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Optimum Conditions for Effective Decomposition of Toluene as VOC Gas by Pilot-Scale Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer

Authors: S. Iijima, K. Nakayama, D. Kuchar, M. Kubota, H. Matsuda


Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) is one of the best solutions for removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from industrial processes. In the RTO, VOC in a raw gas are usually decomposed at 950-1300 K and the combustion heat of VOC is recovered by regenerative heat exchangers charged with ceramic honeycombs. The optimization of the treatment of VOC leads to the reduction of fuel addition to VOC decomposition, the minimization of CO2 emission and operating cost as well. In the present work, the thermal efficiency of the RTO was investigated experimentally in a pilot-scale RTO unit using toluene as a typical representative of VOC. As a result, it was recognized that the radiative heat transfer was dominant in the preheating process of a raw gas when the gas flow rate was relatively low. Further, it was found that a minimum heat exchanger volume to achieve self combustion of toluene without additional heating of the RTO by fuel combustion was dependent on both the flow rate of a raw gas and the concentration of toluene. The thermal efficiency calculated from fuel consumption and the decomposed toluene ratio, was found to have a maximum value of 0.95 at a raw gas mass flow rate of 1810 kg·h-1 and honeycombs height of 1.5m.

Keywords: Volatile Organic Compounds, toluene, Regenerative Heat Exchange, Self Combustion

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