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Our Design Creed

Over the last 30 years and hundreds of installations, we've learned a thing or two about RTOs. Every day, guided by the following design principles, we put our experience to work to help our clients succeed.

Unique Mechanical Valve Drives – So Good, They're Patented

Our valve drive is the most trouble free and lowest maintenance valve and drive system available today. Unlike other RTOs which feature problematic pneumatic or hydraulic valve systems, the Cycle Therm RTO features a simple, electromechanical valve and drive system, providing years of trouble-free continuous service.

Make it Reliable

We believe that when it comes to valve cylinder operators, less is definitely more. A typical competitor's 2-chamber RTO uses 2 valve cylinder operators, a 3-chamber uses 6 and a 5 chamber uses 10; you get the idea. However, at Cycle Therm, regardless of the number of chambers, one RTO uses one valve drive. Period.

Given the fact that each valve on a typical RTO makes over 400,000 individual valve cycles (open and shut) per year resulting in millions of combined unit cycles, it is obvious that failures utilizing piston type cylinders will occur on a regular basis (and they do). It takes only one piston failure to shut down the unit. This is why piston cylinders are not used on the Cycle Therm system. Instead, we use our patented mechanical valve drive system.

Keep it Simple

Simplicity generates reliability. Over 30 years of hands-on design experience has taught us to generate reliability by enforcing simplicity. This is our creed.

We accomplish this by making sure the four standard subsections of the RTO are honed to perfection:

  1. Valve system (the true heart of the RTO)
  2. Recovery chamber(s)
  3. Combustion chamber
  4. Burner

By using proven, best of breed components mixing and combining these standard subsections, Cycle Therm supplies a state of the art, economically viable RTO, reduced to simplicity. Our 30 years and over 200 worldwide installations constantly reaffirms the fact, simplicity generates reliability.

Understand the Process

The design of an RTO and system interface is made up of 20% science and 80% art.

While its concept is simple, its design and application are not. All RTOs are very dynamic devices with never ending internal temperature, pressure and stress changes. The understanding of these changes and their incorporation into the device's design has a profound impact not only on effectiveness and reliability of the device, but on the process it is serving.

Just like other thermal oxidizer technologies, the application of an RTO poses different challenges as it is applied to different manufacturing processes. The understanding of your process is paramount in its application. The salesman that sells his RTO on the basis that his unit is suitable for all applications is surely just looking for a fast sale letting the consequences fall where they may. Before placing an order, ask to sit down with their technical people.

Reduce the Carbon Footprint

RTOs, because of their unique ability to preheat incoming process fumes to within 5% of oxidation temperature using the unit's exhaust heat, makes them the most economical, reliable and forgiving technology available to destroy most mixed hydrocarbon laden fumes (VOCs).

We've used our expertise to make this great technology even more efficient and cost effective by using Cell Stone® Ultra; an exclusive, patented ultra low pressure drop ceramic heat recovery media specifically designed for use in Cycle Therm's RTOs.

The combination of high heat recovery with low pressure drop results in significantly lower gas and electric usage, as well as higher VOC destruction efficiency, making it one of the most environmentally responsible pollution control units available today.

Provide Value for the Dollar in Many Ways

Each piece of equipment we sell is custom engineered to your specifications by RTO specialty engineers with over forty years of application experience. With hundreds of worldwide installations, chances are, we have installed a system in an application just like yours.

In today's market, RTOs are increasingly being purchased on the proposal's price page rather than good design, materials of construction or safety features. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

We put our experience to work for you by thoroughly understanding your process, helping to select the right equipment and optimizing the system's performance to maximize your investment. Too often it is after the low bid is selected that the hidden requirements pop up, such as start-up costs, external insulation, support grids, transfer dampers, purge dampers, variable frequency drives, stack height, access platforms, installation, foundations, etc.

Robust construction materials along with tried and proven off the shelf components assure longevity and good design principles reduce operating and maintenance costs.


Cycle Therm places the highest value on the safety of your operators. This is why our RTO's main fans are specifically put on the exit end of the RTO, generating an induced draft system which handles only clean air.

Why is this important?

Placement of the fan upstream (before the RTO) means the fan handles dirty process air containing condensable hydrocarbons, plasticizers and particulate matter exiting the process line. The very contaminant that you are seeking to destroy now coats the fan wheel causing imbalance and destroying the bearings. In addition, condensed VOCs degrade gaskets and solvents soften seals.

With a forced draft system, the RTO is always under a positive condition. This means in the case of combustion air, site port, seal, or expansion joint wear failure, contaminated air with temperatures up to 1500 F° escape from the system rather than inducing clean air in. This can generate a severe safety issue for employees.

Why would a manufacturer place the fan upstream? Sometimes the project specification requires this configuration (which we will accommodate by request). Other times, it is to save money and/or to increase competitiveness. While saving initial dollars in horsepower, this upstream placement creates both maintenance and safety concerns.


Case Study

Case Study: Titleist Golf Balls (PDF)
Titleist wanted to implement air correction systems for their golf ball paint and finish production lines in Massachusetts. See why they chose Cycle Therm.

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