Lowering Fuel Costs in Your Oxidizer

Your oxidizers are critical air pollution controls at the heart of your operations. Keeping this equipment operating efficiently is essential to keeping your energy costs from going into the sky. Fortunately, there are some ways you can reduce the fuel costs required to operate your oxidizer.

There are two primary types of burners used within oxidizers. The first type is raw gas, airflow burners. These burners efficiently mix oxygen from the process stream and combine it with natural gas to create a clean, uniform flame that is stable. These are by far the most efficient type of burners as they don’t require introducing combustion air from outside the system. The way these burners are set up helps boost efficiency. It does not require fuel to heat the cooler air up to a temperature that matches the inside of the combustion chamber which often exceeds 1400 Fahrenheit.

The other type is sealed-nozzle burners, which utilize an external air source for combustion. In these, the air is introduced via the burner where it mixes with the fuel prior to combustion. These systems require more fuel to heat the air to the necessary temperatures. However, these systems do have an advantage; they have a greater turndown which gives them enhanced versatility when in use.

Factors that Impact Fuel Efficiency

Fuel represents a considerable cost that can add up quickly. Keeping fuel costs low in your oxidizer is essential for protecting your business’ bottom line. To that end, the following factors must be fine-tuned to keep your profits going up.


NOx and CO emissions are inevitable during the combustion process. Excess combustion air should be reduced to increase the efficiency of the combustion process. Too much air introduced into the system to reduce NOx and CO emissions leads to fuel waste.

Air/Fuel Ratio

The correct air/fuel ratio is imperative for fuel efficiency in your oxidizer. Optimizing this ratio determines both the combustion rate and the emissions that are generated. The ratio regulator must be in proper order and easy to adjust so that it can be set to different firing rates.

Solvent Levels

Increasing the solvent ratio within a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) to 25% lower flammability limit (LFL) can reduce the amount of heated air being moved through the system. This process can increase the regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) efficiency and reduce fuel costs.

Automated Controls

Automating controls and coupling them with solvent vapor analyzers can make it easier to analyze solvent vapor and adjust fuel/air ratios automatically. This adjustment minimizes the air quantity needed to maintain safe LFL levels in your thermal oxidizer, reducing heated air costs.