Thermal oxidizers are used as pollution control methods for processing air that has tiny particles of combustible liquids and solids. When discussing thermal oxidizers two terms often arise: regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTO) and recuperative thermal oxidizers. Each type of thermal oxidizers is different.
What are Recuperative Thermal Oxidizers?
Recuperative thermal oxidizers are less common. They are oxidizers that feature primary and/or secondary heat exchangers inside the system. The primary heat exchanger is responsible for preheating the dirty air that comes inside the air. This is done by recuperating the heat from exiting clean air. The system has one of two things: plate heat exchanger or tube and shell exchanger. Once the air comes inside and passes one side of the plate or metal tube. Heat is then transferred to the incoming air via the conduction process using the heat transfer. With the secondary heat exchanger, the air being heated by the outgoing process is sent to another area. The purpose of recuperative thermal oxidizers is to incorporate many energies saving options such as using preheated combustion air.
What is Regenerative, or RTO, Thermal Oxidizer?
An RTO is a type of industrial system that is responsible for destroying volatile organic compounds, or VOC. This is done via the process that exhaust air prior to it polluting the environment. This is the most commonly used thermal oxidizer. In fact, it is extensively in the industries that produce a high volume of waste steam that contains a low concentration of volatile organic compounds. These VOC include food processing, printing and paint manufacturing concentration. The RTO process is complex because it forces the exhaust fumes in one direction. That direction moves the fumes over the passive heat exchanger and sends a stream of cooled, clean air into the exhaust tack and into the atmosphere.
The RTO Pollutant Destruction Phase
The RTO pollutant destruction phase begins with a high-pressure supply fan. This fan forces the exhaust fumes into the RTO. Next, the inlet switch valves move the polluted air into one of the system’s energy recovery canisters. The air travels from the valve assembly to the first heat exchanger canister. In this canister, the heat is absorbed. The preheated air then moved into the system’s combustion chamber. In this chamber is where the air is held at a high temperature level that is oxidation required. The last part of the process is the pollutant in the air is destroyed while in that combustion chamber. Next, the air is cleaned.
The Two Thermal Oxidizers are Different
Thermal oxidizers can be divided into oxidizers that do not have flames. These non-flame oxidizers are used to burn as much of the pollutant as possible. Thermal oxidizers may also include a catalytic oxidation process, which is a more complicated process. It involves the organic compounds being transported over a support material that has a catalyst. The process causes the pollutants to burn too. Regardless of the type of thermal oxidizers, it should have a destruction efficiency that ranges from 90 to 99 percent.