Catalytic Oxidizers

What is a Catalytic Oxidizer?

A Catalytic Oxidizer (CatOx) is an air pollution control system that uses a catalyst to treat process exhaust at lower temperatures than other oxidizer technologies. These systems are appropriate in applications containing lower Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and HAPs concentrations. Catalytic Oxidizers maintain continuous steady-state operating conditions for nearly indefinite periods. With few moving parts and constant stable operating pressures and temperatures, properly designed catalytic oxidizers achieve greater than 99% destruction rate efficiency.

Catalytic Oxidizers are an excellent air pollution control option in applications that need to treat low VOC process streams. Compared to other pollution control technologies, they are very cost-effective, have a low impact on the manufacturing process, and generate less NOx and CO due to their lower gas consumption. All PSI catalytic oxidizers incorporate heat exchangers into the design, making them recuperative catalytic oxidizers.

EtO Sterilization Abatement Utilizing an EtO Catalytic Oxidizer designed for the Medical Sterilization Industry

Catalytic Oxidizers – Standard

Most suitable for process streams that are relatively low in energy, Catalytic Oxidizers achieve VOC and HAP destruction at much lower temperatures than straight thermal oxidization, reducing fuel consumption.

Electric Catalytic Oxidizer Destroys VOC From Process Emissions for a Solar Power Facility

Electric Catalytic Oxidizers

Using the same technology as Standard Catalytic Oxidizers, these systems are powered by electricity rather than natural gas, which can be suitable for sites with limited access to natural gas or those interested in greener technologies.

Considerations When Choosing Catalytic Oxidizer Technology

Gas usage is a primary consideration in the ongoing operating cost of any thermal oxidizer. Oxidizers using a catalyst require less gas since VOC oxidation occurs at much lower temperatures than other oxidizer technologies. In some cases, the heat recovery is sufficient for the treatment process to operate auto-thermally, meaning that the energy evolved from the VOC destruction is enough to raise the process gas to the desired catalyst activation temperature, so no auxiliary fuel is necessary.

An Electric Catalytic Oxidizer uses electricity rather than gas and may be considered a more sustainable solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

The sizes for these systems range from small skid-mounted units designed for a few hundred standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) to large units capable of treating emissions greater than 10,000 SCFM.

Particulate matter (PM) covers the catalyst active site, leading to costly factory reactivation or replacement. It is critical to avoid using catalytic oxidizers on processes with particulate, heavy metals, or other poisioning agents that can permanently deactivate the catalyst in your system. View our catalyst poisons bulletin (link to document) for more details.

Catalysts used for air pollution abatement can be either structured or unstructured and they are typically either a base-metal or a precious-metal. The catalyst is usually made of a carrier (e.g. alumina), impregnated with the catalytic metal.

Ready to Inquire about our Catalytic Oxidizer Systems?

PSI evaluates your air control requirements and provides the appropriate air treatment solution for your process application. We prioritize your total cost of ownership by carefully selecting the technology and combining it with high-quality designs and construction. Contact us to get started.

A Tan Catalytic Oxidizer with a Stainless Steel Stack and Ducts Destroys VOC at a Solar Panel Plant under a Clear Blue Sky