A natural gas plant in Alabama used custom-built burners from John Zink Co., Tulsa, to meet a consent decree issued to it by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to lower the facility's total reduced sulfur emissions to obtain higher destruction removal efficiency

Computational fluid dynamics modeling predicted that new burners from John Zink Co. would improve localized mixing.


The original thermal oxidizer system had a horizontal, cylindrical chamber with two large burners placed perpendicular to one another on the horizontal mid-plane of the reactor's centerline. The two burners were not meeting the sulfur plant's emission requirements because the existing burners were damaged from age or previous upstream process upsets. Additionally, process conditions had changed, reducing the tail gas flow and loading below the original design.

John Zink Co. engineers used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to analyze the system, identify the source of the performance problem, and design a solution. They recommended replacing the original burners with new custom-built burners and installing a mixing wall inside the oxidizer chamber. They also conducted CFD modeling on the new burner design and mixing wall location to ensure the custom-burner solution would meet the plant's emissions-reduction goals upon initial startup. PH