Legislation drives demand for emissions monitoring

Paul Boughton
Tougher environmental legislation is driving the emissions monitoring market, from acquisitions and distribution deals to new technologies. Sean Ottewell reports.

Testo has taken a strategic step in the dust particle measurement market with the acquisition of Swiss company Matter Engineering. A technological leader in the field of measurement technology for nanoparticles in exhaust gases and ambient air, Matter will now be known as Matter Aerosol.

"We see great potential for the future on the dust particle measurement market," said Testo ceo Burkart Knospe. "The acquisition of Matter is an important step towards the consolidation of know-how in this area."

"Matter Aerosol has a high level of innovative power, and is recognised worldwide as an expert in the field of nanoparticle measurement," explains Matter Aerosol's md Dr Markus Kasper. "The timing of this cooperation is perfect, our development work falls on very fertile ground at Testo. We are delighted that in the future we will be able to distribute our measuring instruments under the strong brand name Testo."

For its part, Testo is a leading supplier of portable and stationary measurement technology. It invests roughly 17per cent of its turnover in R&D and expects to grow by about 15 per cent this year.

One of its key technologies is the Testo 340 flue gas analyser which comes with a rechargeable battery, calibration protocol and carry strap, an oxygen sensor and built-in flow/differential pressure measurement.

Rising fuel costs for thermal systems highlight more and more the need for efficiency monitoring using emission measurements. A practical, easy-to-use emission analyser for a variety of applications is therefore ideal. testo 340 is equipped with an oxygen sensor as standard. Three additional gas sensors can be individually configured at any time so that analysers can be optimally adapted to specific measurement jobs. This, says the company, is combined with compact design and reliable engineering to it an ideal analyser for commissioning, service and maintenance work as well as measurements for monitoring purposes.

In another business tie-up, ET has announced that is has just become the primary exclusive distributor for the Digitel range of advanced high volume samplers in Ireland and the UK.

ET has had a great deal of success selling high volume samplers in Ireland and the UK over the years, primarily into the power plant and nuclear industries. Meanwhile, Digitel has earned a reputation for designing and building some of the most advanced high volume samplers in the world. In the UK, for example, the Digitel DHA-80 automatic sampler has become the standard on the Defra PAH network, with over 40 units in operation.

ET sales and marketing director Duncan Mounsor is both pleased and excited to be working with Digitel in the UK: "There is no doubt that Digitel have the most advanced and highest quality high volume samplers in the world. They have in fact revolutionised the hi-vol as we know it and have turned what was once a common-or-garden non-sophisticated blower/filter box into a high-tech instrument fit for the 21st century."

Digitel vice chairman Regula Muther is also enthusiastic about the tie-up: "We are very happy with this new collaboration and we are expecting huge benefits for our customers. ET is a well established and stable enterprise. Together with their high service quality this was the most important criteria for us for collaboration. We want to give our 40 years of experience in producing and developing environmental instruments and our Swiss quality to the end-users. This is only possible with a strong partner, like ET, who can offer service on a very high quality level with an experienced team."

In a separate development, the UK Environment Agency-chaired Air Quality Cell, which was set up to provide a multi-agency response to major air quality incidents, is using sophisticated mobile units from ET as a core strategy component.

The company was selected for the multi-million pound project after a competitive pitch involving a complex brief. The air quality monitoring specialist is providing two bespoke, well-equipped vehicles that use groundbreaking technologies and meet stringent requirements, such as weight and power restrictions.

"In the event of a major incident the Air Quality Cell will be convened, and rapid response measures including vehicle deployment, are implemented," explains Gillian Hickey from the Environment Agency. "The mobile stations need to be in situ, gathering data and samples for analysis, within hours of the initial alert.

In the US, GE Energy has won a contract to provide continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) and data acquisition and handling systems (DAHS) for Conectiv's new state-of-the-art, combined-cycle power generating facility in Delta, Pennsylvania. Included in the contract is: system engineering, equipment fabrication, installation supervision and start-up for three CEMS systems; monitoring of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ammonia and oxygen; collection and archiving of data for environmental reporting; preparation of Conectiv's reports required under federal and state emission regulations; and assembly of accessories building and installation of power distribution and cable management systems for DCS and UPS equipment

"We chose the GE team because they listened to our needs and acted like a partner with us," says Dave Sears, electrical engineer with Conectiv. "They helped us address technical issues and suggested alternatives to our plans that helped us maximise our efficiency, improving the project overall."

Increased environmental awareness and stricter legal regulations/enforcement have led to an expanding need for CEMS and DAHS worldwide. According to a 2009 ARC Advisory Group study, the world market for CEMS is expected to experience compounded annual growth rates (CAGR) of roughly 10 per cent over the next five years. Under the Obama administration, increased enforcement of environmental regulations is expected to further grow the CEMS market in 2010 and beyond.

Expected for completion in 2010, Conectiv's new facility features combined-cycle power generators capable of producing 545 MW of electricity. The combustion turbines can run on natural gas or low sulphur diesel fuel oil. In turn, the hot exhaust from these gas turbines is used to power the steam turbines. This highly fuel-efficient system consumes 20-30 per cent less fuel than traditional fossil-fired boiler/steam turbine generator plants, and emits almost non-detectable levels of volatile organic emissions and carbon monoxide. These comparatively low levels are maintained with the use of low NOx burners, water injection, selective catalytic reduction and premium fuels.

"The Delta combined-cycle plant is a great example of Conectiv's innovation and commitment to doing business in a way that's environmentally responsible," says David Divito, product line leader for GE Energy Services. "We're thrilled to be able to help with this exciting project."

New legislation such as the Clean Air and Water Act and a general trend towards green chemistry stipulate the use of environmental friendly chemical products and processes. Metrohm has responded to this introducing a new generation of high capacity anion exchange columns. The new columns feature an inner diameter of only two mm enabling lower eluent flow rates and less solvent consumption.

Moreover, environmentally benign carbonate/bicarbonate solutions are used with the columns for most anion separations. Not only the columns got thinner but also the suppressor module was scaled down, leading to reduced consumption of regenerant solution: for complete regeneration, as little as 2mL acid (1mol/L) is sufficient and no exchange of cartridges or membranes is necessary.

Besides the ecological benefits, microbore columns require less frequent eluent preparation and thus improve accuracy and save time. Additionally, they get along with only small amounts of sample material and can be perfectly interfaced with various inline detectors.

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