Chemical Plant Saves Millions in Dollars & Greenhouse GasesPosted:
- Reduced operating costs by $4-$6 million
- Reduced CO2 emissions by 44 million lbs.
- Maximized solvent extraction rates by using variable heat recovery
- Specified in Bid – Direct Fired Thermal Oxidizer with Catalyst Module
- Supplied 1,500 CFM Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) w/95% Energy Recovery
An environmental consultant contacted Intellishare Environmental to supply a direct fired thermal oxidizer to treat the fume stream from a soil vapor extraction system at an active chemical plant.
Cleanup was estimated to take 15-20 years, and the client was very concerned about operational cost of the equipment over time. Intellishare encouraged the consultant and their client to look at other options besides the equipment specified in the bid and evaluate based on life cycle cost rather than initial capital outlay.
Intellishare Environmental, Inc. performed a life cycle cost analysis comparing three technologies
- Direct fired thermal oxidizer
- Direct fired catalytic oxidizer with 60% heat recovery
- Regenerative thermal oxidizer with 95% heat recovery
As suspected, the direct fired thermal oxidizer had the lowest capital cost; however, it had the highest overall cost in the life cycle analysis.
The direct fired catalytic oxidizer had substantial life cycle savings; however, was eventually ruled out due to the unknown fume stream composition and the potential to poison the very expensive catalyst.
The regenerative thermal oxidation proved to have the highest initial capital cost; however, the lowest life cycle cost. It was estimated to save over $300,000 per year in operating costs with savings between 4.5 million and 6 million dollars over the term of the cleanup project.
Additionally, the RTO reduced the CO2 emissions by a factor of 10 because for every 1 million BTU’s of natural gas burned the CO2 emission associated with it is 124 lbs. The direct fired thermal unit required a burner demand of 3 million BTU/hr or 372 lbs/hr of CO2 while the RTO only .3 million BTU/hr or 37.2 lbs/hr of CO2.
The project engineer had concerns over the RTO and its ability to recover 95% of the waste heat, limiting the amount of solvent being extracted during the initial stages of the project. Intellishare suggested a modification to the RTO which would allow the RTO’s heat recovery efficiency to be limited during the initial stages of the project when solvent levels were highest. As the solvent levels decline over time, the heat recovery efficiency can be increased.
The variable heat recovery option along with the CO2 emission reduction was enough to convince the client and engineer that the RTO was the best choice for the project.
The system was completely skid mounted and the site installation was completed in 1 day. Adjustments to the variable heat recovery system took 2-3 days to optimize the solvent extraction from the well field. After the initial adjustment, the system has operated or below the projected cost/unit volume of air treated.
How This Applies to You
Intellishare encourages clients to focus on selecting the right equipment for the job and to evaluating the life cycle cost of projects rather than focusing on initial capital outlay.
Some air pollution control manufacturers make a few standard oxidizers and that’s it. At Intellishare, we have a full suite of flexible, scalable and adaptable oxidizers with modular options. That means it isn’t about making a standard product fit your project, it’s about selecting the best technology in the right size with the right features to meet your needs- now and in the future.
Intellishare Environmental delivers thermal and catalytic oxidation solutions to control VOCs, HAPs and odorous emissions for industry and environment.
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