As every single factory manager will tell you, all manufacturing plants focus on improving efficiency while reducing costs. While it may seem like a straightforward task, identifying areas of improvement can be anything but simple. Depending on the type of plant you manage, installing a new or updating your current air pollution control system can have a monumental impact on your entire operation.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of regenerative thermal oxidizers, how they work, and how to identify if your plant can benefit from a new RTO.

Benefits of Implementing an RTO

A regenerative thermal oxidizer, also known as an RTO, is a piece of dedicated equipment that destroys air pollutants before they enter the atmosphere. Keep in mind that plants of all types must abide by regulations set forth by the EPA, which aims to control the amount of pollution that enters our atmosphere, and RTOs help you do exactly that.

Dangerous gas emissions, which include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants, can have detrimental effects on the environment and human health if released into the atmosphere.

RTOs are designed to destroy VOCs through the process of oxidation. This consists of moving the polluted air through a series of heat exchange towers and a combustion chamber. The high temperatures, in turn, causes a physical reaction that destroys up to 99%+ of VOCs and other pollutants.

If your plant already has VOC abatement equipment such as a different type of oxidizer, upgrading to an RTO can improve several parts of your operation. For instance, the thermal efficiency rating can range from 85% to 97% depending on the conditions, which is much higher than you can achieve with older models.

At the same time, regenerative thermal oxidizers boast simple designs. These pieces of machinery tend to maintain optimal performance while requiring very little maintenance. And, because they achieve VOC destruction rates of up to 99%+, RTOs allows you to adhere to the standards the EPA enforces easily.

Signs Your Plant Can Benefit from a RTO

While there is no denying the efficiency of a RTO, you need to make sure your plant has the necessary conditions to actually benefit from it. Here are five signs your plant can benefit from a regenerative thermal oxidizer.

VOC Concentration Issues

Certain VOC abatement technologies are so specialized that they are limited to a certain concentration range to be effective. RTOs are extremely versatile because they can be used for both low and high VOC concentration. At the same time, these oxidizers can also be used for high and low volume exhaust streams so that they can serve an array of different industries.

High Maintenance Costs / Excessive Downtime

Like any other piece of machinery, air pollution control systems become less efficient and reliable with age. Whether it’s in the form of more frequent maintenance or business-crippling downtime, operating costs start to add up. Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers are designed to reduce these operating costs, and a well-maintained new oxidizer will save you money and could even provide heat for other applications, driving your overall business costs down further.

Poor Energy Efficiency

If you notice your current oxidizer costs a lot of money to operate, having a RTO installed may result in significant energy savings over time. As long as you cover the capital investment, a regenerative thermal oxidizer can help keep operating costs to a minimum.

Poor Destruction Efficiency

If your current system is aging or has failed a recent destruction test you know time is of the essence to get in compliance or face penalties.  The EPA has different requirements for different pollutants when it comes to destruction rates. If your plant requires destruction rates up to 99%+, then opting for a regenerative thermal oxidizer will allow you to operate without any penalties.

Excess Exhaust Stack Heat

Regenerative thermal oxidizers can incorporate heat recovery in the exhaust stack providing heat for use elsewhere in the plant. This can help you reduce operating costs in other areas of your manufacturing facility without sacrificing the quality of your products.

Find a Reliable RTO for Your Plant

Regenerative thermal oxidizers are extremely effective, but they are also a hefty investment. Make sure you find a reliable RTO manufacturer with a proven track record to design an effective piece of machinery for your facility.

At The CMM Group, we specialize in providing state-of-the-art RTO designs that maximize productivity and reduce operating costs. Get in touch with us by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form today

Sources:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/regulatory-information-sector
  2. https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders
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