The regeneration principle operates around multiple energy recovery chambers in use on the system, which are the housings for the ceramic heat recovery media. The ceramic heat recovery media acts as a heat exchanger for the system. The multiple chambers operate under a “swing bed” absorption principle: which is the principle of transfer through multiple beds by the use of flow reversal. In the use of this principle with ceramic stoneware, the process is called regeneration. As the dirty exhaust stream travels through the first bed of ceramic media, the exhaust stream adsorbs the heat energy stored in the ceramic media mass, which pre-heats the exhaust stream. The exhaust stream then enters the burner reactor chamber, where heat energy is added from the burner to reach the system operating temperature. After the temperature has been elevated, the clean exhaust stream then passes through the second energy recovery chamber.
As the exhaust stream passes through the chamber, the cold ceramic media mass absorbs the heat energy of the exhaust stream, and stores the heat energy for the reverse flow of the system. Once the heat energy of the first chamber has been depleted through the absorption of the incoming air stream, the flow through the system is rotated, so the incoming dirty air stream is then directed through the previous absorption chamber, with the clean waste gas now going through the previously purged chamber.
By using the reversal of exhaust flow through the ceramic beds, a minimal amount of heat energy needs to be added to the incoming exhaust stream to maintain the systems minimum operating temperature. The sizing of the ceramic media beds is such that a 95%+ heat recovery efficiency is possible through the regenerating, reversal flow process.
What happens with a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer is intriguing. Gas laden with volatile and hazardous contaminants enters a Twin Bed RTO via an inlet manifold. Heating of the process gas and contaminants continues through the heat exchange media bed (aka stoneware bed) as the gas stream moves toward the combustion chamber.