What Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers are Best one for You Environment?

With all the technological advances in recent years, it is no surprise that thermal oxidizers are now more commonly used. But what exactly do they do? How do a regenerative thermal oxidizer work, and which type of thermal oxidizer should you buy or rent for your needs? This blog post will explore these questions and provide answers to make an informed decision about your next purchase.

What is a regenerative thermal oxidizer, and what does it do?

A regenerative thermal oxidizer, or RTO for short, is a thermal oxidizer that uses a heat exchanger to regenerate the incoming process air stream. The hot exhaust gases from the oxidation chamber are passed through the heat exchanger, heating the process air. This preheated air is then sent into the oxidation chamber treated. The heat exchanger can use either the water or steam cycle to transfer the thermal energy from one process stream into another.


How do they work – the basics


Thermal oxidizers work by mixing the waste gas with air, increasing its temperature and passing it through an oxidation chamber to convert pollutants into harmless substances chemically. The heated process air is then passed over a catalyst bed changing nitrogen oxides (NOx) into nitric oxide and water vapour which exits as humid exhaust gases.

The regeneration of thermal oxidizers is a method of maintaining the thermal efficiency of the oxidizer. The hot exhaust gases from the oxidation chamber are passed through the heat exchanger, heating the process air. This preheated air is then sent into the oxidation chamber treated.

Types of regenerative thermal oxidizers

There are three types of regenerative thermal oxidizers used for industrial applications:

– the water cycle RTO (WCTO) uses a heat exchanger to transfer thermal energy from one process stream into another. The dampers in this system control the flow of air and gases through the oxidation chamber, so you have better control over temperature changes than the other two types of RTOs.

– the steam cycle RTO (SCTO) also uses a heat exchanger to transfer thermal energy, but it is more efficient than the WCTO because there is no water loss in the process. The exhaust gases from the oxidation chamber are passed through the heat exchanger and directly into the boiler, where they are reheated and used to create steam. This system is less efficient because you lose some of the thermal energy in the exhaust gases, but it does have the advantage of being able to use lower-quality fuel than the WCTO.

– the recuperative thermal oxidizer (RTO) recycles heat from the hot exhaust gases and uses it to preheat the incoming air. This system is not regenerative, meaning that you have less control over temperature changes, but energy efficiency is increased by around 15%.

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How do thermal oxidizers compare with other types of pollutants?

Several different systems are available for removing nitrogen oxides (NOx) from industrial waste gases, but they are generally not as efficient or flexible as thermal oxidizers. They can also be more expensive to purchase and operate, which is why many companies choose to rent a thermal oxidizer instead of buying one, particularly when it comes to smaller installations.

Factors to consider when choosing a regenerative thermal oxidizer?

When choosing a regenerative thermal oxidizer, you should consider the following:

– capacity – how much waste gas can be treated per hour? How many people or processes use it at this time? This will help determine which energy source and regeneration method are best for your application. Check out our guide to calculating thermal oxidizers capacity here.

– efficiency – how much of the incoming energy is transferred to the outgoing air? If you’re using a thermal oxidizer rental Service, check out our pollutants conversion guide. It will help explain what to expect from your equipment and which factors can improve efficiency.

– size/weight – if you need a portable or small thermal oxidizer, our rental fleet has several options to choose from.

– emissions – which pollutants are you trying to convert? Thermal oxidizers can be specifically designed for particular applications, and there is a range of catalysts available that can improve conversion rates.

– price – thermal oxidizers can vary in price depending on the size, type, and model. Check out our price comparison guide here to determine the best thermal oxidizer for your application and budget.

You can calculate capacity yourself using this handy calculator, or you could use a sizing process such as BPI’s Pollutant Load Calculator.

Installation and maintenance of a regenerative thermal oxidizer?


It is essential to consider the installation and maintenance costs of regenerative thermal oxidizers. The first step involves selecting a location for your equipment, which can be done by following these guidelines:

– you need access to natural gas or propane – if using natural gas, there must be an available pipeline within 50 feet of the site; if using propane, there must be a storage tank on site

– the equipment must be placed in an open area with good airflow and no obstructions that could affect performance

Once your thermal oxidizer is installed, you will need regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. This includes checking the filters and replacing them when necessary, keeping the system clean, and performing routine inspections.

– check the filters every week – make sure they are kept dry at all times to prevent corrosion; replace them if damaged or wet

– after a period of inactivity, test your thermal oxidizer’s performance using an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) testing device available from equipment manufacturers such as the Schlegel® ODP tester

– maintain your equipment using a cleaning agent recommended by the manufacturer – this will help remove scale and corrosion, which can affect performance over time.