Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizer

What is a Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizer?


Catalytic-Recuperative-Oxidizer konokogs used RTOs









A Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizer (often referred to as CATOX, catalytic oxidizer) destroys pollutants like Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and odorous emissions that are often discharged during industrial processes.

Catalytic oxidizers achieve high VOC destruction efficiency by heating and maintaining a polluted airstream at temperature (typically 600 to 650F) for a set “dwell” time. The lower operating temperature results in much lower fuel use than thermal recuperative oxidizers. VOC destruction efficiency can reach 99+%.  Catalytic oxidizers can operate with an integral heat exchanger for fuel savings, or without a heat exchanger for capital cost savings. All oxidizer technologies achieve VOC destruction by exposing pollutant-containing air to a high temperature, for a set period of time, in a turbulent flow path.  

The Three “T’s”

Time, temperature and turbulence- Three T’s-  are critical and co-dependent factors that determine oxidizer performance.

Catalytic systems utilize a bead or monolith catalyst material to achieve VOC destruction at reduced temperature. The catalyst is not used up or degraded when utilized, but can become contaminated with some common industrial emissions. Catalytic systems perform well for clean applications without halogens, sulfurs, or silicone.  They have a long life simply because they operate at a much lower temperature than thermal recuperative oxidizers.

Advantages and disadvantages of catalytic systems are discussed more completely on our Selecting an Oxidizer webpage.  

How Does a Catalytic Oxidizer Work?

catalytic oxizider konokogs used RTOs and oxidizers

A pollutant-filled airstream is pushed through the oxidizer, usually with a system fan.   When equipped with an air-to-air heat exchanger, the flow of air will pass air through the air-to-air heat exchanger to preheat the air before entering the burner/combustion chamber. In the combustion chamber, the air is heated to a sufficiently high (>600F) temperature and then passes through the catalyst material (bed) where VOCs are destroyed. The hot, cleaned air then continues through a hot pass of the heat exchanger (if heat exchanger is utilized). The cooled, clean air is then exhausted to the atmosphere.

Questions to Ask When Considering a Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizer (CATOX)?:

  • Is a catalytic oxidizer the most cost-effective oxidizer solution for my airstream?
  • Due to the reliable, efficient performance of regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTO), catalytic oxidizers are now selected for only a fraction of industrial applications (see Selecting an Oxidizer)
  • Is my VOC concentration greater than 16% LFL:  Heat exchanger needed or not?
  • LFL greater than 16% will require special consideration
  • Typically, a heat exchanger is a wise option for a catalytic oxidizer
  • Will a plate heat exchanger or shell and tube style heat exchanger be a better choice?
  • For catalytic systems, plate or shell & tube heat exchangers will perform well
  • Is there a potential for particulates?
  • Catalytic systems do not handle particulates; consider other technologies


The Kono Kogs philosophy is to provide innovative air pollution control technologies that provide the lowest cost, most reliable solution to our valued customers. We offer engineering, equipment manufacturing, installation, startup and post-sale service.

Other benefits of working with Kono Kogs:

  • 24 Hour customer service and support (phone: 920-615-8804)
  • Multiple OEM & technology offerings ensure unbiased recommendations
  • Complete aftermarket sales department
  • Management with over a century of oxidizer manufacturing and service experience


Do you have a project where we can be of assistance?  Contact Kono Kogs or get a quote today!

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