A Thermal Oxidizer (also known as thermal oxidiser, or thermal incinerator and often referred to as a direct fired oxidizer or afterburner) is a process unit for air pollution control that decomposes hazardous gases at a high temperatures and releases heat (which can be recovered), water vapor, and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. At GCES we know Thermal Oxidizers and have over 200 cumulative years in designing, manufacturing, servicing and supporting air pollution control systems and Thermal Oxidizers. We work with you to understand the needs of your process stream and from there will custom design the best system or a number of optional systems to solve your pollution control issues.
Direct Fired Thermal Oxidizers – Afterburners
A direct fired oxidizer is the simplest technology of thermal oxidation. A process stream is introduced into a firing box through or near the burner and enough residence time is provided to get the desired destruction removal efficiency (DRE) of the VOCs. Also called afterburners, these systems are the least capital intensive, but when applied incorrectly, the operating costs can be devastating because there is no form of heat recovery. These are best applied where there is a very high concentration of VOCs to act as the fuel source (instead of natural gas, propane, oil, electricity, or some other form of fuel) for complete combustion at the targeted operating temperature.
One of today’s most widely accepted air pollution control technologies across industry is a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer, commonly referred to as a RTO. They are very versatile and extremely efficient – heat recovery efficiency can reach 97%. This is achieved through the storage of heat by dense ceramic stoneware. Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers are ideal in low VOC concentrations and during long continuous operations.
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A less commonly used thermal oxidizer technology is a thermal recuperative oxidizer. Thermal recuperative oxidizers have a primary and/or secondary heat exchanger within the system. A primary heat exchanger preheats the incoming dirty air by recuperating heat from the exiting clean air. This is done by a shell and tube heat exchanger or a plate-type exchanger. As the incoming air passes on one side of the metal tube or plate, hot clean air from the combustion chamber passes on the other side of the tube or plate and heat is transferred to the incoming air through the process of conduction using the metal as the medium of heat transfer. In a secondary heat exchanger, the same concept applies for heat transfer, but the air being heated by the outgoing clean process stream is being returned to another part of the plant – perhaps back to the process oven or furnace.
Want to destroy waste water on site? Now you can with our patent pending breakthrough technology, the Aqueous Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTO). This new Thermal Oxidizer technology allows GCES clients the option to destroy waste water as either:
- A standalone process with the sole focus of waste water destruction
- A multi part process that allows for the processing of both air for VOC abatement and the ability to destroy waste water onsite.
The Aqueous RTO unit can provide facility operators with dramatic operating cost reductions through either reducing or eliminating wastewater treatment and removal operating expenses.
Catalytic Oxidizers (CATOX)
Catalytic oxidation occurs through a chemical reaction between the VOC hydrocarbon molecules and a precious or base metal catalyst bed that is internal to the oxidizer system. A catalyst is a substance that is used to accelerate the rate of a chemical reaction, allowing the reaction to occur in a normal temperature range of 550°F – 650°F (275ºC to 350ºC). Our line of Catalytic Oxidizers includes options for air pollution treatment at a range of temperatures custom designed to treat an assortment of VOCs.
Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizers
A Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizer is a type of Oxidizer that is proficient at destroying volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odorous compounds and other air pollutants. Our Catalytic Recuperative Thermal Oxidizer processes gas that is heated and pushed (or pulled) into a heat exchanger towards the combustion chamber. The gas that is being processed is heated to the catalyst operating temperature at the burner. As this heated gas passes through the catalyst the heat releasing action takes place and the pollutants are converted to heat (which can be recovered), water vapor, and carbon dioxide.
Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizers (RCO)
The Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizer is the perfect combination for low operating cost VOC oxidation technology for occurrences and applications where a very low VOC concentration is available. The low operating temperatures of the catalytic oxidizer combined with the heat recovery characterizes of a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) makes the RCO a great option for many low VOC conditions.
Vapor Combustion Units (VCUs)
Vapor Combustion Units are designed to safely burn vapors that contain hydrocarbons. Vapor combustors have a closed flame that is located at grade level and enclosed in an insulated combustion chamber. VCUs are an alternative to vapor recovery. Using this process, hydrocarbon vapors are destroyed in a combustor. Combustors are economical while providing a safe method for controlling vapors from the handling, loading, and storage of volatile liquid hydrocarbons or composites when vapor recovery is not a viable option.
In addition to our complete offering of Thermal Oxidizers including RTOs, TOs, TROs, CATOX, Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizers, DFTOs and the breakthrough Aqueous RTO, we also offer the following air pollution control systems:
- Vapor Combustion Units
- Emission Concentrators
- Rotor Concentrators
- VOC Concentrators
- NOx Abatement Systems
- Carbon Adsorbers