Rto & recuperative oxidizer pros & cons - Regenerative thermal oxidizer technology


Courtesy of Epcon Industrial Systems, LP

RTO technology has been developed for large volumes and low VOC concentration air pollution applications. The best example is spray booth exhaust where the volume of exhaust is high and VOC concentration is very low. Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer technology is based on using ceramic media as heat exchangers and switching values.


  • High thermal efficiency
  • Very low operating cost
  • Extremely rugged
  • No metal, no issue of expansion
  • Simple System, Simple Design
  • Easy access of all major components for maintenance and repair
  • Life span of 20+ years with proper maintenance


  • High pressure drop through the media
  • High electrical energy cost
  • Requires larger real estate
  • Media needs replacing every 5 -6 years on average, but may get a longer life
  • with proper maintenance
  • Weight is 2-3 times of Recuperative
  • Particulate loading - Major problems
  • Heavy wear and tear on moving parts - Dampers/actuator are high maintenance and needs replacing every 3-4 years (with proper maintenance life can be enhanced)

Recuperative Thermal Oxidizer Technology

Recuperative Thermal Oxidizers use metallic shell and tube heat exchanger technology


  • For low volume applications - up to 30,000 CFM
  • Reasonable cost
  • Low pressure drop
  • Handles particulate well
  • Compact system - relatively lighter system
  • Rugged
  • Life span of 20 + years with proper maintenance


  • Relatively higher operating cost
  • Limited in the capacity
  • Not cost effective beyond 30,000 CFM
  • In Hot Zone some tube welds break because of expansion & contraction.
  • Thermal efficiency to maximum of 75-80%

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