Stack Emissions Testing

stack emissions testing


How do you stack up with EPA emissions compliance?

Boiler owners and operators are required to comply with standards known as NESHAPS - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, determined by the EPA as part of the U.S. Clean Air Act (CAA). This involves calculating total boiler emissions and reporting them to regional and federal authorities as required by law.


Stack emission limits established using a maximum achievable control technology (MACT) approach and specific environmental regulations can tend to be a bit of a moving target. Add to that, compliance requires accurately calculating the emissions for each and every type of boiler and air pollutant present which can means potentially thousands of measurements to manage. With a wide variety of equipment and a wide variety of emission requirements, it’s no surprise many companies have a difficult time keeping it straight or even keeping up.


How does your facility stack up on emissions compliance?


IB&M helps you maintain emissions compliance 


1. By identifying and collecting equipment and stack emissions factor data needed for accurate EPA compliance reporting, such as:



  • Source calculation code (SCC) - associated with every individual boiler, a SCC is based on several factors like type of boiler, process, fuel, control devices and heat input capacity, and is used to determine which pollutants are required to report and the respective values to use in calculating emissions
  • Emission factors - the amount of hazardous air pollutant released into the environment per unit of fuel burned. These values are estimates based on long term emission averages for all facilities using the same category (most common fuel) sources, and may not accurately reflect actual facility stack emissions.
  • Total amount of fuel used - actual fuel usage during facility processes according to type of fuel and boiler, which must be converted into the measurement indicated by that fuels emission factors  such as gallons, cubic feet, tons, etc.
  • Control device efficiency - demonstrates the effectiveness of control technologies to reduce the emission of HAPs into the environment, reported as a numerical value

IB&M approaches stack emissions monitoring according to a site-specific plan which identifies target equipment with specific goals. While our customers often provide initial information about boilers, fuels and firing rates, etc. we also conduct research on manufacturer data and review assembled drawings as applicable to ensure all pertinent information required is available prior to stack emissions testing.


2. By taking stack emissions samples for CO, NOx and VOC (volatile organic compounds) and tuning combustion equipment at varying firing rates.


stack emissions testing


stack emissions testing


stack emissions testing


There are many advantages to having IB&M handle stack testing for your facility. We not only have state-of-the-art portable Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEM) testing equipment in our mobile trailer unit, but we have an entire division of experts in burners and combustion equipment. Our emissions testing and tuning process includes:


  • Stack sampling – we typically run 3 hour-long tests where we insert 2” flexible lines into the stack and take emission samples to run through our EPA certified analyzers which detect the percentage of each gas (from any fuel type) and convert to pounds for recording. Our CEMS software can measure MMBTUs in the trillions.
  • Combustion tuning – IB&M checks the boiler for proper combustion by testing at 5% increments from low fire to the maximum firing rate.
  • We go beyond the numbers and calculations to make adjustments at each firing rate to maintain maximum combustion efficiency through the firing scale.
    • We examine all burner components for proper operation and size for the process needed.
    • We characterize gas, air and FGR valves at various points depending on the control system.
    • We observe the flame pattern and look at gases to determine how far off they are from SCC required values.
    • We record every gas at every setting to compare and build graphs including air flow, fuel flow, heat release (BTUs through water).
    • We optimize and build an 02 curve for pertinent gases until 100%, comparing wet and dry readings which can identify conditions such as a leak on the gas side of the boiler or improper combustion rate based of the fuel/air ratio.
    • We adjust combustion to achieve the maximum efficiency for the mechanical limits of the burner.
    • We adjust Flue gas recirculation (FGR) for Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT).

3. By providing detailed stack emissions documentation for state and federal EPA reporting.


IB&M generates a printout of all test data and graphs of CO, O2, NOx, VOC, excess air and stack temperature levels at as found, during tuning, and as left conditions. Our documentation includes the general condition of the boiler, any modifications made and recommendations as applicable for repair and replacement, or shortcomings of equipment.


As a certified ASME performance testing agency, Industrial Boiler & Mechanical is one to call for Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEMS) and stack testing. Many of our competitors don’t have the expertise in boiler burners and controls and often end up hiring us in the process to help out – doesn’t it make sense to hire one company to handle it all? We think so.


Contact us today at (855) 753-BOILER to learn more about our Stack Testing division or schedule emissions testing for your facility. We can help you maintain annual EPA emissions compliance.

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