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Thermal and catalytic oxidators are the most common methods to fulfill VOC emissions regulations with incineration. Catalytic oxidation offers several advantages in comparison to thermal oxidation, especially with low VOC contents. The most important are cost savings, high purification, a compact size allowing easy installation, and cleanliness of the process. The quality and durability of catalysts has been significantly improved with Platinum Group Metal (PGM) catalysts which offer life times of more than 15 years.

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Typically a temperature of 300o C for catalytic oxidation and 800o C for thermal oxidation is required for VOC oxidation. Therefore only about one third of energy is needed to heat VOC containing gas to the oxidizing temperature. This enables a lower Auto Thermal operations without additional energy inputs with very low VOC content, even with less than 0.5 g/Nm3. So in many cases with catalytic oxidation, the support energy is only required during start-up.

Formia’s new metallic heat exchanger enables efficient energy reuse and can be built for a very high heat recovery efficiency up to 96%. Mixing channel structure of the regenerative heat exchanger is made of corrugated steel foil and has very high surface area and capacity in a small size. Nusselt number (Nu), which describes relative heat transfer efficiency, is four times bigger than in a straight channel.


A new mixer type catalyst structure enables extremely efficient mass transfer of molecules from the bulk gas into the micro pores of catalyst surface for reaction. Sherwood number, which describes structure mass transfer efficiency, is 12 in comparison to 2,5-3 with traditional cell structures. This guarantees maximal performance and purification result in minimal size. Conversion rate of even 99,9% is reached.


The innovative concept to install two reactors inside each other has eliminated internal pipe connections. Together with metallic structure and platinum group catalyst it has been possible to essentially reduce the size of the VOC oxidizer to one-fifth of thermal burners.

On the catalyst surface the reactions happen very fast. Gas residence time is c. 0,07 s. Catalytic reactions are about 20 times faster than in the case of thermal oxidation. Also short residence time enables small sizing. 

Thanks to the small size it is possible to install VOC oxidizer in a standard container, up to capacity 30.000 Nm3/h.


New generation noble metal catalysts can tolerate high temperatures and catalyst poisons so that over 15 year life cycle has been reached. In oxidation catalysts the commonly used active metals are Platinum (Pt) and Palladium (Pd) which are dispersed in very small particles all over the huge coating surface. Today’s sophisticated coatings layers include optimized carrier structure, stabilizers and promotors. PGM (Platinum Group Metals) catalyst has high Pt and Pd loading. The higher the PGM loading the more active and durable the catalyst is. The similar chemical composition of catalysts is used in millions of cars and trucks. The highly sophisticated solution for chlorinated hydrocarbons is also in production range. Catalysts are valuable also after the life cycle, as PGM’s can be recycled.



An integrated VOC concentrator is used for very low VOC contents (<0,5 g/Nm3). When adsorbing lean emissions in the active carbon or zeolite container, the autothermal point is reached in burning in the catalyst.


Residual emission formation is negligible in catalytic incineration. The higher the temperature the more Nitrogen and Oxygen contained in the air start to react together forming NOx. Thanks to the low operation temperature no NOx is formed.  As a result of short residence time, proper oxidation happens quickly in low temperature and no other emissions like CO are born either. Also the need of supporting energy is minimal, so additional CO2 generation is very small.


最佳可用技术 (BACT/BAT)

Regenerative two bed oxidizers have emission slip during flow direction change. In thermal burners this is normally eliminated by installing a third bed. This is expensive and needs lots of space. In the Smart VOC oxidizer slip is eliminated by guiding gas stream through by-pass channel while changing the flow direction. In most stringent cases a catalyst can be installed in the by-pass channel. This patented solution can be offered for up-grading of the existing VOC oxidizers.