Regenerative thermal oxidizer technology utilizes ceramic media in two or more beds as a high-efficiency heat exchanger. Process gas with VOC contaminants enters the oxidizer through an inlet manifold. A flow diverter valve directs the gas into an energy recovery chamber, which preheats the process stream. The process gas and contaminants are progressively heated by the ceramic bed as they move toward the combustion chamber. The VOCs then are oxidized, releasing energy that is transferred to the second ceramic bed, thereby reducing auxiliary fuel requirements. Heat transfers from the gas to the ceramic bed so that the outlet gas temperature is only slightly higher than the inlet temperature.

If the process gas contains sufficient VOCs, the energy released from their combustion promotes self-sustained operations. For example, at 95-percent thermal energy recovery, the outlet temperature may be only 77°F (25°C) higher than the inlet process gas temperature.