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3454 Silica Road, Sylvania, Ohio 43560
Phone: 419.841.9984    Fax: 419.841.9535

Oxidizer Systems

Characterization of the Oxidizer Types


Oxidizer systems are available in various configurations and based upon differing mechanisms. Here, we give an overview of the available oxidation systems and describe their usages with respect to cost-efficieny.



The two fundamental types of oxidizers in wide use today are thermal oxidizers and catalytic oxidizers. The former type of oxidizer, namely the thermal oxidizer has three subclasses: direct, recuperative, or regenerative. These types of oxidizer systems operate with temperatures between 1400-1800 degrees Fahrenheit, or 760-982 degrees Celsius. The other fundamental type of oxidizer system, called a catalytic oxidizer, has the same three subclasses: direct, recuperative, or regenerative. However, a catalytic oxidizer operates at temperatures one order of magnitude below a thermal oxidizer, namely the catalytic oxidizer temperature range is 400-750 degrees Fahrenheit, or 204-399 degrees Celsius.



Why is there a discrepancy between the temperature ranges for the thermal and catalytic oxidizers? The variations of oxidizer systems address the process conditions, operation schedules, the space in which the object resides, and operating costs. The different subclasses of oxidizers are characterized by the heat exchanger utilized in their design, as well as the usage, or absence, of a catalyst within the air flow. Since thermal and catalytic oxidizers have the same types of subclasses we will discuss what each class entails. Catalytic oxidizers utilize a catalyst, as the name entails, to lower the operating temperatures in the VOC destruction process. The standard catalyst used include base or precious metals. To lower the oeprating temperatures the catalyst is placed on a substrate such as beads or monliths. The substrate is placed in the solvent-laiden air path. The downfall of such a catalytic approach is the susceptibility to masking agents and poisons, which can reduce the effectiveness of the catalyst and lower the VOC destruction efficiency.

For direct fired oxidizers there is no heat exchanger. This type of oxidizer system is sparingly used as the cost of operation is expensive. An example usage is a small pilot operation.

Recuperative systems generally utilize a metal shell-and-tube or plate type of heat exchanger during the oxidation process to help recover thermal energy. The typical yield for a recuperative heat exchanger is 40-80 percent of the oxidation process energy. What makes a meatallic recuperative heat exchanger impactful? The impact factor for heat exchangers of this type depends upon the process exhaust temperatures, operating temperature requirements, temperature stratification with the unit, the type and concentration of the treated VOCs, and the process operating cycle. The longevity of the equipment depends upon the temperature limitations of the heat exchanger metals and the induced stresses caused by the dynamics of process conditions.

Regenerative heat recovery systems generally use a ceramic media for the collection and storage of energy. The storing medium, i.e., the cermaics, is confined within towers, or canisters, that link together via a duct and valve network. The purpose of the valves is to direct the incoming exhaust stream from the industrial or manufacturing processes between the canisters containing the ceramic media. Through the cycling between ceramic media, one cermaic bed will release its energy while the other cermaic bed(s) absorb energy. This recovered energy is used to preheat the process exhaust as it enters into the oxidizer.




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