How To Calculate RTO Burner Required

Technical Corner
Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers
Rule of Thumb Calculations – Part Two


How to calculate RTO burner required:

For a 95% Effective Heat Return

Fuel required is:

Example: 10,000 SCFM RTO Unit

Operating with no VOC – Burner required is: 10,000 X 90 = 0.9 mmbtu/hr

For quick start-up – Burner required is: 3 X 0.9 = 2.7 mmbtu/hr (2.5 – 3.0 mmbtu/hr)

For a 90% Effective Heat Return

Fuel required is:

Example; 10,000 SCFM RTO Unit

Burner required is: 10,000 X 90 X 3 = 1.8 mmbtu/hr

Any VOC in the fume stream will reduce fuel requirement.
For Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) plants, typically each pound of pentane reduces the fuel requirement by 19,500 btu. So for a 10,000 SCFM RTO with pentane in collection stream at 20 lbs/hr:

Btu value is 20 X 19,500 = 0.39 mmbtu/hr

For Flexographic Printing & Packaging industry, use 15,000 btu/lb

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