Generally, there are three methods of oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOC):
There are clear advantages for the catalytic method in a system oxidizing VOC:
The disadvantage of the catalytic method: Although modern catalysts are a lot more robust and versatile than say 15 years ago, a catalyst cannot be used just for everything. In planning a catalytic afterburning process, a careful look should be taken at the list of substances and potential emissions to make sure that no potential catalytic poisons are involved. These would substantially reduce the life of the catalyst, in some instances to a few months or even days.
Like an adsorbing material, the catalyst can be blocked by incompatible substances. If it becomes too hot - which is possible due to reaction enthalpy if the input concentration is too high - the catalyst can sinter. These points must be considered in planning the system equipment and the system control.