RTO Ceramic Media Plugging: Paint Spray BoothApril 14, 2022
Completed Ceramic Media Replacement
Equipment: Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer: 25,000 scfm capacity
Process: Automotive Paint Spray Booth
Plugging Issue: Siloxane solids
Automotive paint line emissions were plugging the ceramic media beds in a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO). Frequent and costly ceramic media cleanings and replacements were harming production schedules and profitability. Paint emissions containing siloxanes were the source of the plugging. When the siloxanes are exposed to the high temperatures in an RTO ceramic media bed they form SiO₂ which adheres to the ceramic media surface. Over time, the particulate will fill what is referred to as the ‘void volume’ of the media and begin to plug the bed leading to increased pressure drop throughout the unit. To maintain the desired airflow draw from the spray booths the RTO fan speed increases to overcome the additional system airflow resistance due to plugging. The result is increased operating costs (fan horsepower) and decreased thermal efficiency (higher burner firing). Also, additional wear and tear on the RTO due to pressure spikes during valve switches.
Kono Kogs was hired to analyze the plugging and develop a solution to extend ceramic media life. With proper ceramic media bed design, the bed life can be extended significantly and sometimes plugging can be alleviated completely. However with siloxanes, the plugging cannot be eliminated. In these cases understanding at what temperatures the creation of solid SiO₂ occurs determines the best solution. The bed design that offers the combined longest life and highest fuel efficiency was proposed. Kono Kogs worked with local contractors hired by our customer to facilitate COVID travel/work rules in 2021. Additional plugging was found in the cold face upon removal of the ceramic media, which was unexpected. Cleaning and cold face repairs were made to allow the desired 1 day media replacement to hold schedule. Kono Kogs left an extremely clean job site, and also re-started and confirmed proper RTO operation prior to leaving.
Equipment / Services provided by Kono Kogs, Inc.
- Assess media plugging characteristics
- Design media bed optimizing life and thermal efficiency
- Provide ceramic media and oversight for replacement
- Ensure clean work site before leaving
About Kono Kogs
Kono Kogs has been refurbishing used thermal oxidizers for over 25 years with over 350 installations in nearly every state in the USA and around the world. We offer full refurbishing of quality-built thermal oxidizers and stand behind them with warranties that match new equipment OEM warranties.
Kono Kogs has experience refurbishing nearly every major RTO model on the market, even obsolete models from OEMs that are no longer in business.
We provide every component or service related to regenerative thermal oxidizers including relocation, trade-in, field repairs, field rebuilds/upgrades, emergency service, preventive maintenance service, and replacement with our refurbished, warrantied long-life RTO systems. We have over 350 refurbished oxidizer units installed worldwide. Why buy new when you can buy better!