Emissions monitoring on plants

By Natalie Liddle, unitemp

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Published in:

Energy Efficiency Made Simple Vol III: Energy and enviroFiciency

November 2012 - Chapter 7: pages 85 – 88

Enquiries: email nataliep@unitemp.com


Total efficiency in combustion processes can be defined as: ‘The effectiveness of any combustion apparatus to convert the internal energy contained in the fuel into heat energy for use by the process. Any heat losses, particularly in the flue gas, lower the efficiency of the plant.

Combustion efficiency is the total energy contained per unit of fuel minus the energy carried away by the flue gas and unburned fuel exiting the stack’.

Combustion efficiency losses constitute a substantial part of overall process efficiency losses. Maximising combustion efficiency can be done by the ongoing measurement of oxygen and combustibles in the flue gas. Almost every industrial plant has a combustion process that generates heat by burning solid, liquid or gaseous fuels typically for:

  • Heating (heating plants, building heating)
  • Generation of electrical energy
  • Generation of steam and hot water for use in process industries
  • Manufacturing certain materials (cement, glass, ceramics)
  • Thermal surface treatment of metallic partsIncineration of waste materials and residues
  • Incineration of waste materials and residues

These combustion processes result in the emissions of harmful pollutants - or ‘flue gas’ - which need to be measured.


Take note

  • The benefits of emissions monitoring cannot be ignored.
  • Monitoring emissions leads to optimisation of combustion processes with energy being conserved in the overall production process.
  • Efficient use of energy and environmental improvements from proper combustion of fuels provides a competitive edge with increased profitability.