Often referred to as incineration or combustion-type systems, thermal oxidation systems are the most commonly used method to control the emission of organic compounds. Thermal oxidation systems can have very high destruction rate efficiencies (DRE) — up to 99.99 percent. They operate on the simple principle that at sufficiently high temperatures — typically between 1200 to 1600°F (649 to 871°C) — any hydrocarbon can be essentially oxidized into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Another unique property of these oxidization systems is the ability to destroy both small particulate matter as well as airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These systems also can reduce NOX, particulate matter and acid gas when combined with other methods of VOC abatement such as scrubbers, baghouse filters and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.
Evaluating the appropriate oxidation system for a specific process stream requires in-depth analysis of the specific process gas and operating parameters because there are many configurations from which to choose. From basic to advanced, here is a brief overview.