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FTIR Gas Analyzer Helps Pöyry in QAL2 and AST Compliance Measurements

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Courtesy of Gasmet Technologies Oy

Several EU directives and national laws in the European countries set requirements for continuous monitoring of flue gas emissions. Pöyry helps industrial plants meet stringent environmental standards by offering emission measurement services like compliance measurements, for example. We spoke to measurement team manager Paula Juuti at Pöyry about her work with emissions measurements and compliance measurements in specific.

Pöyry is an Expert in Environmental Consulting

Pöyry is an international consulting and engineering company that serves clients globally across the energy, industry and infrastructure sectors. It provides services across the whole project lifecycle, from management consulting to engineering services, project management to operations support. Everything is supported by Pöyry’s expertise in environmental consulting. It has offices in 40 countries.

In Imatra, Finland, Pöyry focuses on warranty and condition monitoring measurements and emissions measurements created by the process and energy industries. Pöyry’s emission measurement service team runs an accredited testing laboratory accredited for flue and exhaust gas measurements by the Finnish Accreditation Service (FINAS).

“Our traditions and core competence in Imatra come from a long history of doing process gas and emissions monitoring for the forest industry“, Paula Juuti says.

Paula Juuti is the manager of the measurement team in Pöyry’s Imatra offices. She is the local line supervisor and a project manager with a very versatile role that varies from sales, coordination and organization of projects to conducting analyses and reports. Stack measurements are no longer part of Juuti’s everyday work, but she still does them every now and then.

Compliance Measurements and QAL2 and AST Procedures A big part of Juuti’s team’s work is performing compliance measurements. Juuti describes compliance measurements as a means to build trust that measurement results made anywhere in Europe are reliable and comparable. Europe has standardized procedures and reference methods that ensure the validity of compliance measurements. Two major parts of this on-going quality assurance cycle are the QAL2 and AST procedures.

The requirements of quality assurance level 2 (QAL2) cover the calibration of the CEMS / AMS against nationally approved analytical methods applied by a test organization accredited to EN ISO/IEC 17025 (and MCERTS in the UK) by a national body. This 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.

Annual Surveillance Tests (AST) are like mini-QAL2 tests that map out the performance of a CEMS. Their purpose is to verify the continuing validity of the calibration function.

To be able to perform compliance measurements, measurement teams need to prove that they have sufficient competency to carry them out by obtaining accreditation. Accredited laboratories usually need to prove their competencies on a yearly basis.

Gasmet’s Role in Comparison Measurements

Gasmet was one the first manufacturers to provide industrial plants with continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS). Pöyry uses their own procedures to perform compliance measurements with these systems. It also performs functional tests to CEMS and comments on the findings to Gasmet, which helps develop their products and software.

The companies’ long-standing partnership goes back more than two decades, as the measurement group received its first DX4000 portable gas analyzer back in 1996. Pöyry uses Gasmet analyzers in their own measurements, and has accredited some measurement procedures using FTIR technology and Gasmet’s portable gas analyzers. Accreditations have been made to measure components that are especially challenging or slow to measure.

Benefits of a Portable Gas Analyzer

Juuti points out that one of the main benefits of having a portable gas analyzer is that it allows the immediate analysis of the measurement results - as opposed to a situation where you would need to send the samples for analysis to a third-party laboratory.

Pöyry needs to be able to measure a wide range of gases. Therefore, it is crucial that the analyzer in use enables simultaneous measurements of multiple gases. This was one of the main reasons why Pöyry chose a Gasmet FTIR analyzer in the first place.

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“One of the upsides of using a multigas analyzer versus a compound-specific analyzer is that we don’t need to rent a truck to transport a large arsenal of equipment when we head out to do measurements in the field. Portability is a big plus”,
Juuti laughs off.

Juuti and her team like the fact that the DX4000 is able to measure components and compounds that are not detected with other devices.

Importance of Careful Analysis of Measurement Results

Paula Juuti emphasizes the importance of understanding what you are trying to measure and the FTIR technology when analyzing measurement results. Having at least basic knowledge of chemistry is an asset and understanding which gases the measured object might entail help conducting FTIR measurements and analyses.

Juuti also advices to take enough time to familiarize with the wide range of wavelengths and learn how to compare references to the measured spectra.

All Gasmet FTIR analyzers are supplied with Calcmet software. The software collects, stores and visualizes the FTIR spectra of the sample gas and analyzes the concentrations of gas components. Juuti states that this is useful because it enables the sample spectra to be analyzed and re-analyzed later. As a result, it is easy to go back to the analysis in case suspicious interference occurs, or a component is missing from the method used in the first round of analysis.

Juuti says that she has always received immediate help and reassurance from Gasmet in cases where she has been unsure of how to analyze the measurement results.

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