A bakery in the Midwest United States installed a catalytic oxidizer for the abatement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In this application, the bakery oven exhaust contains VOCs like ethanol that must be removed before release to the atmosphere.

The 14,000 scfm catalytic oxidizer, which was designed and manufactured by Catalytic Products International (CPI), replaced an aging unit. The exhaust gases emitted from three individual ovens were ducted to the new unit to provide a minimum +95 percent VOC destruction efficiency (DRE), thermal efficiency of 70 percent and +99.5 percent mechanical efficiency.

Catalytic treatment of VOCs and other air pollutants works by reacting the harmful air pollutants over a specially designed catalyst, where VOCs are converted to CO2, water vapor (H2O) and usable heat. The ceramic monolith catalyst provides a surface to promote the oxidation reaction to take place at a much lower activation temperature than normally required to oxidize the VOCs. The hot, cleaned exhaust is then passed through a primary heat exchanger, where the gas stream’s energy is transferred to the incoming exhaust. High velocity mixing, temperature uniformity and airflow uniformity combine to efficiently oxidize the VOCs throughout a range of operational requirements.