Category Archives: Thermal Oxidizers

Thermal Oxidizers and Ground Flares to Reduce Air Pollution

Air pollution is one of the most serious challenges facing the world today. The mix of particles and gases in air pollution can reach harmful concentrations, both inside and outside. The most well-known negative effects of air pollution are higher disease risks and random temperature fluctuations.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a variety of chemical gases emitted by certain processes and by some solid objects or liquids. Burning fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, and natural gas, produce VOCs.

The American Lung Association reports that some VOCs are dangerous and have cancerous effects. Other VOCs can react with gases to form harmful air pollutants. VOCs can also cause unhealthy smog when they combine with nitrogen oxides, frequently emitted from vehicle exhaust and the burning of coal, diesel fuel, oil, and natural gas.

Destroying VOCs before they reach the air is essential to reducing the compounds’ harmful effects and decreasing air pollution. Thermal oxidizers and ground flares effectively purify dangerous VOCs in emissions before they ever reach the outdoor air.

Thermal Oxidizers

Many companies use thermal oxidizers to destroy VOCs in their industrial air streams. Thermal oxidizers feature a combustion chamber and discharge stack, to expose the untreated air streams to oxygen and high temperatures. Exposure to heat and oxygen for a calculated time (residence time) breaks down the VOCs into carbon dioxide, water vapor, and various other harmless heat-based substances.

After heating the VOC laden air in a combustion chamber, manufacturers can release the gas stream into the atmosphere as a non-volatile substance.

Ground Flares

Refineries and petrochemical facilities rely on ground flares to burn excess hydrocarbon gases that cannot be recovered or recycled. The flare systems burn excess hydrocarbon gases in an environmentally sound manner.

Ground flares can be either enclosed or open. While the structures of enclosed ground flares and open ones are different, the process is essentially the same. Both enclosed and open ground flares remove VOCs effectively, and the processes are less intrusive than the large stacks used by thermal oxidizers.

The ground flare process combines excess gases with steam and/or air, and then burns off the combination to produce water vapor and carbon dioxide. The process is similar to burning liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), frequently used as fuel for home cooking.

Open and closed ground flares

Open ground flares handle large gas flow rates and can burn larger quantities at a time. The units are nearly smokeless and feature a very high gaseous conversion rate. Open ground flares do require large clearances of land to operate, and the units must be kept at a safe distance.

An enclosed ground flare system converts potentially toxic or flammable gases into less harmful vapor without the use of a stack. The units feature vertical combustion chambers that operate by natural air draft. A refractory shell encloses the incineration process to shield radiation, the internal blaze, and noise.

Enclosed ground flares are suitable for managing low and medium gas flow rates. They require less space than open ground flares. These units may be used for gas, liquid, or combined emergency combustion.

Thermal oxidizers and ground flares are clean, efficient processes that effectively remove VOCs from the air. These processes help prevent toxic substances from reaching the air and help reduce the burden of air pollution.

Baker Furnace has been a leading afterburner system and thermal oxidizer manufacturer for more than 25 years. The skilled team at Baker Furnace specializes in custom designing a variety of industrial air pollution abatement systems, including thermal oxidizers and enclosed ground flares.

Connect with us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to keep up with our company news and industry updates. Be sure to check back in with our blog every other month to stay up to date with our posts. All of us here at Baker Furnace take great pride in providing equipment that makes the world a cleaner place, and we look forward to continuing this throughout 2019.

Industrial Furnace Industry Statistics

The growing Industrial Furnace Industry is big business both in manufacturing and in international trade. The newly released 2014 industry report listed $3 billion USD in total revenue. The gross profit total was reported at 26.21% with an import value of $.7 billion USD from 60 different countries.

The industrial furnace industry also exported an estimated $.9 billion USD worth of products and other merchandise to 149 countries last year.

Overall, if you add in the 2014 annual import value and subtract the export value, the industrial furnace industry commands a total domestic demand and value of $2.8 billion USD.
These findings come from a recent report on the Industrial Furnace Industry conducted by Research and Markets Ltd. Below is their report summary which includes a link to the full report if you are interested.

“Industrial Furnace Report Summary:

This 167-page report contains unparalleled industry market research in breadth and depth, providing a comprehensive view of the industry within the context of the overall international manufacturing economy. The report’s supply and demand data covers U.S. shipments and international trade while also considering the industry’s capacity utilization. The industry level income statements, balance sheets, and capital expenditure analysis in this report contain all the necessary data for financial benchmarking. In the cost analysis section you will find 35 upstream industries are analyzed to offer insight into the supply chain cost structure. For the channel and pricing structure an additional 5 downstream industries are analyzed. The competitive landscape section reports on the number of firms and their industry revenue share, market concentration, and a list of major players. Related trade associations, industry standards, and additional trade publications are also listed in the report.
Companies listed in this report include

– Axcelis Technologies, Inc.
– BTU International, Inc.
– Chromalox, Inc.
– Graham Corporation
– Instron Corporation
– Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.
– Met-Pro Corporation
– Research, Inc.
– Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company”

View Industrial Furnaces →

For more information about industrial ovens and furnaces, contact our offices at 714-223-7262.

3 Industrial Furnace Manufacturing Trends that are Shaping the Market

The manufacturing world is changing. The entire chain-supply of manufacturers, resellers, and customers is shifting into a new dynamic to accommodate international competition. Staying ahead of the industrial furnace manufacturing evolution is vital to thriving and surpassing customer needs in this new industry atmosphere.

Let’s look at some Industrial Furnace Manufacturing trends

  1. The SMAC Stack (social, mobile, analytics, cloud).
  • SMAC is the new driving force that is revitalizing the industrial furnace manufacturing industry. The SMAC Stack is becoming an essential technological tool for manufactures and represents the biggest opportunity for increasing customer engagement. The need to innovate is forcing industry change within a historically conservative “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” industry, and SMAC is helping early adopters in the manufacturing market increase efficiencies and change. According to an IDC white paper, “The Future of Manufacturing, the popularity of social media continues to force industrial furnace manufacturers to become more customer-centric. The conventional business-to-business model has died and the new manufacturing industry has a customer who is highly informed and expects a highly connected and responsive manufacturer. The industrial furnace manufacturing industry will need to be meeting and surpassing all of these customer’s needs in order to stay at the top of the game. Social media has also become a manufacturer’s most impactful tool for branding.
  1. Automation and the Internet of Things to Do (IoT)
  • A renewed interest in information and engineering education is creating a labor force that can manage highly technical systems and greater automation. More time is then available for research and development as well are career development. IoT creates opportunities for increased efficiency and savings on labor and service costs.
  1. Next-Shoring, bringing outsourcing back home
  • With increases in tech savvy workers, rising wages in Asia, increased shipping costs, and the demand to speed up production times has caused employers to have every department in house. This is leading to faster order processing times, faster order shipments, and lower costs in the warehouse and at the docks.


For more information about Industrial Furnaces please call 714-223-7262 or visit us on the web at .

View Industrial Furnaces →

Fracking Solutions for Produced Water

Hydraulic fracturing is a process of harvesting natural gas from shale rock by drilling into it and injecting fluids at high pressures until the rock is fractured. Fracking began as an experiment in the 1940’s and has now being used by oil companies as a way to harvest natural gases. While fracking may be a way to gain economic profits by providing jobs and a US-based energy source, the risks of fracking must be addressed by proper pollution-control initiatives.

The main issue is the water contamination caused by the dumped wastewater or produced water. Fracking produces wastewater whose full effect on surrounding water and air supplies are just now being tested.

Currently, California is the only state to have a comprehensive air and water contamination evaluation system in place. This monitoring system tests air and water quality near unconventional drilling sites and reports back the chemicals deposited by produced water.

This new monitoring system has been implemented since 2013 and has found carcinogens, lead, radioactive chemicals, benzene, arsenic and other cancer causing chemicals in 83% of samples.

Monitoring the dump sites is the first step, but the more important issue is being able to find the dump sites since fracking companies are not required to disclose where they dispose of their produced water.

The current solution is problematic as produced water treatment facilities are few and far between. The cost of transporting the contaminated water has proved to be prohibitive to fracking companies.

One solution being used by a few fracking companies is recycling the produced water. These companies have built above-ground water treatment facilities on their fracking sites to be able clean their own produced water as well as to reuse this water for fracking again. This recycling solution not only saves the environment from contaminated produced water, it saves the company the time and money that would be used to transport and clean their water and it also provides an endless supply of injection water for their fracking business.

While produced water is currently one of the greatest local environmental concerns, as with any challenge, it is becoming a great catalyst for the human ingenuity necessary to find a solution to this problem.

To learn how Baker Furnace is working to address the water problems associated with fracking, click HERE.

View Liquid Waste Incinerators →


What is an Enclosed Ground Flare?

An Enclosed Ground Flare, also known as a thermal oxidizer or vapor combustor, is a combustion system that takes exhaust gases which are potentially toxic or flammable and converts them into less harmful vapors without using a stack.

There are two main types of ground flares, enclosed ground flares and open ground flares. The advantage of having an enclosed ground flare is that it does not require supports or a stack, like an elevated flare would. The removal of the stack portion of the system allows pilots and other weather sensitive equipment, which has a tendency to corrode, to be easily replaced and cleaned.

An enclosed ground flare is much more common than an open ground flare. This combustion system utilizes a refractory shell to enclose the incineration process. This essential shell shields radiation, the internal blaze and noise. The internal processes of the enclosed ground flare are the same as that of the elevated flare.

While an enclosed ground flare has a higher price tag, they are less expensive to operate and are easier to maintain. The handling capacity of an enclosed flare is between 50,000 and 250,000 lb/h and most units are smokeless.
An open ground flare can come in several different configurations. Most systems have multiple burners working together ignite large amounts of gas. Open ground flares are able to burn larger quantities at a time. These units are almost completely smokeless and have a very high gaseous conversion rate.
The open ground flare units contain a limited amount of space for the burners. This means that the units must be kept at a distance for safety reasons. These systems also require a gas pressure of 3-5 psi, which is much higher than any other type of flare system. While open ground flare units are effective, their bright light, noise and heat emissions require that the unit be used in a more secluded area.

Enclosed Ground Flares emit less noise, light and heat.

System Comparisons

Type Enclosed Open Elevated
Height Ground Level Ground Level Elevated
Price Higher Median Median
Operating Costs Lower Lower Highest
Disturbance Rating Lower High Low
Capacity Limited High High
Special Operating Issues No Yes Yes
Safety Rating Higher Lower High
Ease of Maintenance Easy Easy Harder

For questions about Enclosed Ground Flares, contact the professionals at Baker Furnace at 714-223-7262.

View Baker Furnace Enclosed Ground Flare Systems →

10 Things to Consider in an Enclosed Ground Flare

There are many different types of Enclosed Ground Flare Systems currently on the market. However, all of these units are not created equal. Here is a list of things to consider if you are in the market to buy an Enclosed Ground Flare.

  • Will the Enclosed Ground Flare unit meet BACT (Best Available Control Technology) criteria for destroying Hydrocarbons including Methane? BACT is a pollution control standard that equipment operators are required to meet based on energy consumption, emissions and environmental impact based on their location.
  • Are destruction efficiencies guaranteed? When paying for any Enclosed Ground Flare, you should always discuss the efficiency of the unit including CO emissions.
  • What is the Burner Turndowns ratio? The turndown ratio compares the max to minimum amount of heat that is put out. You want to make sure that your burner turndown ration is not too limited.
  • Does the Enclosed Ground Flare unit light and adjust automatically to the fuel and ratios or does this need to be done manually? Time is money so the more that can be done automatically, the better.
  • What will the upkeep cost you? Some Enclosed Ground Flare systems require expensive replacement matrixes. Make sure you ask about these maintenance costs with the manufacturer and factor them into your budget.
  • What is the construction material? The most durable material is heavy rolled steel. The manufacturer’s materials will determine the quality and lifetime value.
  • Will the Enclosed Ground Flare unit be trailer mounted or skid mounted?
  • What kind of control system and interface does the Enclosed Ground Flare unit come with? Are these components going to be UL classified?
  • Will the manufacturer assist you in acquiring the necessary permits? Determining what permits you need and applying for them is not an easy process so having help with this will save you time and money.
  • Will you be provided with drawings, an operating manual, and installation for the Enclosed Ground Flare system? Are these items included in the purchase price?
View Our Enclosed Ground Flare Systems →
industrial oven

Our Most Interesting Customers and Their Industrial Oven

While we cannot disclose all of our Customer’s names, we can say that some of our customers make some fascinating and amazing products with their industrial oven. Our heat treat ovens, curing ovens, crucible furnaces, and other industrial oven systems are used for a variety of uses.  In fact, many of the products you use every day may have been treated in one of our ovens. If you aren’t sure what an industrial oven can do, check out some of our customer’s cool products that have been made using a Baker Furnace industrial oven.

One of our most intriguing ovens was used for a customer in the contamination protection business. This company uses several Baker Furnace gas-fired and electrically heated industrial ovens during their curing process. Our ovens are used in a unique drying stage required to create specialized safety gloves and other protective gear for PPE  (Personal Protective Equipment). The most common PPE known to the general public is the hazmat suit and now the Ebola protective suit. These specialty gloves are used to protect against asbestos, lead dust, radioactive contaminants, and other health-threatening substances. These products are composed of uniquely designed plastics and rubber that are impervious to gases, vapors, oils, and can withstand extreme temperatures from 160°-260°F.

Another customer of ours is a world leader in supplying first tier metallic and composite materials to the aerospace industry. To accomplish this, they use a Baker Furnace electric clean room batch industrial oven. This custom made industrial oven is used to manufacture segments of airplanes, helicopters and fighter jets. They also manufacture flexible protection systems, such as flexible fuel tanks that won’t explode during a crash, emergency flotation devices for helicopters, and portable fuel containers.

What kinds of interesting products do you manufacture?  We would love to talk with you about your processes and learn more about your heat treating needs. To receive more information about a Baker Furnace industrial oven system that is right for your unique requirements, contact our office at 1-800-237-5675. You can also click Here to contact our office to see what we can do for your business!

Meet Tim Bacon, Director of Operations & Industrial Oven Guru

As a part of my research into Industrial Ovens, I had a chance to interview a gentleman who has spent his life in the Industrial Oven business.

Tim Bacon has been officially involved with industrial oven building  for 20 years although he has grown up working in the shop at his father’s business. Tim’s father is Ernie Bacon, the owner of Baker Furnace. Tim has been learning the trade and working in the shop since he was a teenager. Naturally, Tim’s love for the industrial oven business and the creation process led to his current career as the Director of Operations at Baker Furnace, Inc. in Southern California.

The following is my interview with Tim Bacon.

How did you first get your start in the business Tim?

“Just like every teenager, I got my start making industrial ovens because I wanted to earn some money. My parents paid me to work in the shop during summer vacation”.

What do you love about the industry and your job?

“I really love the versatility! I love the different industry challenges. Each industrial oven is its own puzzle to solve and to design for the customer.  Each company has its own specifications and applications that they need to have accommodated. Rarely are any two heat treating ovens, afterburners, or thermal oxidizers the same. The randomness of the variables makes each project exciting and different”.

What, if any, are your dislikes?

“Well, it’s not really a dislike, but the growing amount of different heating application in the industry makes things a lot more complicated. It used to be that Baker Furnace only manufactured a few types of industrial ovens. Now, we custom manufacture everything from conveyer ovens to composite curing ovens and even liquid waste incinerators. It is a lot more challenging to reinvent the wheel every time”.

What has been the biggest change that you have seen in the industry over the past two decades?

“Actually not much has changed. Lots of the concepts and construction methods are the same because there are only a few different ways to make an industrial oven. The parts and controllers have become more sophisticated and software based, but the classic oven design is still the best”.

For more information about our Industrial Oven models or to get a quote from Tim Bacon, please call 714-223-7262 or visit them on the web at .


Thermal Oxidizers, Bringing You Clear Blue Skies

The average person has never heard of thermal oxidizers. But whether you have heard of them or not, these machines are essential to the way we live and to our safety.

A thermal oxidizer is a combustion device used to control air pollution by destroying VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The hazardous gasses are heated at extreme temperatures until the pollutants breakdown into a harmless gas. Thermal Oxidizers are also known as industrial afterburners.

The main reason for thermal oxidizers is to eliminate harmful VOC’s. Volatile Organic Compounds are the byproduct of the heating process where these harmful chemicals are released into the air. The majority of these harmful compounds are hydro-carbon based. Some VOC’s occur in nature and some are manmade. Scents and odors are VOC’s, like those of flowers, for example, which are harmless. The problem is that the majority manmade VOC’s are extremely harmful, both to the environment and to the lungs if inhaled. The effects of inhaling VOC’s compound and cause damage in your body and in the atmosphere over time.

The paint and protective coating industries are some of the largest producers of VOC’s. Over 12 billion liters of paint are manufactured every year. Benzene, created from tobacco smoke as well as auto exhaust is a large VOC creator. Methylene chloride is one of the most harmful VOC’s found in aerosol sprays which are known to cause cancer. Other VOC creating industries include chlorofluorocarbons which are used to make cleaning materials.

Thermal oxidizers work by connecting to the manufacturing machines at the processing plants. As the VOC’s are created during the heating process, the gases are funneled through ducts into the thermal oxidizer. The oxidizer then heats the gases to extremely high temperatures until the dangerous contaminants are reduced to CO2and H2O.and nontoxic air is left. The harmless gases are then released into the air.

Each country and state have their own codes and regulations for the amount of VOC’s that are allowed to be dispersed into the air, water, and land. For the specific regulations in your area, visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website for more information.

View Our Thermal Oxidizers →