Depending on the nature of the vent stream to be controlled, addition of catalyst to a thermal oxidation system may be a means to further optimize operating costs of the compliance strategy. Epcon has successfully employed catalysts for Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers (RTO), Recuperative Thermal Oxidizers and Direct Fired Thermal Oxidizer configurations.

Epcon designs thermal catalytic oxidizer systems to accept various types of catalysts. With our in-house catalyst experts, we can assure optimal catalyst selection and application to various process exhaust streams. Our experts work together with clients to understand the specific application requirements and working with global catalyst manufacturers match those requirements to the most appropriate catalyst type and control technology configuration.

Epcon’s Thermal Catalytic Oxidizers convert process exhaust stream Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) into harmless amounts of carbon dioxide, water, and thermal energy, which are then safely discharged to the atmosphere. Catalytic
Oxidation occurs through a chemical reaction between the VOC hydrocarbon molecules and a catalyst bed that is integrated with the oxidizer system.


Catalytic treatment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air pollutants functions by reacting the harmful air pollutants over the selected catalyst. The resultant oxidation reaction occurs at a lower temperature thanks to the contribution of the Catalyst. Products of this reaction are carbon dioxide, water vapor, and potentially usable heat. The lower temperature reaction reduces demand for supplemental fuel driving significant operating cost savings. In many cases the oxidation process can be self-sustaining thanks to the energy value of the volatile compounds in the vent stream.

As the saying goes, “There are no free lunches”. While catalysts offer the potential to accelerate the oxidation reaction at lower temperatures providing significant energy savings, they are subject to limitations which affect their performance and life. Catalysts are designed to perform for a given set of compounds in the stream to be treated. Changes to the make-up of the vent stream may limit the effectiveness of the catalyst. In extreme cases, this can result in the “poisoning” or deactivation of the catalyst. Additionally, particulate matter in the vent stream may blind the catalyst inhibiting its performance.


As is the case with all Air Pollution Control, Ovens and Furnaces and Finishing systems that Epcon provides, our team of experts will work with the client to understand the application requirements under all operating conditions. This is particularly important when employing a catalyst.

With decades of experience, Epcon is uniquely capable of objectively guiding you through the selection process. Some of the questions we explore are; Is a thermal oxidizer the right solution to meet the compliance needs today and in the future? If so, what configuration (DFTO, Recuperative, Regenerative) is best suited to the application? Are their opportunities for secondary heat recovery? Can a catalyst be employed to further reduce operating costs?

Epcon has engineered systems based on cutting edge technologies as an industry leader in research and development with our own original designs. For select applications, incorporating a Catalyst into the thermal Oxidizer design has the potential to provide the lowest total cost of operation.

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“Contact Us today to learn how a catalyst may help you achieve the lowest operating cost with your thermal oxidizer application.”