27 Mar

Changes to Clean Air Act Coal-Fired Plant Regulations a Possibility

The Clean Air Act continues to be debated as the EPA comes closer to the April 13th deadline to finalize new source performances standard (NSPS) regulations. According to a Power Engineering Article from March 15, the Obama administration is considering more changes to the rule regulating greenhouse gasses.

The rule established in March of last year would require all new coal-fired power plants to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per MW/h of electricity produced. Existing coal-fired power plants had no such restrictions.

Concerns about the probability that new plants would be able to meet that rule were raised by four Democratic senators, who sent a letter to Obama urging him to amend the standard.

According to the letter, the senators worry that having the same emission standard for both gas-fired and coal-fired will actually hinder goals to reduce emissions in the United States. Not only are they concerned that new plants won’t be built, they also state that current coal-fired plants may choose not to upgrade their plant with cleaner systems because they will not be able to meet the regulations.

The letter then states that it is possible to continue to build new coal-fired plants – with state of the art technologies – and reduce admissions. Continued advancement of technology will help the industry grow cleaner throughout the years.

The concerns of the senators are clear in their letter. If those who are currently planning to build coal-firing plants are prevented due to inability to comply with the law, the jobs that may have been created will be lost and the cost of electricity has the potential to grow. In addition, these four senators are worried that such restrictions will prevent the further creation of technologies that will reduce emissions even farther.

Synergy Systems celebrates the creation of new technologies that further reduce emissions as they also tend to save businesses money and create a more efficient plant. The aim of our Energy Patriot program is to recognize the achievements of those plants and businesses that make great strides in working towards American energy independence.

Goals such as energy independence and dramatic reductions in emissions cannot be met overnight. Fine tuning of current technologies and the freedom to invent new state-of-the-art systems is an absolute necessity to achieving those goals. Synergy is proud to be a part of a movement toward a cleaner society, with systems that are optimized to create the greatest amount of product or energy while at the same time reducing the amount of fuel and emissions used.

If you are curious about what our engineers can do to save you money through optimized systems, drop us a comment here or visit our Contact Us page and speak to our experts today.

20 Feb

Recent Revisions to The Clean Air Act

Recently, on Dec 20, 2012, revisions were made to the Clean Air Act’s regulations for major and area source boilers and commercial/ industrial solid waste incinerators.  As most boilers burn some form of fossil fuel, this revision is of great importance to most manufacturing and process plants.<

According to the Overview Technical Fact Sheet provided on the EPA’s website, these changes will not apply to 86 percent of all the boilers in the United States. For 13 percent of boilers, the EPA will simply rely on work practice standards to reduce emissions.

Less than 1 percent of boilers are deemed the “highest emitting” of pollutants, and they will be expected to upgrade their boilers to meet the emission limits. The chart below is from the EPA fact sheet and shows the difference between the March 2011 emission reductions and the 2012 changes.

Clean Air Act Changes

According to the EPA website, these numbers were reached after reviewing several petitions sent by business and plant owners in regards to the March 2011 rules and additional research performed by the EPA. The chart shows the emission reductions for mercury, hydrogen chloride and sulfur dioxide have increased. On the other hand, the reductions for non-mercury metals and particulate matter have decreased.

Major source boilers that are subject to the above emission reductions must comply by 2016, although they may request an additional year if needed. Area source boilers will have until March 21, 2014 to comply and also may request and additional year as needed.

In addition to adjusting emission limits, other main modifications to the March 2011 rules include:

  • Adding to and refining the list of sub categories of boilers
  •  Increasing time to implement the standards
  • Maintaining numerical emission limits for the highest emitting 0.4 percent of all boilers.

With these new standards, the EPA claims 8,100 deaths, 5,100 heart attacks and 52,000 asthma attacks will be prevented.

Cleaner energy and less pollution obviously benefit the health and well-being of nearby communities, but it can also help your bottom line. Synergy focuses on saving our clients’ money, often by developing control systems that waste less fuel and thereby reducing the emissions a boiler or plant produces. If you are curious about how much money you can save, send us a message at info@synsysinc.com or call 630-724-1969 x12.