Thermal Oxidizers (TOX)

A thermal oxidizer is a combustion system used to control air pollution by destroying hazardous air pollutants (HAP), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and odorous emissions discharged from industrial processes. Also referred to as TOX or thermal incinerator, a thermal oxidizer is designed to oxidize hydrocarbon-based pollutants into CO2 and H2O before exhausting them to the atmosphere.

Thermal Oxidizer Options

Refurbished TOX
Refurbished Thermal Oxidizers

Because of their near universality DFTOs can be re-applied easily for permanent use or sometimes as a temporary system in an emergency situation.

Refurbished RTO
Refurbished Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers

Fully refurbished with a parts and performance warranty — you won't believe they're not new!

Custom TOX
Custom Thermal Oxidizers

Custom DFTOs are simple systems with shorter lead times than other technologies. 

Common Types of Thermal Oxidizers

Direct Fired Thermal Oxidizers (DFTO)

Direct fired thermal oxidizers (DFTO; aka afterburners) represent the most basic thermal oxidizer technology. DFTOs have the lowest capital/maintenance costs compared to other systems, and are very effective in treating process air with high VOC concentrations.

Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTO)

Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers are the most widely used air pollution control technology today. They have the lowest operating cost compared to other thermal oxidizer systems, with high reliability and long service life. Learn more about regenerative thermal oxidizers or check out our used RTO inventory.

Recuperative Thermal Oxidizers

Recuperative thermal oxidizers (TOX) have an integrated air to air heat exchanger that uses hot treated air exiting the combustion chamber to pre-heat inbound process air. Because of this heat recovery, less fuel is consumed by the burner.

Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizers

Catalytic recuperative oxidizers (aka catox systems) use less fuel because they operate at a lower temperature compared to other thermal oxidizer systems (typically 600°F – 650°F). They’re best for clean applications without halogens, sulfurs, silicone or particulates. Learn more about catalytic recuperative oxidizers or check out our current used catalytic oxidizer inventory.

Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizers (RCO)

Regenerative Catalytic Oxidizers operate similar to RTOs (see above) but include a layer of catalyst impregnated ceramic media, making them even more fuel efficient than RTOs. RCOs work well for low-VOC process airstreams (below 16%) and have a long service life.

VOC Rotary Concentrators

While not truly an oxidizer or a stand-alone solution, VOC Rotary Concentrators are air pollution control systems that pre-condition an airstream before it is sent to a paired oxidizer for VOC destruction. VOC concentrators work by absorbing VOCs from high-volume, low-VOC concentration process air, then releasing the concentrated VOCs into a smaller vapor stream that is treated in a thermal or catalytic oxidizer. Learn more about VOC rotary concentrators.

Learn more about the differences between thermal oxidizer types >>

Characterizing your emission airstream is critical for all applications and oxidizer technology choices; but it is especially so with many DFTO applications that are in critical operating environments (i.e. Class 1 Division 1, etc.). Send us your conditions and we will quickly assess the best option for your process.

Thermal Oxidizer Service Options

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Emergency DFTO Thermal Oxidizer Fabrication for Recycling Emissions


An oil recycling company in the Southwest needed a new thermal oxidizer shell ASAP. This case study shows how KKI came through despite supply chain challenges.

Read the Case Study
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