Project Synopsis

Perform a technical and cost feasibility study for adding pure oxygen to the combustion air inlet on a submerged bed heater for a hazardous waste incineration facility.

Project Summary


The client operates a hazardous waste incineration facility.  The client contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to perform a technical and cost feasibility study for adding pure oxygen to their submerged bed heater (SBH) combustion air.  The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of operating with increased oxygen concentration in the SBH combustion air on associated equipment, and to determine if the cost of using oxygen would be justified.  Based on this information, the client can make informed project and process decisions concerning replacing air with oxygen in the feed to the SBH.

PROCESS performed the following tasks in support of this feasibility study:

  • Held a kick-off meeting at the client’s facility to discuss the project deliverables and gather process data.
  • Utilized the original process mass balance as well as current process data to develop a computer process simulation (using CHEMCAD) of the incineration process.
  • Developed and performed sensitivity analyses varying the amount of pure oxygen added to the combustion air with oxygen concentrations ranging from 21 mole-% (ambient air) to 100 mole-% (pure oxygen) while maintaining burner outlet temperature via natural gas flow rate.  Recorded and summarized the resulting data.
  • Evaluated the potential for carryover of liquid droplets from the system’s quench vessel using a spreadsheet-based program developed by PROCESS that evaluates gas velocities versus particle settling velocities for the unit’s specific geometry and over a range of particle (droplet) sizes.
  • Analyzed downstream equipment (mist eliminators, condensers, fans, auxiliary gas heating burner/fan, baghouses, etc.) for operability with increasing oxygen content in the combustion air (and consequently lower exhaust gas volumetric flow rate).
  • Proposed corrective actions to improve equipment operability or to replace equipment as necessary to operate with higher oxygen concentrations in the combustion air.
  • Analyzed the client’s problem with equipment corrosion downstream of the mist eliminators and condensers and proposed a solution to minimize, if not eliminate, the corrosion problem.
  • Performed an economic analysis of adding pure oxygen to the burner combustion air.
  • Summarized the calculation methodologies and results, conclusions, and recommendations in a letter report submitted to the client.

Industry Type

  • Hazardous Waste Incineration

Utilized Skills

  • Combustion process parameters analysis
  • Combustion process modeling
  • Technical and economic alternatives evaluation

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