Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2005

VOC Abatement Control Devices for Small Painting Companies

Q. Are there any practical VOC abatement systems available for smaller surface coating operations, say for a typical autobody shop, or a furniture operation using 1 or 2 gallons lacquer per day? (Searching the web turns up a few systems for reducing solvents in the discharge, but they mostly seem to apply to larger manufacturing operations.)

A. Every year I attend the AWMA convention and look for abatement systems that apply to small volume paint users. Even this year I asked if the technology is yet available for automotive paint shops (auto refinishers, autobody shops) and the answer I have been given is "no".

The costs of abatement technologies have apparently dropped in some sectors, but not sufficiently for refinishing shops.

By the way, since this topic is of interest to you, you might want to visit two websites to see the classes that I teach: and While neither class deals directly with abatement, the first provides methods for painting more efficiently and lowering emissions.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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