University of Oulu

Catalytic oxidation of volatile organic compounds and malodorous organic compounds

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Author: Ojala, Satu1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2005
Publish Date: 2005-11-11
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on November 19th, 2005, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Leonid Kustov
Professor Magnus Skoglundh


This thesis describes efforts made on the development of an existing catalytic incinerator. The development work, called process characterization, consists of four general parts. These are the development of measurement methodology, the studying of construction materials, the selection of suitable catalysts and the testing of the effects of process operation conditions. The two application areas for catalytic incineration considered in this thesis are solvent emission abatement (VOC, volatile organic compounds) and chip bin emission abatement (SVOC, sulphur-containing volatile organic compounds).

As a baseline, the process characterization is started with the development of measurement methodology. In general, the methodology will decrease costs and simplify the carrying out of the actual measurements and thereby make the measurement time more effective. In the methodology it is proposed that continuous total concentration measurement should be used in connection with qualitative sampling to obtain reliable measurement data.

The selection of suitable construction materials for the application is very important. As shown in this thesis, the end conversions in solvent emission abatement may even be improved through the selection of the proper construction materials. In chip bin emission abatement, the problem arises from corrosive oxidation products that set limits on the construction materials used as well as on oxidation conditions.

Catalyst selection is based on the following catalytic properties: activity, selectivity and durability. These catalytic properties are studied either at the laboratory or on an industrial scale. The catalytic materials tested are Pt, Pd, Pt-Pd, Cu-Mn oxides, MnO2-MgO, CuxMg(1-x)Cr2O4 and CuxCr2O4. The most important selection criteria in solvent emission abatement are proposed to be activity and selectivity. In the case of chip bin-SVOC-abatement, these are selectivity and durability. Based on these criteria, catalysts containing Cu-Mn oxides and Pt were demonstrated to be the best catalysts in VOC oxidation, and catalyst containing MnO2-MgO was shown to be best catalyst in SVOC oxidation.

A study on the effect of process operation parameters (temperature, concentration and gas hourly space velocity (GHSV)) and moisture was carried out with the aid of factorial design. In VOC (n-butyl acetate) oxidation, the most influential process parameter was GHSV, which decreased the end conversion when it was increased. In SVOC (DMDS) oxidation, the effect of temperature was most significant. The end conversions increased as the temperature increased. Moisture slightly decreased the formation of by-products in n-butyl acetate oxidation. In DMDS oxidation, moisture slightly increased the end conversions at a lower temperature level (300°C).

At the end of the thesis, these process parameters are also discussed from the standpoint of the catalysts' activity, selectivity and durability. Finally, proposals for process improvements are suggested.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-7870-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-7869-0
Issue: 227
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2005. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.