What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals in the air that becomes gaseous at room temperature and are the top cause of the air pollution most commonly referred to as smog.
VOC chemicals that are in the air around us react with nitrogen oxides to form pollution and smog. You’ve likely seen this type of pollution from car exhausts, gas-powered engines in lawn mowers and weed whackers, industrial processes, coatings, paints, household cleaners and chemicals, and building and construction pollution.
VOCs are harmful to the environment and to people, and can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, cause severe headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, memory impairment, and even some cancers.
Indoor and Outdoor VOC Environments
VOCs and other organic compounds can be found both indoors and outdoors. While VOCs that get released into the air during manufacturing processes, VOCs are found indoors as well, from the use of products and materials that contain VOCs.
Obviously, chemical compounds, such as VOCs, that cause health concerns must be controlled. Indoor VOCs can directly impact the people that live around these pollutants. For outdoor VOCs that get released into the air, the EPA maintains regulations on photochemical smog emissions that can worsen when exposed to natural sunlight.
VOC Regulations At U.S. Federal Level
The U.S. EPA regulates VOCs at Federal level in 40 CFR 59, which stands for the National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards For Consumer And Commercial Products. This regulation of VOCs typically focuses on the specific application of products, such as:
- Aerosol Can Coatings – See Case Study
- Architectural Coatings
- Automobile Refinish Coatings
- Coil Coatings – See Case Study
- Spray Dryers – See Case Study
- Aerospace parts
- Circuit Board Mfg.
- Coating & Laminating
- Coffee Roasting
- Electronics Mfg.
- Expanded polystyrene
- Fabric coating
- Fiberglass Products
- Flexographic Printing
- Graphic Arts Printing (Heat set web offset)
- Insulation Manufacturers
- Odor Control
- Learn more about the Industries Kono Kogs Serves here.
How Thermal Oxidizers Remove VOCs
A Thermal Oxidizer (often referred to as TOX, incinerator, or afterburner) destroys pollutants like Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and odorous emissions that are often discharged during industrial processes safely and efficiently.
Thermal oxidizers achieve very high VOC destruction efficiency by heating and maintaining a polluted airstream at high temperature for a set dwell time. Typical VOC reduction destruction is 99+%. Thermal oxidizers can operate with an integral heat exchanger for fuel savings or without 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.
One of today’s most widely accepted air pollution control technologies across industry is a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer, commonly referred to as a RTO. They are very versatile and extremely efficient – heat recovery efficiency can reach 97%. This is achieved through the storage of heat by dense ceramic stoneware. Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers are ideal in low VOC concentrations and during long continuous operations.
Thermal Recuperative Oxidizers
A less popular thermal oxidizer technology is a recuperative oxidizer. Thermal recuperative oxidizers have a primary and/or secondary heat exchanger within the system. A primary heat exchanger preheats the incoming pollutant-filled air by recuperating heat from the exiting clean air. As the incoming air passes from one side of the metal tube or plate to the other, heated and cleaned air from the combustion chamber pass on the other side of the tube or plate and heat is transferred to the incoming air through the process of conduction using the metal as the medium of heat transfer. In the secondary heat exchanger, the same concept applies for heat transfer, but the heated air in the outbound process stream is returned to another part of the facility or plant, such as the furnace.
Catalytic oxidation occurs through a chemical reaction between the VOC hydrocarbon molecules and a precious or base metal catalyst bed that is internal to the oxidizer system. A catalyst is a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction, allowing the reaction to occur in a normal temperature range of 550°F – 650°F (275ºC to 350ºC). Our line of Catalytic Oxidizers includes options for air pollution treatment at a range of temperatures custom designed to treat an assortment of VOCs.
Catalytic Recuperative Oxidizers
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.
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, delivery, installation, startup and post-sale support.
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