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This will require a dedicated full-time trained person, formation of a centralized department responsible for all of the CEMs, purchase of a full maintenance agreement with the vendor, purchase maintenance from an independent contractor, and purchase of an emergency service agreement.
Employee training and education is an essential element to ensure proper CEM results. And, it is important that the functions of calibration, operational checks, data handling, and corrective action procedures are clearly defined, especially when they are not handled by one individual. Management MUST provide clear lines of communication for a well functioning quality assurance program.
Fuel sampling analysis (FSA)
This is an option available to coal-burning utilities in lieu of continuous emissions monitoring of SO2. The sulfur content of the coal is analyzed daily and recorded. EPA has no established standards on policies regarding FSA; it has been left to the individual states to format their own individual plans.
Combustion of standard fossil fuels in commercial and industrial boilers results in a number of emissions. Currently, the technology exists to continually monitor a long list of pollutants, including toxic metals, acid gases, dioxins, particulate matter, and more.
A partial list of pollutants that currently can be continuously monitored includes:
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
- Hydrofluoric Acid (HF)
- Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
- Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
- Nitrous Oxides (N2O)
- Sulfur Oxides (SOx)
- Sulfuric Acid (H2S)
- Particulate Matter (PM)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
(Environmental Protection Agency has established performance specifications for nine classes of continuous emission monitors. These are listed in 40 CFR Part 60, appendix B. Established standards for Quality Assurance Programs can be found in 40 CFR Part 60, Appendix F.)
Technologies and test methods
Third party providers of high-quality air pollution monitoring, calibration, and control systems can help power plant operators achieve compliance to regulations at a lower cost.
Instrumental test methods provide instantaneous results allowing facilities to determine whether process adjustments need to be made to meet regulatory requirements. Among a number of the various instrumental methods used are:
Wet chemistry - sometimes called manual. Wet chemistry methods generally require after the fact analysis. Using modern analytical techniques, wet chemistry methods extend the scope of emissions testing to nearly any compound.
Gas chromatography - allows specification of different analyses in a gas sample. A variety of different separation columns, detectors, and sampling techniques makes GC a versatile testing technique.
While the majority of emissions test procedures fit into these categories, other empirical techniques exist that are commonly used in many industries.
Among the most useful and common stack testing techniques are continuous instrumental test methods, with the majority of continuous methods aimed at criteria pollutants, including Nitrogen Oxides (NO + NO2 = NOX), Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Continuous monitoring techniques also exist for the primary diluent gases such as Oxygen (O2) and Carbon dioxide (CO2).