Emission monitoring – standards, regulations, and compliant solutions

Several EU directives and national laws in European countries set requirements for continuous monitoring of flue gas emissions at waste incinerators, power plants, cement plants, and other industrial plants. The demand for emission measurements has only increased and the limit values tightened in recent years, and the trend will undoubtedly continue. Gasmet offers world-class measurement systems for continuous emission monitoring. We strive to help our customers achieve environmental compliance and process know-how.

What is the Industrial Emission Directive (IED)?

The Industrial Emission Directive outlines the requirements for emission monitoring in industrial plants, such as waste incinerators and large combustion plants.

The Industrial Emission Directive (IED) states, among other things:

  • the types of plants that are required to do continuous emission monitoring (CEM).
  • the required accuracy of emission monitoring measurements.
  • the mandatory requirements on environmental inspections.
  • the setting and updating of emission limit values (ELVs) to be based on Best Available Techniques (BAT).

The overall intention of the Industrial Emission Directive is to provide an integrated approach to the prevention and control of emissions into the various environmental media such as air, water, and soil, while striking a commercial balance for businesses.

BREF documentation and BAT conclusions outline acceptable measurement techniques

The Industrial Emission Directive obligates plant operators to use Best Available Techniques (BAT) in emission monitoring. These techniques are outlined in Best Available Techniques reference documents (BREFs).

BREFs provide descriptions of a range of industrial processes and their respective operating conditions and emission rates, for example. As technology advances, the best available techniques are reevaluated and the BREFs updated.

BREFs include BAT conclusions that outline recommended BAT-associated emission levels (BAT-AELs) for the emission limit values (ELV) of different plants. Based on these emission limit values, plants negotiate their environmental permits with local administrators.

Waste incineration – BREF and BAT

Waste incineration BAT (Best Available Techniques) reference documents (WI BREF) are the result of an exchange of information between the EU Member States, concerned industries, non-governmental organizations, and the European Commission.

The main aim of the WI BAT conclusions is to reduce the emission of harmful compounds to air and water from different waste installations. BREF defines the technical basis and BAT-associated emission levels (BAT-AELs) for national authorities in the EU to set permit conditions for industrial installations.

Waste incineration plants must monitor the following emissions:

  • sulfur dioxide (SO2)
  • nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • carbon monoxide (CO)
  • hydrogen chloride (HCl)
  • hydrogen fluoride (HF)
  • hydrocarbons
  • N2O (in certain cases)
  • ammonia (NH3) (in case the plant uses an SCR or SNCR system to reduce nitrogen oxides)
  • mercury (Hg)
  • dioxins and furans
  • particulate matter

The WI BREF (2019) requires waste incineration plants in Europe to comply with the new limits by 2023.

Read more about emission monitoring in waste incineration.

Large combustion plants (LCP) – BREF and BAT

Large combustion plant BAT (Best Available Techniques) reference documents (LCP BREF) refer to combustion installations with a total rated thermal input exceeding 50 MW taking place at combustion plants.

The EU Industrial Emissions Directive contains requirements for large combustion plants emission monitoring, which are addressed in the ‘Best Available Techniques Conclusions for Large Combustion Plants’ (LCP BREF).

The LCP BREF includes new emission limit values (ELVs) for:

  • sulfur dioxide (SO2)
  • nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • carbon monoxide (CO)
  • mercury (Hg)
  • particulate matter
  • ammonia (NH3) (in case the plant uses a SCR or SNCR system to reduce nitrogen oxides)

The LCP BREF requires large thermal power plants in Europe to comply with the new limits by 2021.

Read more about emission monitoring in power plants.

Emission monitoring in other industrial facilities

Cement production – applicable BREF and BAT are determined by fuel type

The cement industry is one of the biggest producers of CO2 emissions mainly due to the huge production capacities and calcination process, which is an important part of cement production. Cement production emissions need to be monitored continuously according to local emission regulations.

If the cement kiln uses waste as fuel, the plant is classified as a waste incineration plant. As such, it complies with waste incineration BAT (Best Available Techniques) reference documents (WI BREF).

If the cement kiln uses other fuels than waste, the production plant is classified as a combustion plant. If it is large enough, it complies with large combustion plant BAT (Best Available Techniques) reference documents (LCP BREF).

Read more about emission monitoring in cement production.

Aluminum production plants

Aluminum CO2 emissions and several fluoride compounds are released in smelters when aluminum is enriched. These emissions should be measured accurately to ensure the smelter does not exceed its emission limit values.

Read more about emission monitoring in aluminum production.

Fertilizer and nitric acid production plants

The key chemical in fertilizer manufacturing is nitric acid, which in turn is manufactured from ammonia. On top of CO2 emissions from fertilizer production, the process produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide N2O emissions. These compounds are very harmful to the environment and toxic to humans.

Read more about emission monitoring in fertilizer and nitric acid production plants.

Industrial emission monitoring of mercury, POPs, gases, and raw gases

Continuous mercury emission monitoring

Mercury can be harmful to humans and other living organisms when released to the atmosphere and water via, for example, industrial emissions. is therefore vital, which means that sources of mercury pollution, like industrial plants, should monitor their Hg emissions on a continuous basis. Continuous mercury monitoring is the most efficient way to prevent occupational and environmental hazards caused by airborne Hg.

Measuring mercury continuously can be tricky since mercury exists in many forms. Most continuous mercury measurement methods are based on measuring elemental mercury (Hg0). This means that all Hg compounds, such as HgCl2, need to be converted to elemental mercury. That is why special characteristics must be taken into account when designing systems for mercury measurements.

The technology we at Gasmet use to measure the level of traces of mercury is called CVAF (cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry). The technique is very selective and highly sensitive, which ensures accurate measurement of extremely low mercury levels.

Our technology is also future-proof, as it enables the world’s lowest EN 15267 certified range. This means that the technology is ready for stricter emission limit values in the future.

Dioxin and furan emission monitoring

Dioxins, furans, and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) can be harmful to living organisms. Since these compounds build up in animal fat tissues, they travel through the food chain and end up in human bodies. Exposure to these compounds can lead to serious health effects, like cancer.

Dioxins and furans are by-products of incineration processes and originate from waste incineration or metallurgical processes, for example. Therefore, monitoring dioxin and furan emissions is an important task for industrial plant owners.

Effective dioxin monitoring requires that the sampling period is long enough, preferably two weeks or longer. Short-term monitoring (e.g. 8-hour sampling periods) fails to take the full operational time of a plant into consideration, which affects the results.

Our solution uses isokinetic sampling to reach reliable results. The idea is to sample at the same velocity as the gas stream so that the particulates will not miss the probe, which could potentially impact the results.

Customer case: Reliable dioxin monitoring for Eco-research

Continuous monitoring of other gases

Continuous emission monitoring systems are generally used to simultaneously measure 16 gases: water H2O, Carbon Dioxide CO2, Carbon Monoxide CO, Nitrous Oxide N2O, Nitric Oxide NO, Nitrogen Dioxide NO2, Sulfur Dioxide SO2, Hydrogen Chloride HCl, Hydrogen Fluoride HF, Ammonia NH3, Methane CH4, Ethane C2H6, Propane C3H8, Ethylene C2H4, Hexane C6H14, and Formaldehyde CH2O.

The measurements of these gas pollutants must be taken in accordance with the relevant local environmental regulations. In many countries, emission measuring technology must be tested for suitability; for example, in Europe, in accordance with EN 15267.

One of the most frequently used technologies for gas emission measurements is FTIR, which stands for Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. It is a powerful gas measurement technology for the simultaneous measurement of multiple gases. All of the gases in the sample can be measured simultaneously because the entire infrared spectrum is scanned at once.

The great advantage of the FTIR technology is its adaptability as requirements tighten. Quick changes to measurement ranges and additions to the list of measured gases are easily done. New gases and gas ranges can be added to the analysis at any time without any changes to the hardware. This can be done by the users themselves.

Raw gas measurements

Raw gases are untreated flue gases that have not passed through an emission control technology system. These compounds are generally measured for the sake of process control and warranty tracking.

Typically, only a few components are measured, but Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy FTIR technology allows the measurement of all components.

Read about our solutions for raw gas measurements.

Carbon capture and storage

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide pose an enormous threat to the environment. At Gasmet, we realize the crucial role we play in the global effort to mitigate climate change and preserve nature by providing high-tech gas analysis tools for industrial operators as well as researchers and research groups.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an emerging method of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in power plants. In a process called ‘scrubbing’, carbon dioxide emissions can be absorbed into chemical solvents consisting of amines or carbonates. Scrubbing is a well-established method of carbon capture, with virtually every commercial CO2 capture plant in operation using this process.

Read about our solutions for Carbon Capture and Storage

Emissions Monitoring Handbook

After reading the handbook, you will be familiar with:

  • Industrial Emissions Monitoring & Suitable Technologies
  • Quality Assurance
  • WI BAT Conclusions for waste incinerators and co-incinerators
  • LCP BAT Conclusions for large combustion plants
  • Gasmet’s Solutions for Emissions Monitoring

Download Emissions Monitoring Handbook

Quality Assurance Levels (QALs) of Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS)

Quality Assurance of Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) is outlined in the EN 15267 and EN 14181 standards. The quality assurance is divided into four Quality Assurance Levels: QAL1, QAL2, QAL3 and AST (Annual Surveillance Tests).

QAL 1 – manufacturer proves the conformity of CEMS with certificates

QAL1 requires that instruments are shown to be suitable for purpose based upon a set of laboratory and field tests, as set out in the EU Standard EN 15267.

QAL1 aims to find out whether the selected measuring equipment for a plant is effective enough and meets not only the required legal criteria but also the needs of an industry operator.

QAL 2 – test laboratory calibrates the CEMS by comparison measurement

QAL2 stage of quality assurance specifies the procedures to ensure that the continuous emissions monitoring system has been correctly installed, calibrated by comparison measurement, and independently verified.

QAL3 – industrial plant operators monitor that the CEMS functions correctly

QAL3 refers to the ongoing monitoring of a CEMS between the QAL2 tests. Operators are required to keep an eye on the stability and performance of their monitoring systems.

AST (Annual Surveillance Tests) – carried out by labs in accordance with EN 14181 standard

Annual Surveillance Tests are very similar to QAL2 test but are carried out on a smaller scale. Their purpose is to verify the continuing validity of the calibration function, and the requirements and responsibilities for carrying out the AST tests are the same as for QAL2.

READ BLOG: Introduction to QALs

Compliance measurements in QAL2 and AST procedures – Gasmet’s solution

Compliance measurements make sure that continuous emission monitoring systems are working properly by comparing the results of the systems to reference methods performed by accredited laboratories in accordance with the EN 14181 standard.

The Gasmet DX4000 is a FTIR gas analyzer system ideal for stack testing and compliance measurements, as it is portable and allows you to take the lab to the site.

Read how FTIR Gas Analyzer helps Pöyry in QAL2 and AST compliance measurements.

ISO certificates and EN certificates

As a manufacturer of precision instruments, Gasmet strives for high quality at every step of the process.

We are proud to have been granted ISO certificates for the design, manufacturing, sales, and service of our gas analyzing equipment. ISO certificates prove that our processes conform to quality, environmental as well as health and safety management standards.

Our systems and analyzers have an EN 15267 certificate, the European Standard for Quality Assurance of Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems. See below our solutions and related certificates.

See all our certificates.

Which Gasmet system best suits your emission monitoring needs?

Answer the questions and find out

Certified solutions for emission monitoring

Gasmet offers a wide portfolio of solutions for gas emission monitoring from one place:

  • Continuous Emission Monitoring System CEMS II e offers a TÜV and MCERTS certified solution (QAL1) for a wide range of demanding emission monitoring applications.
  • Continuous Mercury Monitoring systems CMM AutoQAL and CMM have the lowest certified range in the world (0-5 µg/m3). CMM AutoQAL has an automatic and integrated QAL3 validation tool. The systems are perfect for the continuous monitoring of mercury in hot, wet, and corrosive gas streams.
  • Portable FTIR gas analyzer Gasmet DX4000 is for applications where multiple gas compounds need to be accurately monitored in the hot and humid sample gas. It is the world’s smallest FTIR emission monitoring system. A perfect tool for QAL2 and other short-term monitoring operations.
  • Dioxin sampler GT90 Dioxin+ is a device designed for long-term sampling of dioxin emissions. It conforms to the European standards EN 1948-1 and EN 15267. The system represents the cutting-edge technology for dioxin sampling and fulfills all the requirements of the dioxin measurement standard.

Service and after-sales – global network, local support

The reliability of an emission monitoring system is crucial to the operations of an industrial plant or waste incineration plant. Our goal is to ensure reliable and uninterrupted operations throughout the lifetime of the emission monitoring system so that you can rest easy and focus on running the plant.

To ensure a timely response and have the required skills at hand, we continuously invest in training our highly skilled workforce. This enables our engineers to provide the level of support our customers have come to expect. Our carefully selected global distributor and partner network is there to guarantee local support when you need it.

References from our emission monitoring system customers

Gasmet has successfully delivered over 2,000 emission monitoring systems all around the world. We have a proven track record in providing top-of-the-line solutions for various applications, from waste-to-energy plants to high-tech mining sites and large combustion plants.

Read our latest customer cases:

Gasmet is your partner in futureproofing your emission monitoring processes

We at Gasmet know the challenges that emission monitoring poses for industrial operators. The operational environment is in constant change. Regulations, standards, and processes are regularly reevaluated and updated. Emission limits and allowed gas concentrations tighten over time.

The purchase of a complete continuous emission monitoring system is a significant investment. In the ever-changing operating environment, industrial operators need reliable emission monitoring solutions that are flexible and conform to future requirements as well as current ones.

Gasmet is your partner in futureproofing your operations and emission monitoring processes. Our multi-disciplined team of experts knows our customers’ needs and stays on top of changes in regulations, standards, and processes. We are here to help you purchase a reliable emission monitoring system and achieve environmental compliance and process know-how.

Contact us to get started!