Pioneers in Scrubber Innovation

In the 1970’s a group of pulp and paper suppliers commissioned chemical engineer Rick MacKay to study the effectiveness of chlorine scrubbing. Rick recruited  a highly skilled team of chemical experts that included Gary April and Marvin McKinley of the University of Alabama Chemical Engineering department; as well as Dr. Octave Levenspiel the head of the Oregon State School of Chemical Engineering to thoroughly study the scrubbers at the time and apply the lessons of mass transfer operations and reaction kinetics.

Their findings were revolutionary and have changed the standards for removal rates for pulp and paper scrubbers. Caldwell-MacKay’s findings uncovered two primary issues with scrubbers,

  1. Using fiberglass on scrubbers was a terrible idea and led to  a short service life for scrubbers, as little as 8 to 10 years. Because of this finding, all towers today are PVC lined fiberglass, with over 20 years of service life.
  2. The height of packing used in a stack has a direct correlation on the scrubber removal rate. The innovations of Caldwell-MacKay have led to standards of 99% removal.

It Starts with Science, Not Construction

Unlike many scrubber suppliers, we do not start with fabrication. We start with science. Our deep understanding of chemical engineering has a major impact on every project we complete. It affects:

  • The types of materials we recommend for your scrubber
  • The height of your stacks
  • Lifetime maintenance

Starting with science allows us to ask the critical questions before we start, instead of when your scrubber fails or doesn’t meet regulatory standards. Our science based approach ensures that we recommend a solution that matches the investment you are about to make today, tomorrow, and into the future.

Owner Profile:
Rick MacKay

B.S. in chemistry 1975 University of Alabama

B.S. in Chemical Engineering 1979 University of Alabama

Chemical Engineering Department Fellow 2005

Chemical Engineering Centennial Fellow 2011

Advisory Board for Chemical and Biological Engineering Department 2005-Present

Compass Bank (Young Executive Board) 1986-1987

Caldwell-MacKay Company, Inc.

Lead designer of absorbers and Packed Towers in pulp and paper industry in North America

Corporate sponsor for the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation.