What Is Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer and Thermal Oxidizer

What Is Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer And Thermal Oxidizer And How Do They Work?

Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are commonly destroyed by thermal oxidizers in industrial air streams. These pollutants are mostly hydrocarbon-based, and they are chemically oxidized into CO2 and H2O when they are destroyed by heat combustion. Temperature, residence time, and turbulence are three important parameters to consider when building successful thermal oxidizers. To ignite the waste gas, the temperature must be high enough. The temperature at which most organic compounds ignite is between 590°C (1,094°F) and 650°C (1,202°F).

Most basic oxidizers are operated at substantially higher temperatures to assure near-complete elimination of hazardous gases. The operating temperature range may be reduced when a catalyst is utilized. The purpose of the residence time is to guarantee that the combustion reaction has adequate time to take place. The mixing of combustion air and dangerous gases is the turbulence factor.

What Is A Thermal Oxidiser?

In many chemical and manufacturing companies, a thermal oxidizer (TO) is a processing unit for air pollution management. Hazardous gases are decomposed at high temperatures and released into the atmosphere by TOs. They are incinerators that are more or less opulent. Thermal oxidizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes:

  • Direct Fired Thermal Oxidizer (TO)
  • Thermal Recuperative Thermal Oxidizer
  • Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO)
  • Recuperative Catalytic Thermal Oxidizer
  • Regenerative Catalytic Thermal Oxidizer

Thermal incinerators are another name for thermal oxidizers. A “burner in a box” is a good analogy for the technology. They exist in a variety of sizes, forms, and configurations, but they all work on the same thermal combustion/oxidation principle. There are a few different types of thermal oxidizers on the market, but the most common are direct-fired thermal oxidizers (DFOs) and regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs).

regenerative thermal oxidizer design

What is a regenerative thermal oxidizer?

The primary goal of an RTO is to destroy VOCs and HAPs, which is known as its Destruction Removal Efficiency (DRE). The DRE refers to the proportion of VOCs/HAPs eliminated by the RTO. The DRE is calculated by comparing the intake and output concentrations of VOCs/HAPs, which are usually measured in parts per million (ppm). The majority of RTOs aim for a DRE of 95 percent to 99 percent.

RTOs are currently the most prevalent and commonly utilized type of oxidant. It is the most commonly used oxidant for the destruction of VOCs, HAPs, and other airborne contaminants. RTOs are favored because of their high destruction efficiency and capacity to recover the majority of the thermal heat created during VOC and HAP destruction.

The three “T’s” are the primary design criteria for any RTO in use today: temperature, time, and turbulence. The RTO combustion chamber is built on the foundation of these three T’s.

  • The temperature has been raised to the point where the arriving VOCs/HAPs are ignited.
  • The length of time that VOCs/HAPs remain in the RTO combustion chamber is referred to as time.
  • The mixing of the combustion chamber temperature with the incoming process air is referred to as turbulence.

The combination of the three “T’s” ensures that all VOCs/HAPs are eliminated before exiting the exhaust stack.

A chemical/thermal process and a mechanical process are used to operate a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO). The application of heat to a process exhaust stream including organic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) is known as the chemical/thermal process (HAPs). These contaminants are oxidized from their original chemical form to two inert compounds: CO2 and H2O, thanks to the application of heat.

And that is the basic answer to the question of what is a thermal oxidiser. Alternating gas flow via numerous “beds” of ceramic heat exchange media is the mechanical concept behind the RTO process. The intake gas is sucked into the system and up into the inlet bed, where it pre-heats by coming into touch with a ceramic heat medium. The gas reaches temperatures of 1,400°F to 1,475°F as it passes through the ceramic media. The gas then enters the combustion chamber, where it is heated to between 1,500°F and 1,750°F by a burner (usually natural gas-fired). As a result, an RTO was once referred to as a “burner in a box.”

The temperature at which practically all VOC and HAP chemicals are destroyed and transformed to CO2 and H2O is referred to as the “combustion chamber set point.” At this point, the process gas is sent downhill through the exit heat exchange media bed, which has been cleaned of pollutants and heated. As it moves downward via the outlet bed, the gas at combustion chamber temperature relinquishes its heat to the ceramic media.

The RTO cycles after two to three minutes, causing valves to reverse the airflow across the system (see below). A regenerative thermal process is defined as a back-and-forth process or cycle.

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