Catalytic thermal oxidizers (CTOs) and regenerative catalytic oxidizers (RCOs) are efficient ways to thermally treat pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) where the VOC process stream is relatively consistent.
Catalytic oxidizers operating in the 370 to 480 °C (700 to 900 °F) range can achieve the same efficiency as thermal oxidizers operating between 700 and 820 °C (1300 and 1500 °F). This can result in fuel savings of 40 to 60 percent.
During the operation of a catalytic thermal oxidizer (CTO), oxidization occurs through a chemical reaction. This reaction happens between a precious-metal catalyst bed and the volatile organic compound (VOC) hydrocarbon molecules. If installed, thermal recovery media can lower the operating cost. This type of system is a regenerative catalytic oxidizer (RCO). These systems have the same operating procedure as a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO). However, the RCO runs at a much lower operating temperature, typically 370 to 480 °C (700 to 900 °F).