Catalytic Oxidiser (CatOx)

Cornelsen’s engineers have more experience in the use of catalytic oxidisers in the soil and groundwater remediation business than any other Company in the UK.

  • Treatment of petroleum hydrocarbons and, in some cases, chlorinated hydrocarbons;
  • Designed to integrate with, and control, a soil vapour extraction system (SVE);
  • Generally fixed monthly running costs;
  • Extremely efficient;
  • Despite the relative complexity, operation can be simple, robust and extremely reliable; and
  • Can significantly reduce the cost of vapour treatment compared to activated carbon;


Typical Applications

The typical Cornelsen CatOx installation is designed such that the CatOx takes primary control of any gas extraction system in order to ensure safe operation and an optimum blend of soil gas and dilution air  A CatOx will generally be deployed when petroleum hydrocarbon contaminant concentrations are at or above 3 or 4 g/m3 and are expected to remain that high for a reasonably prolonged period.  A straight cost benefit analysis can be conducted between a CatOx and another treatment solution such as vapour phase Activated Carbon.

Specifications of a typical Cornelsen hire plant

Power: 400 V, 3 Phase.  Process Gas Heater, 24 kW, Blower, 2.1 kW
Flow Rate: Typically 600 to 1000 m3/hr
Supplemental fuel: Propane (optional)
Control system: PLC with multi-point temperature sensors
Gas Monitoring: In-Line LEL detection system
Throughput: 200-600 m3/hr
Minimum operating temperature (petroleum vapour) 350°C: Depends on inlet concentration a flow rate
Maximum operation temperature: 550°
Heat Exchange Inlet gases pre-heating
By-pass: Automatic bypassing of the heat exchanger


tipTech Tip:
The use of a CatOx for chlorinated hydrocarbons can be a viable option. However, this is very dependant on concentration and it is not as cost effective due to the low calorific value of the CHCs Furthermore, specialist precious metal catalyst media is required along with a scrubber system due to HCL by product in the off-gas. Particular care and attention to minimum temperatures is required due to the risk of dioxins and furans in the off-gas.