Catalytic and Recuperative Oxidisers

This is a second feature from Operational Group explaining some of the industrial equipment used to treat process air streams to destroy volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odorous emissions from industrial processes.

Our first feature highlighted Regenerative Thermal Oxidisers (RTOs). These achieve emission destruction through a process called thermal oxidisation, using an engineered mix of temperature, resonance (burning) time, turbulence and oxygen to convert laden process air into carbon dioxide and water vapour.

However, RTOs use hot ceramic beds which are unsuitable for some industries. So this feature highlights two other types of oxidisers – catalytic oxidisers and recuperative oxidisers which use alternative abatement processes.

Catalytic oxidiser vs recuperative oxidisers

RTOs aren’t suitable for every industry because they use ceramic hot beds. This infographic shows alternative methods of treating process air streams to destroy VOC and odorous emissions from industrial processes. Catalytic oxidisers: Use a catalyst to oxidise the VOCs at a much lower temperature than is required in a regenerative oxidiser. Due to the lack of ceramic media, heat up times are vastly reduced which makes these more suitable for the short-run processes. Used in print and packaging, paint operations, coating and laminating. Temperatures from 250 degrees to 450 degrees – depending on the solvents. Recuperative oxidisers are suitable for industrial processes where tiny solids may be present in large volumes of process air, such as sand or dust. Sand can easily block ceramic bed RTOs. Recuperative oxidisers use tubular heat exchangers or thermal oil processes instead.