May 24, 2012

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone!

Memorial Day wears a lot of hats. It’s the unofficial start of summer. Women can finally wear their white shoes! Kids look forward to the last few days of school, and everybody heads to the Memorial Day sales. Time for that first trip to the beach, to break out the barbecue, and maybe even see the Indianapolis 500 race held on this day since 1911.

But we also know that Memorial Day has a more serious side. It’s a day to commemorate all the men and women who have died fighting for this country. But did you know that Memorial Day actually began right after the Civil War? Most people are surprised. Interestingly, the first “Memorial Day,” though it wasn’t called that, was held by freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina who cleaned up and decorated the burial grounds of the Union soldiers who died there. More than 3,000 people joined in the celebration and brought flowers to the graves on May 1st.

The tradition of decorating grave sites is well established in the American South, and in some regions, may be an occasion for huge family reunions and “eating on the ground,” a potluck dinner, renewing acquaintances with the living and honoring the dead. This tradition precedes the Civil War and may be the actual historical basis for Memorial Day.

As a national celebration, the day was originally called Decoration Day and was changed to Memorial Day unofficially in 1882 and officially in 1967. In 1968, it became one of the four holidays moved from their original dates in order to create three-day weekends. It is now the last Monday in May. On the day, all flags are lowered to half-staff until noon, when they are raised with the resolve to not let the sacrifice of the fallen be in vain.

Memorial Day has significance to all Americans and maybe a little extra to those of us at Emerson because we too were started right after the Civil War. The company was established by Civil War Union veteran John Wesley Emerson to manufacture electric motors. By 1892, Emerson began to sell electric fans and quickly expanded to include sewing machines, dental drills and power tools. During WWII, Emerson, under the leadership of Stuart Symington, was the world’s largest manufacturer of airplane armament, and Symington went on to be the first United States Secretary of the Air Force and later a U.S. Senator. Our company continues to grow and diversify such that today we have employees around the world working under seven business platforms of which Emerson Process Management is one. Whether we are making electric engines, measuring liquid and gas parameters, or providing gas and flame detection, our roots run deep in the forwarding of America and its people. Since 1890 – Happy Memorial Day!

May 15, 2012

Using CEMS for Emissions Abatement in Cogeneration Facilities

Cogeneration facilities are considered to be among the most modern, energy-efficient producing facilities because of their superior environmental performance. Their purpose is to generate and distribute steam which can be used for heating, domestic hot water heating, humidification, sterilization of water and distilling water. During the cogeneration process, steam passes through a double automatic controlled extraction pressure and condensing steam turbine generator, and as a result, the electricity it produces becomes a beneficial byproduct. The combination of these results in a thermal efficiency greater than that of any plant built strictly for power generation.

Cogeneration greatly reduces the environmental impact; in addition, these facilities rely heavily on advanced technologies and continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) to ensure strict regulatory compliance with State and Federal environmental agencies such as the EPA.

Cogeneration facilities can utilize multiple and varied fuel sources. These fuels can include natural gas, oil, coal, wood, various forms of bio-solids, and even tires. Combined cycle cogeneration facilities are becoming popular in meeting increasing energy demands. A typical facility will include a gas turbine, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and a steam turbine. The size of cogeneration facilities can vary greatly from small hospitals to large petrochemical complexes.

Since cogeneration facilities vary so significantly in size, fuel burned, pollution abatement equipment installed, and geographic location, the continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) requirements placed upon a given facility will also vary from plant to plant. The primary federal regulations defining CEM requirements are found in 40 CFR 60 and 40 CFR 75. The latter is also known as the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. However, state and local agencies do have the ability to impose additional and/or stricter requirements for the monitoring and control of pollutants. The federal regulations, based upon the fuel(s) utilized and the generating capacity of the facility, may require the monitoring of sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), opacity, a diluents [carbon dioxide (CO2) or oxygen (O2) and stack flow. In addition to the above requirements, state and local agencies may also call for the monitoring of carbon monoxide (CO) and, in those plants where SCR or SNCR is utilized for NOx reduction, may require monitoring of ammonia (NH3) as well.

Flameproof gas analyzers provide single and multicomponent gas analysis. Coupled with a remote-mounted sample conditioning system and flow distribution/system controller, these CEMS become truly modular emissions monitoring systems. This configuration allows sample extraction and conditioning anywhere along the sampling train, reducing costs for heated sample lines, equipment racks and instrument shelters. To check out a wide range of other possible configurations click HERE.

The growing significance of cogeneration combined with the unique requirements of each plant make CEMS an ideal solution since they can be designed specifically for each cogeneration plant while providing a field-proven analysis technology that is both highly accurate and cost-effective.