A series of plant scale low temperature regenerative thermal oxidizers (LTRTOs) equipped with heating wires were constructed to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) laden gas streams. All regenerative beds were packed with gravel (approximate particle size 1.25 cm, specific area 205 m2/m3, and specific heat capacity 840 J/kg °C) and equipped with K-type thermocouples for measuring gas temperatures. Test gas streams were extracted from manufacturing sections of varnishing, semiconductor packing, and petrochemical plants, representing a variety of gas-phase pollutants, including several commercial solvents. Experimental results indicate that 98% or greater treatment of VOCs with concentrations between 100 and 7,000 ppm as methane. Analysis of gas temperature variation with time at various bed depths confirm that VOC degradation occurs at temperatures ranging from 300 to 440°C, which are much lower than autoignition points of tested compounds. A 1.0 s gas residence time in the oxidation zone of regenerative beds is required for successful LTRTO operation.
Journal of Environmental Engineering 128(4),313-319