Why Emissions Monitoring Is So Important

By  //  February 28, 2022

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If you want to stay in business, you better keep in line with government regulations on emissions. Producing goods at your manufacturing plant comes at a price – the inevitable harmful gas emissions from your factory. If your day-to-day operations pose a health risk to the general public, the government has a right to shut you down. 

This can be avoided, however. You can meet market demand, and still minimize your emissions so that environment and health agencies don’t go putting yellow tape around your plant’s perimeter.

What Is Continuous Emissions Monitoring

Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEM) is a process of keeping factories, plants, and other gas-emitting sites in check on their gas emissions. Think of them like that calorie tracker on your smartwatch. In the same way that your calorie tracker counts if you’re living a healthy life, CEM systems keep you from being shut down.

They monitor the amount of certain gases in your emissions. The gases they monitor will depend on what they’re set up for. But they usually check for carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, among others.

Why is Continuous Emissions Monitoring Important?

As businessmen, the reason we manufacture these goods is to make the world a better place. Besides raking in revenue, corporations have a social and environmental responsibility to make the world a better place to live in. Emitting these noxious gases from plants and manufacturing sites really defeats that purpose.

There are numerous dangers to letting your plant loose with these gases, besides the risk of breaking environmental legislation.

Among the environmental and health risks are, but not limited to:

 These gases contribute to global warming. The gases tear the ozone layer, allowing the sun’s harmful rays to heat up the earth. 

The resulting climate change drastically affects the predictability of the seasons, making it much harder for certain crops to thrive. 

The health risks posed by the gases will adversely affect the quality of life of a nearby village, town, or settlement. 

The gases may kill any flock of migrating birds.

These effects are exponentially amplified when a lot of factories don’t implement CEM.

As individuals, we are always told to pick up our trash and reduce our carbon footprint. Corporations have an even bigger social and environmental responsibility, considering that companies are the ones emitting these gases in the first place, not private residences.

What Are Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems

Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS) are a form of CEM. They assess the concentration of a particular pollutant – let’s say, carbon monoxide – and reports it in real-time. CEMS also keeps historical data of the amount of concentration your stationary plant emits.

What is in a Standard CEMS

Your standard emissions monitoring system consists of a probe that collects samples from an emission source, most commonly a stack or a chimney; and a separate room where the sample is analyzed. 

Source: monsol.com

The parts of a standard CEMS are as follows:

■ A sample probe is hooked up to the source of the emission. This device captures a sample and runs it through the system.

■ A sample line, or a heated line, brings the sample collected by the probe to a separate room where it’s analyzed.

■ An analyzer, or analyzers, processes the sample and assesses the gas concentration levels. An analyzer consists of a sampling system, and the analyzer itself. It’s the compliance analyzer that keeps in check if you’re going beyond the limit.

■ A pump, or other pneumatic plumbing equipment, contains valves that deliver the sample along the sample line. Think of it like the human heart pumping blood throughout your blood vessels. 

■ Filters remove dust, debris, and other particulate matter found in the sample that is not necessary for analysis. Filters provide the analyzer with a ‘clean’ sample that it may process. This also prevents any damage to the analyzer that may be caused by dust.

■ Conditioning equipment removes any water or vapor that may be found in the sample. Just like the filters, conditioning equipment cleans the sample of any water so that they don’t sully the results. Additionally, some analyzers can’t process samples containing water. Think of the filters and the conditioning equipment like the hair in your nose, cleaning the air as it goes to your lungs.

■ A calibration system is responsible for checking the accuracy of the analyzer. This consists of nitrogen tanks and cylinders running through the system to check the analyzer’s accuracy. 

■ A Data Acquisition and Handling System (DAHS), from the name itself, collects data from the analyzer and handles the automated processes of the CEMS. This software logs analyzer data on an Excel sheet and is also responsible for calibrating the CEMS.

Looking at it, every part has its purpose and is interconnected like the parts of a human body. The pump is the heart, the filters are the kidneys, the analyzer is the white blood cells that identify foreign substances, and the DAHS is the brain, controlling everything and collecting data.

Summing Up

Your processing or manufacturing plant emits noxious gases that get released into the sky. Unfortunately, this is the inevitability of running any plant. However, there is a way we can still go about our day-to-day, and not be shut down by environmental groups – we need to regulate our emissions.

Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEM) is the process of keeping track of our plant’s gas emissions. This is important so that we know how much gas we’re producing, allowing us to regulate it when we’re going beyond safety limits. Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) is one of the bundles of ways we can monitor our emissions.

A standard CEMS consists of a sample probe that captures a gas sample, a sample line that feeds the sample line into the system, and an analyzer that assesses the concentration levels of the sample.

Other parts of a standard CEMS include a pump that delivers the sample through the pipelines, a filtration system that removes water and debris from the sample, a calibration system that maintains the accuracy of the CEMS, and a DAHS software that controls the entire system.

If you want to operate without any government interruption and a clean environmental conscience, contact your CEMS provider now.