December 13, 2012

How Emerson Process Management’s Gas Analyzers Help To Mitigate Climate Change

Hello, I’m Michael Kamphus, application engineer for Process Gas Analyzers at Emerson Process Management, and today’s topic is the measurement of harmful gases that impact climate change and the technology used to control these.

As seen in the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports, CO2, CH4 and N2O gases have the biggest effect on global warming. In addition to the previous, the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) also lists HFCs, PFCs, Halocarbons and SF6 gases as major contributors to air pollution and global warming. Today, international agencies and governments are enforcing stronger emission regulations of these gases and willing to issue strict penalties and steep fines to those who do not comply. Technological advancements in today’s process gas analyzers have allowed gas processing plants, refineries, and others alike to safely measure, analyze, and closely monitor greenhouse gases in order to adhere to emission standards and protect the environment.

Rosemount Analytical, a business unit of Emerson Process Management, continues to lead the way in providing refineries, plants, and gas processing centers with the expertise and technology to accurately measure these greenhouse gases and remain compliant with today’s emissions standards.

The following are two examples of successful installations of Rosemount Analytical process gas analyzers monitoring greenhouse gas emissions:

Most of the industrial N2O emissions come from nitric acid plants, many of which produce fertilizer. After oxidation of NH3 to NO, NO reacts with water to form nitric acid, N2O is a byproduct of the oxidation reaction. Special catalytic reactors can be implemented to eliminate the N2O gases from nitric acid plant emissions. Measurement of flow and N2O concentration behind the reactors are regulated by UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) within CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects. Both measurements need to be performed with QAL1 certified equipment. QAL1 is part of the European Continuous Emission Monitoring regulation. Rosemount Analytical N2O gas analyzers now have a new QAL1 certification providing exceptional accuracy helping to earn carbon credits from N2O emission reduction. Currently there are installations all over the world including Egypt, South Korea, South Africa and Chile. Recently, a major global engineering company partnered with Emerson Process Management to help control an N2O abatement reactor and provide a complete turnkey solution which includes the installation and startup of temperature transmitters, pressure transmitters, flow transmitters, valves, gas analyzers and DCS systems to provide plant control and data reporting.

Other successful installations are in Australia, where the government has introduced carbon tax for emissions of greenhouse gases from coal mines. Therefore CO2 and CH4 have to be measured. A coal mine can pay up to $10M in carbon tax and a high-accuracy analyzer can help to reduce tax payment uncertainty. Rosemount Analytical worked with an Australian OEM company to successfully install high-accuracy process gas analyzers in flame-proofed housings for two separate applications: the first – to measure CH4, O2, CO and CO2 in the tube bundle system for underground ventilation control and safety monitoring; the second, measure CH4 and CO2 from the exhaust of underground coal mines.

What kinds of harmful gases does your plant need to measure? What challenges do you face in that measurement?

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