Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers and Direct-Fired Thermal Oxidizers are both common forms of pollution control equipment. With the growing demand for sustainability and carbon-neutral enterprises, these types of equipment are becoming more and more widespread throughout industrial practices.
Section 1: Definition and Application of RTOs
Regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) are a type of air pollution control equipment used to remove harmful pollutants from industrial exhaust streams. RTOs use a process called thermal oxidation to convert pollutants into harmless gases by exposing them to high temperatures in a combustion chamber.
The main benefit of RTOs is their ability to destroy harmful pollutants efficiently and effectively, such as volatile organic compounds (VOC), which can cause serious health and environmental problems if released into the atmosphere. RTOs are commonly used in a variety of industries, including chemical manufacturing, automotive production, and food processing, among others.
In addition to their pollution control benefits, RTOs are also energy-efficient, as they use the heat generated during the combustion process to preheat incoming process air, thus becoming autothermal and reducing the overall energy consumption of a facility.
RTO Key Features:
- Destroy high volumes of emissions through high heat using ceramic media.
- Commonly configured in two, three, and multi-canister systems.
- Best suited for exhaust streams with:
- Higher flow rates
- Low VOC concentrations
- DRE: 98% / up to 99%
- 95% thermal heat recovery through ceramic media
- Ultra low-NOx applications with specific burner designs
- Self-sustaining combustion temperatures without any supplemental fuel once specific conditions are met
- Preferred method of oxidation because of continuous operation capability and variety of uses and applications
Section 2: Definition and Application of DFTOs
Direct-fired thermal oxidizers (DFTO) are also a type of air pollution control equipment that is used to remove harmful pollutants from industrial exhaust streams. Like RTOs, they use thermal oxidation to convert pollutants into harmless gases by exposing them to high temperatures in a combustion chamber.
The main difference between a DFTO and a RTO is that direct-fired oxidizers use a burner to directly heat the pollutants, whereas RTOs use the heat generated during the combustion process to preheat incoming process air.
Direct-fired thermal oxidizers are commonly used in industries that produce high concentrations of pollutants, such as pulp and paper manufacturing, oil and gas production, and chemical processing. They are effective at removing a variety of pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
DFTO Key Features:
- Best suited for exhaust streams with VERY HIGH:
- Achievable Air Stream Temperature: 1,250°F to 1,800°F
- +99% Hydrocarbon Destruction Rate (DRE)
- Lowest Capital Expense Cost and Higher Operational Expense Cost
- Process Stream Diluted to Safe Levels Prior to Combustion Zone
Section 3: Differences between RTOs and DFTOs
Regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTO) and direct-fired thermal oxidizers (DFTO) are both used to control air pollution emissions from industrial processes. However, there are important differences between them. RTOs are designed to destroy volatile organic compounds (VOC) and other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) by using a regenerative process that recovers heat from the exhaust gas stream. DFTOs, on the other hand, oxidize pollutants by directly firing them with a burner. While both systems can be effective in reducing emissions, RTOs typically have higher operating costs due to their more complex design and use of specialized materials. DFTOs are often less expensive and simpler to operate but may not be as effective in controlling certain types of pollutants.
Though both types of equipment are effective in the destruction of emissions, there may be conditions that are individual to your process and needs that must be evaluated when choosing air pollution control equipment. Conifer Systems’ team are experts in creating solutions that are customized to your facility’s needs. Contact us anytime to discuss which equipment type may be best suited for you.