Thermal Oxidizer - Ventilation Air Methane Thermal Oxidizer (VAMTOX)

Ventilation Air Methane Thermal Oxidizer (VAMTOX)

Ventilation Air Methane Thermal Oxidizers are used to destroy methane in the exhaust air of underground coal mine shafts. Methane is a greenhouse gas and, when destroyed via thermal combustion, is chemically altered to form CO2 and H2O. CO2 is 25 times less potent than methane when emitted into the atmosphere with regards to global warming. Concentrations of methane in mine ventilation exhaust air of coal and trona mines are very dilute; typically below 1% and often below 0.5%. VAMTOX units have a system of valves and dampers that direct the air flow across one or more ceramic filled bed(s). On start-up, the system preheats by raising the temperature of the heat exchanging ceramic material in the bed(s) at or above the auto-oxidation temperature of methane (1,000°C or 1,832°F), at which time the preheating system is turned off and mine exhaust air is introduced. Then the methane-filled air reaches the preheated bed(s), releasing the heat from combustion. This heat is then transferred back to the bed(s), thereby maintaining the temperature at or above what is necessary to support auto-thermal operation.

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