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What is a Catalytic Oxidizer (CatOx)?

catalytic oxidizer 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 process 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 Oxidizer Gas Train-side viewStack, Catalytic Oxidizer + Controls-system view

How does a Catalytic Oxidizer Work?

Process air enters the oxidizer chamber and is heated before it passes through the catalyst. Air heats to the appropriate catalyst activation temperature, which varies from 350 - 650 F depending on the pollutant and the type of catalyst chosen. Exposure of the dirty air to the catalyst (in the presence of excess oxygen and at the necessary temperature) ensures the high destruction of VOCs, converting them into carbon dioxide, water vapor, and thermal energy. When incorporating a heat exchanger, the process air enters the heat exchanger and is pre-heated using the oxidizer’s exhaust energy before entering the oxidizer chamber.

Typical Catalytic Thermal Oxidizer P&ID

Typical Catalytic Thermal Oxidizer P&ID


Benefits of Catalytic Oxidizers

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.

Gas usage is a primary consideration in the ongoing operating cost of any thermal oxidizer. Oxidizers using a catalyst require less gas since oxidation of the VOCs is achieved 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, and no auxiliary fuel is necessary. An electric catalytic oxidizer uses electricity rather than gas and may be considered a more sustainable solution. 


Compare Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTO) vs Catalytic Thermal Oxidizers (Catox)


Catalytic Oxidizer Automated Controls

Pollution Systems understands the importance of easy-to-use and easy-to-understand industrial controls that guarantee proper operation of the system and its desired outcome. Our systems are fully automated to quickly start, stop and safely operate the equipment for minimal required operator interaction. Our experienced engineers work with our clients to design a set of robust system controls tailored to the specific application and preferences. Some options include remote interfacing and monitoring, data collection, and hazardous area classification.

If you need to repair your existing catalytic oxidizer, our technical services division, PolSys Services, can assist in repairs of any make and model of catalytic oxidizer system.  

Catalytic Oxidizer Case Studies

Catalytic Oxidizer for Odor Control Case Study

Catalytic Oxidizer for Ethylene Oxide Exhaust Case Study

Catalytic Oxidizer Used in Solar Panel Manufacturing Case Study


Common Catalytic Oxidizer Industrial Applications

Some of the more common industrial applications for catalytic oxidizers include:


 Catalytic Oxidizer Ductwork & Oxidizer Stack-top viewClick Photo to see Gallery


As a catalytic oxidizer manufacturer, Pollution Systems will evaluate your air control requirements and provide you with the appropriate air treatment for your process application. The systems we offer focus on the lifetime cost of ownership by carefully selecting the equipment combined with high-quality designs and construction. Contact us to evaluate your air treatment issue and recommend the best path forward.

Contact us HERE to request a quote from Pollution Systems.
If you would like to speak directly to our sales department you may call 832-730-1209 or email us at sales@pollutionsystems.com