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Our Work

Summary of Services

 

  • Source Emissions Compliance Testing
  • NCASI Methodology Testing
  • Continuous Emissions Monitoring

 

  • CEMS installation, maintenance, troubleshooting and operations contracts.  Additional services
  • Relative Accuracy Test Audits (RATA)
  • Performance Engineering Testing
  • Performance Guarantee Testing
  • ASME Methodology Testing
  • HAPS Identification and Sampling
  • Report and Protocol Review

 

Air Quality Services

 

Optimal offers a full range of emissions testing services using wet method testing techniques, continuous emission monitors (CEMs) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR).  Our procedures follow EPA test methods listed in 40 CFR Parts 51, 60, 63 and 75 and methods published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), and the California Air Resource Board (CARB).

 

Emissions testing is generally performed for compliance or engineering (performance or design) purposes, as described below:

 

Performance Engineering Testing

Engineering test data and results are used to improve the performance of a process or operating equipment or emission control devices.  Often, deviations to published EPA, ASME, NCASI and/or CARB methods/procedures are proposed to either meet the desired objective or to make the test unacceptable to regulatory agencies.  Optimal also performs tests to verify sources are operating within compliance limits, or, to determine if a facility has room in their umbrella permit to increase production or add another process (emission source).

Optimal has provided cost saving solutions to performance problems and emissions reductions by performing the following projects:

  • Our performance engineering services have greatly reduced fuel usage while maximizing output and reducing emissions generated during combustion.  ASME Methodology is often used for balancing fossil fuel boilers and measuring fuel flow.
  • Diagnostic testing of thermal oxidizers was performed to determine the temperature required to maintain the required destruction efficiency.  Lowering the temperature reduced fuel consumption, which results in cost savings.
  • Emissions versus production rate curves are generated to allow clients to determine the optimum rate at which to operate their plant. Curves from engineering tests have also been used to assist facilities in preparing annual emissions reports by not over-reporting emissions generating while operating at less than full load.
  • Tasks typically performed for an engineering test are:
  • Attend pre-test meetings to understand objective of test and operating process
  • Discuss procedures/methods best suited to meet objectives
  • Complete Stack Test Plan
  • Perform Emissions Testing
  • Preparation of Emissions Test Report

 

 

Compliance Testing

Compliance testing is driven by operating permits or regulatory requirements.  Procedures listed in EPA Methods are strictly followed. Alternative methods are used with approval of the appropriate regulatory agency. Tasks performed for a compliance test are:

  • Define scope of work - as required by operating permit, or, evaluate most appropriate procedures/methods
  • Submit stack test plan/protocols to regulatory agency
  • Emissions testing following methods/procedures stated in Test Protocol and approved by regulatory agency
  • Preparation of test reports according to regulatory authority specifications

 

Compliance testing includes initial certification and annual audits of facility Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS). CEM certifications/audits performed by Optimal include:

  • 7-day Zero, low level and high level calibration drift tests
  • Initial Certification Testing
  • Relative Accuracy Test Audits (RATAs) for Flow rate, O2, CO2, SO2, NOx, CO,
    H2S, TRS and VOC's

 

Optimal's CEM data is continuously recorded in real time and monitored by on-site personnel to allow preliminary calculations and show trends (FTIR data is near real time).  Preliminary concentrations/emissions are calculated after each run. Our personnel communicate immediately with client personnel if monitored concentrations do not appear to be normal or if preliminary concentrations indicate allowable limits may be exceeded.  This is particularly useful when evaluating equipment performance for engineering testing, performing preliminary Part 60 and Part 75 RATA calculations (prevent having to repeat testing), and comparing emissions to compliance limits.

 

Continuous Emission Monitor Services

 

Optimal offers custom designed CEM services to fit our clients needs, ranging from specific requests to turnkey programs. Our services cover installation, maintenance, troubleshooting and operating contracts.  Additional services include CEMS training.

 

Our CEM services are ideal for smaller facilities that do not have a dedicated CEMS tech, as a back-up option, and to assist plant technicians with problems and review data/reports. Often, problems can be averted by observing developing trends.

 

Maintenance programs can be set up for monthly/quarterly/annual visits for maintenance/ systems operation checks.  With a phone line or internet, our services can be expanded to include daily data inspections to assure that calibrations are passing, reports are being generated and printed, and that CEM systems are on line and functioning properly. With the proper equipment, remote instrument troubleshooting/adjustments can also be performed.

 Common Sampling Methodology

 

Test Method

Constituent

Sampling Technique

Analysis

Methods 1 and 2

Gas Velocity

Pitot Tube

N/A

Method 3

Gas Molecular Weight

Integrated Tedlar Bag

Orsat

Method 3A

Oxygen/Carbon Dioxide

Constant Rate Extractive Sampling

Paramagnetic / Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) Absorption

Method 4

Gas Moisture Content

Impinger Train

Volume/Gravimetric

Method 5

Total Particulate

Isokinetic Sampling

Gravimetric

Method 6

Sulfur Dioxide

Extractive Sampling-Absorption of SO2 into H2O2

Barium-Thorin Titration

Method 6C

Sulfur Dioxide

Constant Rate Extractive Sampling

Ultraviolet (UV) Absorption

Method 7E

Nitrogen Oxides

Extractive Sampling

Chemiluminescence

Method 8

Sulfuric Acid Mist

Sulfur Trioxide/Dioxide

Isokinetic Sampling-Absorption into IPA/H2O2

Barium-Thorin Titration

Method 9

Visible Emissions

Certified VE Reader

Plume Opacity

Method 10

Carbon Monoxide

Constant Rate Extractive Sampling

Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR)

Method 11

Hydrogen Sulfide

Extractive Sampling-Absorp. in Cadmium Sulfate

Iodometric Measurement

 Method 12

Lead

Isokinetic Sampling-Absorption into Nitric Acid

Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS)

Method 13B

Fluorides

Isokinetic Sampling-Absorption of F into Water

Specific Ion Electrode

EPA Method 15

Hydrogen Sulfide

Carbonyl Sulfide

Carbon Disulfide

Constant Rate Sampling-Dilution of Sample with Air

Gas Chromatography/ Flame Photometric Detection (GC/FPD)

EPA Method 16

Total Reduced Sulfur Compounds

Constant Rate Extractive Sampling

GC/FPD

EPA Method 16B

Total Reduced Sulfur Compounds

Constant Rate Sampling-Oxidation of TRS to SO2; Absorption of SO2 into H2O2

Barium-Thorin Titration

Method 17

Total Particulate

Isokinetic In-Stack Sampling

Gravimetric

Method 23

PCDDs/PCDFs

Isokinetic Sampling-Absorption onto XAD Resin

High Resolution Gas Chromatography/Mass Spec (HR GC/MS)

Method 25A

Total Hydrocarbons

Constant Rate Extractive Sampling

Continuous Flame Ionization Analyzer (FIA)

Method 26

Hydrogen Chloride/Chlorine

Extractive Sampling-Absorption of HCl in H2SO4, Absorption of CL2 in NaOH

Ion Chromatography (IC)

Method 26A

Hydrogen Chloride/Chlorine

Isokinetic Sampling- HCl Absorption in H2SO4, CL2 Absorption in NaOH

IC

Method 29

Multi -Metals

Isokinetic Sampling-Absorption in Acidic Absorbing solutions

Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma (ICAP) Spectroscopy; Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spec. (GFAAS); Cold Vapor Absorption Spectroscopy (CVAAS)

Method 30B
 

Vapor Phase Mercury

In-Stack Paired Sorbent Trap

Cold Vapor Atomic
Absorption (CVAA)

Method 101A
of 40 CFR 61

Mercury

Isokinetic - Absorption in Potassium Permanganate

CVAA

Method 201A
of 40 CFR 51

PM2.5
PM10

Isokinetic Sampling-In-Stack Cyclone / Glass Fiber Filter

Gravimetric

Method 202
of 40 CFR 51

Condensible Particulate Matter

Extraction of Impinger Contents

Gravimetric

Method 320

organic and inorganic compounds

Extractive Sampling -

 

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

Method 321

Hydrogen Chloride

Extractive Sampling

FTIR

Method 0011
of SW-846

Aldehydes and Ketones

Isokinetic Sampling-Absorption into DNPH

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

Method 0030
of SW-846

VOC's

Extractive Sampling-Absorption of Organics onto Tenax/Charcoal Tubes

Low-Resolution Gas Chromatography/Mass spectrometry (LR GC/MS)

Standard Methods CTM-027 or 417E

Ammonia

Extractive Sampling-Absorption of NH3 in H2SO4

Specific Ion Electrode

 

Industries Served

 

Industries served by Optimal and processes tested include:

 

  • Petroleum and Ethanol Refineries
  • Coal Fired Utilities
  • Portland Cement and Lime Kilns
  • Biological Waste Incineration
  • Municipal Waste Incineration
  • Gas, Oil and Coal Fired Boilers
  • Grain Processing
  • Trona, Coal, Vermiculite and Gold Mining (processes)
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Acid and Fertilizer Pants
  • Asphalt Plants
  • Pollution Control Applications (Scrubbers, Baghouses, ESP's, etc.)
  • Natural Gas Turbines
  • Internal Combustion Engines