VOC Oxidizers: Where to begin?

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Courtesy of Nacah Tech LLC

If you are wanting to solve a VOC (volatile organic compound) air pollution problem, how do you begin?  What type of solution is best suited for the application?  What are the various types of thermal oxidizers and how do they differ in design? RTO, Recuperative TO, Direct fired TO, carbon systems, or concentrators -- which should be used for an application in a chemical plant, refinery, an automotive plant, a print shop, an asphalt plant, a carbon electrode plant, an ethanol plant, a mineral processing plant, a steel mill, an aluminum recycling plant?  How would an engineer know that a thermal oxidizer is the best solution?  When are other types of controls used to capture/destroy VOCs? What other characteristics place added constraints on the selection?

This article identifies the different types of thermal oxidizers and other VOC control devices.  It also identifies with what type of application each of them is best used.  Additionally, more equipment may be necessary for complete control for some compounds present in some applications.  Those characteristics in the gas stream to be controlled are identified.

When determining the oxidizer that best suits an application, plant personnel need to first consider the flow rate of the gas.  Thus, one of the first steps is to consider the normal flow rate but also what is the maximum flow rate in any upset condition that may arise.  The maximum flow rate sets the size and allows the plant to determine how best to manage the process.  Perhaps, better control is needed at the process level to maintain a fairly constant flow rate .  A system that requires little turndown operates near its optimum more often

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