The nanotechnology makes it possible to change the chemical composition at temperatures around 200 ºC. It is very effective in removing volatile compounds from the process tunnel during reflow. In thermal oxidation, organic vapors are converted to carbon dioxide and water; little or no char is produced. This invention enables the installation of catalyst units in each individual zone of the oven, and temperature optimization. In addition to the catalyst, a bed of ceramic spheres promotes catalyst activity as a consequence of their unique pore size distributions and their stability to thermal, hydrothermal, and acidic conditions. The Cathox allows combining two or three zones with one catalyst; and each individual zone may have its own preferred settings. It utilizes the same thermochemical process as pyrolysis, but at much lower temperatures. Typical catalyst temperatures are 185-250 ºC; i.e., temperatures that are identical or close to the gas temperature in the reflow zones. The catalyst is mounted on top of the heating zones, so there is no extended tubing involved. Because the catalyst process temperatures are so close to the zone settings, the energy consumption for operation is small. The catalyst eliminates the need to clean the heat exchangers and filters of the flux management system. In high volume lines, these parts needs to be cleaned every two weeks, conversely, the catalyst and ceramic balls don‘t require any maintenance. Typically, servicing only once a year is sufficient. The pollutants are generally hydrocarbon-based and when destroyed via thermal combustion, they are chemically oxidized to form CO2 and H2O.
productronica innovation award: hall A4, booth 554