The truth about pollution and evaporative towers

Let’s make it clear, there’s a bad rumor about evaporative towers when speaking of environment, carbon footprint and pollution. When news on tv and newspapers talk about environment and pollution, it’s indeed very easy to see images of evaporative towers installed in industrial facilities near residential areas and roads, along with their huge plume, used as a symbol of emissions.

Well, for technicians and operators of the sector, it’s clear that these are not pollutant emissions, but simply water vapor. Cooling towers are indeed very simple machines employed for water cooling in industrial processes, using the evaporation of water to dissipate heat. Evaporative towers have very low levels of power consumption, while on the other side they consume water in direct proportion with the amount of heat to be dissipated.

The huge plume coming out of the top of cooling towers is therefore simply water vapor, droplets of evaporated water that get carried away in the atmosphere. It’s easy to understand how not-skilled people can associate it with pollution and fine dusts, but it has nothing to do with that: the plume is nothing less than water vapor, becoming even more visible during winter season, clearly due to a difference in temperature levels.

The only side effect that evaporative towers can generate is that water vapor gets condensed in the atmosphere during the coldest season, creating ice crystals. When laying on the roads nearby industrial plants, they can become dangerous for the traffic of vehicles. That’s why very often, early morning in the winter season, it’s easy to see workers charged by the industries nearby throwing salt on the streets, in order to avoid freezing and the formation of ice layers.

Evaporative towers are therefore one of the most eco-friendly machines for water cooling, and among the most efficient solutions for water cooling in industrial production processes.