In the world of emissions monitoring few events can match the value of CEM: the Conference on Emissions Monitoring – now known by its fuller title of the International Conference and Exhibition on Emissions Monitoring.
In May this year a total of 51 headline speakers were featured over three days in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The length and breadth of the meeting affording an unusual opportunity for knowledge share involving regulators, process operators, manufacturers, testing contractors, instrument makers and energy companies – to name just a few.
The lowering of emissions limits has placed a growing pressure on monitoring techniques and technologies, so CEM 2018 provided an excellent forum for all stakeholders
Rod Robinson, principal research scientist at NPL in the UK
It also provides a useful means of interaction between the process industries and others, for whom emissions monitoring is no less vital – notably the transport sector.
“The lowering of emissions limits has placed a growing pressure on monitoring techniques and technologies, so CEM 2018 provided an excellent forum for all stakeholders,” comments Rod Robinson, principal research scientist at NPL in the UK. It was particularly interesting to be able to exchange ideas with those monitoring transport emissions. They are addressing many similar issues to those of us working with industrial emissions, so there was a great deal of cross-pollination of ideas, because all sectors share the common goal of trustworthy, reliable data.”
The geographical spread provided further access to useful information, with the inclusion of India. There, industrialists must contend with rapid development and “the fair and effective implementation of new emissions regulations across an enormous number of industrial plants”, two pressures that often conflict rather than complement one another.
The first day of the CEM conference focused on regulation, standardisation across Europe, limits of detection, measurement uncertainty and the applicability of standard reference methods. On the second day, delegates were presented with an opportunity to choose between two parallel sessions. The first addressed the monitoring and abatement of mercury and fine particulate emissions, followed by presentations on the monitoring of gaseous species at low concentrations.
Several of the speakers discussed the monitoring implications of existing and upcoming regulations that will reduce mercury emissions. Emilia Jyrkiäinen, a CEMS engineer at Gasmet Technologies, said: “In the EU, new air pollution limits for large combustion plants will require utilities to invest in new pollution abatement technology.
“The requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) Directive 2010/75/EU for both abatement and monitoring are addressed in the Best Available Techniques Conclusions for Large Combustion Plants chapter. This requires large European power plants to comply with new emission limits values (ELVs) for mercury and other pollutants by 2021.”
Speaking later she added: “From my discussions with delegates, it was clear that many countries are already preparing for the new regulations and we believe that continuous monitoring will be preferred because this can also help improve process control.”
The alternative session focused on fugitive emissions and fence-line monitoring, with the former concentrating on methane and other hydrocarbons and set in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change and regulations (BAT conclusions) for refineries. Both session groups from the day reunited for presentations on innovative measurement technologies.
Countries are already preparing for the new regulations and we believe that continuous monitoring will be preferred because this can also help improve process control
Emilia Jyrkiäinen, a CEMS engineer at Gasmet Technologies
The latter provided the focus again on the final day of the conference and featured industrial case studies, providing realworld examples of how monitoring challenges have been overcome.
Zahid Salim, export sales manager for gas monitoring instrumentation firm Signal Group said his firm chose CEM to launch its new Series IV gas analysers. With 3G, 4G, GPRS, Bluetooth and satellite compatibility, each instrument is built with its own IP address and runs on Windows software, so users have simple and secure access to their analysers at any time, from anywhere. This was of major interest to CEM visitors from all over the world, with the most popular products at this event being the fixed and portable FIDs, he commented.
Organiser Marcus Pattison said: “Air pollution and climate change have never before received such high levels of media and political attention.
“Consequently, there is an enormous focus on the quality and reliability of monitoring methods and standards, because reliable monitoring enables regulatory control, informs political decisions and enables the evaluation of mitigation and abatement measures.”
Detection in the process plant environment has been similarly at the forefront. One of the ABB Ability product launches at ACHEMA, its car-based gas leak detection and handheld unit claims to be 3,000 times more sensitive than traditional products.
When operators work on foot near pipelines with hand-held sensors making paper-based reports, this can lead to dangerous leaks being missed. The ABB unit includes a methane/ethane analyser, GPS, sonic anemometer and leak detection software for real-time geospatial maps of multiple gas concentrations.
The leak detection algorithm combines the system’s measurement of gas concentrations (CH4, C2H6), local coordinates (GPS) and local wind velocity (sonic anemometer). Readings are stored in the device and can be transmitted in real-time to the Cloud.
Ion Science also showcased its detection products with its humidity and contamination resistant volatile organic compound (VOC) monitors. These included its Titan continuous benzene specific monitor, capable of detecting benzene presence ranging from just 100 ppb up to 20 ppm. Also its Falco series [pictured above] of fixed continuous VOC monitors to protect staff in hazardous environments. Typhoon technology prevents sensor condensation and system short circuiting, while an external sensor enables servicing without hot work permits.
For Leigh Greenham, director of the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring, Blackline Safety’s G7c technology and MSA’s TrueCal XCell are two innovative developments.
G7c features include fall and no-motion detection, GPS location messaging, check-in, speaker phone, gas alarms and SOS alert. Safety incidents are reported in real-time to monitoring staff for optimised location and/or evacuation response. Wireless connectivity enables the technology to be remotely configurable with automatic firmware updating.
XCell extends gas detector calibration intervals, the company claims, by up to 18 months. Proactive checks completed four times each day via XCell ensure alerts of sensor failure within six hours of an incident. Automatic notifications are provided when calibration is needed or a sensor is approaching the end of its life.
Steven Houghton, sales manager at award-winning Connect 2 Cleanrooms, outlines his approach to monitoring in a closed environment
Three elements need addressing for a full picture of what is happening in a cleanroom environment – combining control, validation and ongoing monitoring.
Steven Houghton recommends continuous monitoring of the environment, with his firm’s ECO Cleanroom Control system being one example of a tool that alarms if the desired particle counts are not being met and provides control through automation. Removing human involvement in the process reduces the amount of organic and non-organic contamination levels.
“When building the schematic during the design phase for a cleanroom, validation particle count locations should be considered and planned so an auditable trail is established from the start,” explains Houghton.
“Airflow modelling can be used to simulate turbulence and particle count locations should be distributed evenly through the facility, with the number of locations determined by ISO 14644-1:2015.”
Organisations need to balance the ISO 14644- 1:2015 standards with their own risk assessment and monitoring plan, he emphasises, with additional tests to consider including filter integrity testing, airborne particle counts, airflow reading, etc. “We use Particles Plus handheld particle counters for validations, as up to 50 user-defined specifications can be set.”
The particle counters can hold 45,000 recorded data records simultaneously, sufficient to run continuous particle counts for over 30 days without having to download data, protecting its integrity. After a full charge the battery life lasts for over 10 hours.
Monitoring with handheld particle counters pinpoints contamination sources quickly with visual and audible indicators.