular focus lies on dust removal and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) treatment, with VOCs representing the core challenge in this domain. The causes are multifaceted, extending from regulatory inclusion in the “14th Five-Year Plan” to the State Council’s “Action Plan for Continuous Improvement of Air Quality,” emphasizing the reduction of PM2.5, nitrogen oxides, and VOCs.

Complementing this initiative is the comprehensive inspection and rectification campaign outlined in the “Work Plan for the Investigation and Rectification of Inefficient and Failed Air Pollution Control Facilities.” This effort aims to replace inefficient, failed, and outdated equipment with advanced exhaust gas treatment systems, catalyzing a wave of industrial equipment upgrades across various sectors.

Navigating the Environmental Transformation: Challenges and Solutions

The industrial landscape faces relentless pressure amid the ecological and environmental protection wave. Remedial actions targeting “scattered pollution,” the shift from pollutant discharge fees to environmental protection taxes, and stringent pollutant discharge permit management underscore the industry’s evolution towards cleaner production. Comprehensive technical reforms, urban withdrawals, and intelligent upgrades signal a shift towards high-quality development.

However, achieving net-zero emissions and adhering to ESG reporting standards pose formidable challenges, amplifying the scrutiny on cleaner production transformations. Lingering concerns over dioxin in waste incineration and power generation, persistent odor complaints, and the unorganized discharge of pollutants highlight ongoing hurdles. Efforts to tackle these challenges demand efficient solutions, particularly in the chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgical, painting, and spraying industries.

WieTec 2024

WieTec 2024, from June 3rd to 5th, will spotlight a dedicated exhaust gas theme area, showcasing 46,000 products catering to 38 terminal industries. With over 80 forums, including discussions on VOC control and smoke gas management, the event promises insights and solutions for industry stakeholders.

Join us in June for a convergence of global expertise and innovation, hosted by Informa Markets, the world’s largest exhibition group. Pre-register now for exclusive benefits and witness the future of environmental stewardship unfold in the vibrant city of Shanghai!

Key Highlights:

– Explore the specialized waste gas theme area, spotlighting comprehensive waste gas treatment equipment and advanced solutions.

– Delve into the latest technologies in dust removal, purification, sludge drying, and oil fume purification.

– Engage with exhibitors showcasing effective pollution reduction and carbon reduction strategies through exhaust gas treatment.

– Experience live demonstrations of exhaust gas treatment equipment upgrades and transformation solutions.

– This annual event features 46,000 curated products tailored for chemical, pharmaceutical, steel, metallurgy, painting, spraying, and new energy sectors, offering advanced solutions for 38 terminal industries.

– Immerse yourself in over 80 forums, addressing critical topics like VOCs management, energy-saving initiatives, and flue gas control in non-ferrous and iron and steel metallurgical sectors.

Don’t miss the chance to connect with industry leaders and explore groundbreaking solutions at this prestigious environmental expo!