$3 billion market for air pollution monitoring, sampling and process control

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Source: The McIlvaine Company

The world market for stack continuous emissions monitors (CEMs) will be $900 million this year. However, if one takes into account the additional revenues for ambient monitoring systems, intermittent stack sampling and process control using pollutant analyzers, the market is above $3 billion. This is the latest forecast in the McIlvaine Air Pollution Monitoring and Sampling World Markets.

Some segments are growing at double-digit rates. Continuous mass monitors are being required in a progressing number of countries. Europe has had regulations based on continuous mass performance for some time. But now the U.S. is following suit. McIlvaine estimates that between the requirements of three MACT rules (Cement, Industrial and Utility) there will be initial investments in excess of $200 million for mass particulate monitors.

Ambient monitors systems for industrial facilities will be another hot market in the U.S.  The EPA is planning on shifting the burden of proof to the polluters when it comes to ambient air quality impacts. So each facility will have to not only track its impact but the impact of the neighbors as well.

Service for mercury monitors is another hot segment. U.S. utilities have made the hardware investment but are waiting for the rules to be implemented before they operate the systems. In addition, cement plants and industrial boilers will be installing and operating mercury monitors over the next three years. By 2015 there are likely to be 1500 mercury CEMs in operation. At an annual operating cost of $100,000, there will be a $150 million annual service market in the U.S. alone.

Asia is the fastest growing region. Developing countries first invest in ambient systems and then start investing in stack CEMs. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have progressed through all the stages and are fully equipped. China has moved from the ambient to the stack CEM stage. Its demand for stack CEMs for coal-fired plants exceeds the U.S. and Europe combined.

One of the biggest potential revenue generators is for outsourcing. One aspect of outsourcing is remote monitoring. The CEMs data can be utilized to control the process operations. The reason is that many processes are limited by the emission rate. They must maintain production capacity below the level where they exceed their regulated limits.  NOx, hydrocarbons and greenhouse gases create a special challenge. Meeting the NOx limits may increase hydrocarbons and greenhouse gases. So a balance has to be achieved.  Automatic control systems and remote monitoring are more attractive where this complexity exists. In many cases, the extra cost for more accurate monitors is more than justified by process savings.

There are a number of adjacencies which deserve more attention by the monitoring community. One is to continuously monitor odor control systems in wastewater plants.  Millions of dollars are spent on excessive water chemicals to protect against odors. Good monitoring systems would have an attractive return on investment.

Another area is to control the environments within cleanrooms and other indoor spaces. The particulate and colony forming unit count can be monitored and the amount of recirculated and fresh air reduced to meet the target limits. Many cleanrooms operate at a constant flow rate even at night when there are no contaminant sources.

Increasingly the air emissions are becoming as critical as energy consumption and other factors in determining process operation. The biggest potential is for optimization systems which control the process parameters with input from the pollution monitors as well as process monitors.

For more information on Air Pollution Monitoring and Sampling World Markets, click on: http://www.mcilvainecompany.com/brochures/air.html#no31

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