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Regenerative thermal oxidation (biotox®) – Biothermica Technologies Inc.

Description of the technology

The Biotox regenerative oxidation process designed by Biothermica Technologies Inc. solves air pollution problems related to industries emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), condensible organic compounds (COCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and total reduced sulfurs (TRS). Some of these contaminants (and occasionally all of them) can be found in emissions from the following industries:

  • asphalt paper and shingles manufacturing;
  • graphic arts and printing;
  • surface coverings;
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • painting process;
  • anode manufacturing for aluminum plants;
  • oxidation of asphalt;
  • thermoplastic resins;
  • rendering plants;
  • sludge treatment plants;
  • Kraft mills.

The bituminous droplets in some types of industrial waste are hard to remove. They tend to adhere to the walls of air treatment equipment and ignite. Simultaneous treatment of VOCs and COCs with Biotox involves preheating of the incoming gases above their dew point prior to enter the Biotox unit.. Each of the Biotox heat recuperation chambers has ceramic modules which store recovered heat in order to transfer it to the incoming gases.


The process allows the industry to meet Quebec’s environmental standards on VOCs and also provides energy recovery from 80 % to 97 % on the process to be treated.

It treats VOCs and COCs simultaneously and is over 98% effective in destroying them; current standards call for 90% effectiveness in destroying VOCs. The process produces neither wastewater nor dangerous and hard-to-treat wastes, and it does not transfer pollutants to the water or soil.

The technology consumes less energy than other oxidation technologies (recuperative and catalytic oxidation), which treat pollutant concentrations of less than 3 g/Nm3. With these other technologies, the cost of equipment maintenance is higher because of frequent contamination of the catalysts by sulphur or halogen compounds in VOCs and COCs; this is not a problem with Biotox technology.


The Biotox process can be used when the VOC concentration is less than 4 g/Nm3 and the air stream flow is higher than 4,000 Nm3/h.

Installation and operation

Les dimensions de l’équipement varient en fonction du débit  et du type de polluants à traiter.

Le procédé Biotox étant entièrement automatisé, son exploitation repose sur une intervention humaine minimale. Aucune mesure de protection spéciale n’est requise pour les travailleurs.

Un apport d’énergie sous forme de gaz naturel, de propane ou d’huile légère est normalement requis pour maintenir la température de la chambre de combustion à son point de consigne normal (750°C – 850°C). Toutefois, si la concentration des COV et COC dépasse 2 g/Nm3, l’unité Biotox pourra fonctionner sans source d’énergie externe. En tout temps, on observe une récupération énergétique supérieure très élevée, limitant au maximum l’usage d’énergie externe.



The typical purchase price of a Biotox system, including installation, is about $25/Nm3 for a stream flow of about 35,000 Nm3/h.

Additional information

The Biotox process was developed in Quebec by Biothermica. The R&D work lasted six years and cost at $750,000, with contributions from the National Research Council of Canada, the MER [Quebec Ministry of Energy and Resources] and Environment Canada. In 1994, Biothermica won the Canadian Award for Business Excellence (innovation category) as a result of its work on Biotox. In 1997, the Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec presented Biothermica with the Mérite Environnemental prize (100 employees and less business category) for its latest installations in a Kraft mill (Cascades, East-Angus) and in an aluminum anode manufacturer (Lauralco, Deschambault).
Almost twenty biotox units have been conceived for diverse applications as follows :

Company Installation year Capacity
No. of beds
Asphalt paper manufacturing
N.A.F. – Joliette, QC 1991 17 000 3
Emco Building Products- Ville LaSalle, QC 1993 25 500 3
Emco Building Products – Ville LaSalle, QC 1995 34 000 3
Emco Building Products- Edmonton, AB 1997 39 000 3
Certain Teed Roofing Products Group, Blue Bell, USA 2003 46 000 3
N.A.F. Joliette, Qc 2005 59 500 3
Anode manufacturing for aluminum plants
Aluminerie Lauralco – Deschambault, QC 1997 10 000 3
Kraft mill
Cascades – East-Angus, QC 1997 25 500 3
Paint Application
Bombardier-Canadair, Ville St-Laurent, QC 1996 17 000 2
OSRAM-Sylvania, Drummondville, QC 1999 55 000 2
Bombardier, Dorval, Qc 2001 34 000 3
Institut des communications graphiques,
Montréal, QC
1997 3 400 2
Oberthur, Jeux et Technologies, Mtl, Qc 2001 30 600 2
Quebecor World, Magog, Qc 2004 34 000 2
Paris Star, Montréal QC 1999 15 300 2
Magnesium Production
Magnola, Asbestos, QC 1999 3 X 8 500 3
Floor coverings
Tarkett Inc, Farhnam, Qc 2000 119 000 2
Raffineries de Napierville, Napierville, Qc 2002 5 100 2
Food Industry
McCain Foods USA, Presque Ile, Maine 2004 136 000 2


Biothermica Technologies inc.
M. Raphaël Bruneau, chargé de projets
426, rue Sherbrooke Est
Montréal, Québec, H2L 1J6

Phone :    (514) 488-3881 #234
Fax :    (514) 488-3125
Email :    raphael.bruneau@biothermica.com
Web site :    http://www.biothermica.com