Oxidation equipment combines elemental compounds with oxygen to form new compounds. Oxidation is a naturally-occurring chemical reaction. Rusting, for example is an oxidizing process that occurs when iron compounds corrode in the presence of oxygen and water. In terms of industrial applications, oxidation equipment is used to separate air pollutants into compounds that can be released safety into the atmosphere. In this way, oxidizers are used in a variety of industries to reduce emissions and control air pollution.
There are three main types of oxidation equipment: thermal oxidizers, catalytic oxidizers, and ultra-violet (UV) oxidizers. A thermal oxidizer consists of a single-chambered unit with a burner (propane or natural gas) and a stack. With thermal oxidation, the air is heated to a temperature that oxidizes the compounds. A catalytic oxidizer uses a metal catalyst (often platinum or palladium) to oxidize the contaminants at lower temperatures. With catalytic oxidation, the lower temperatures reduce the amount of nitrous oxide produced. A UV oxidizer destroys contaminants by exposing them to high-intensity UV light. Like other oxidation equipment, UV oxidation breaks existing chemical bonds.
Selecting oxidation equipment requires an analysis of product specifications and application requirements. Thermal oxidation and catalytic oxidation processes are used for nonchlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). UV oxidation can handle VOCs and SVOCs as well as chlorinated compounds. Regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide grants for diesel oxidation catalysts and other oxidation equipment used in large-scale construction projects. The type of oxidation equipment to select depends upon factors such as pollution contaminant, airflow, and the amount and type of VOC being emitted.
Suppliers of thermal oxidizers, catalytic oxidizers and UV oxidizers meet a variety of regulatory requirements and quality standards. In the United States, compliance with EPA guidelines is mandatory. Oxidation equipment destined for sale in Europe bears the CE Mark to indicate compliance with relevant European Union (EU) directives.