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Phone : 419.841.9984
Fax: 419.841.9535
 
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Articles & Resources From Combustion Controls Solutions & Environmental Services, Inc.

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

Regenerative thermal oxidizer equipment maximizes pollution controls

Operators save fuel, expense and time with regenerative pollution controls


Air pollution controls were not invented with the introduction of regenerative thermal oxidizer equipment, but these precision devices revolutionized the efficiency and cost impact of keeping industrial emissions free of hazardous air pollutants. Regenerative thermal oxidizers came into vogue with operators looking to conserve heat energy expended through direct combustion of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This early pollution control process, introduced following the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970, used vast amounts of supplemental fuel, costing a great deal and adding undo energy consumption to the pollution control process. Regenerative thermal oxidizer equipment improved energy efficiency so radically; that in some cases it curtailed the use of supplemental fuel all together.

The solution provided by regenerative thermal oxidizer equipment is fairly simple, but requires understanding of the oxidation reaction process. A stream of VOC-laden emissions from industrial processes enters a chamber containing a heated stoneware bed. As the gas heats and rises, it approaches oxidization temperature. It then enters a combustion chamber where a small jet of heat may be applied to destroy the pre-heated VOCs in the gas. A valve opens, releasing the gas into a second stoneware chamber, heating the ceramic bed as the gas sinks while cooling. The entire stream, now void of VOCs and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) exits as carbon dioxide. A new valve opens, allowing more VOC loaded gas to enter the freshly heated second stoneware bed, before starting the cycle in reverse across the combustion process.

This regenerative technique has profound implications on the efficiency and cost of industrial emissions controls. With the use of regenerative thermal oxidizer equipment, operators save up to 96% in normal operating conditions on supplemental fuel use – the major ongoing operating expense with traditional direct-fired oxidizer units. At the same time, the VOC and HAP destruction rate stays at nearly 100 percent, assuring compliance. While a larger capital investment at purchase, fuel savings alone over the course of 10 or more years of service assures that regenerative thermal oxidizer equipment is among the best investments for pollution controls.

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