In the mining, power, petrochemical, construction and bulk handling industries our customers are under increasing pressure to mitigate their impact on the surrounding environment. Air quality regulation is shifting the burden from publicly funded monitoring to monitoring funded by industry (with public oversight).
Correctly verifying industrial air pollution levels can be difficult and expensive
Industrial facilities are often clustered together and served by busy transport corridors. If an industrial air pollution problem exists it can often be blamed on the industrial facility rather than on some other factor. Or, if other factors can be isolated, the wrong facility might get the blame. Industrial companies can rely on the local air quality monitoring network (if there is one) or invest in their own equipment. But ambient pollution monitoring equipment for most companies is prohibitively expensive.
A lower cost alternative for monitoring industrial perimeters
Our solutions for industrial fenceline monitoring offer a genuine alternative to traditional, high cost ambient air quality monitoring systems. We make accurate and affordable instruments which give warnings in real-time, are simple to maintain, and can be quickly deployed and re-deployed. By calibrating and cross-referencing to reference analyzers the integrity of the air quality data is assured.
Flexible tools for ambient pollution monitoring
Our product range spans portable (handheld) monitors for checking pollution hot spots and conducting short term surveys, through to compact air quality monitoring stations for mobile, semi-permanent and permanent monitoring. These instruments can be configured to log real time data on gas, particulate, noise and weather parameters. Data can be transmitted wirelessly and accessed online via remote PC.
Current sophisticated, expensive ambient air pollution monitoring technology is not economically sustainable as the sole approach and cannot keep up with current needs, specifically new monitoring networks and special purpose monitoring.US EPA: New Generation Air Monitoring Roadmap 2013
Mining & Quarrying
Mines and quarries are caught between a rock and a hard place. Even as demand for minerals and aggregates increases environmental controls make it harder than ever to increase or expand production. Typically any new permit will require a period of air quality monitoring before, after and sometimes during the development phase.
Dust and particulate matter is most often the concern for regulators. In some cases nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and / or sulphur dioxide might also be of interest. These gaseous pollutants are generated by heavy vehicles and other combustion sources such as diesel generators. Methane can be a factor especially in coal mines.
The problem for operators is that air monitoring equipment is expensive to buy and to operate. A complete monitoring station to measure particulate, a couple of gases, and wind speed and direction can cost more than a new wheeled-loader. Traditional monitoring stations are too big to shift to different locations and they draw a lot of power.
Aeroqual has developed lighter weight and lower cost air monitoring solutions such as the Dust Sentry and AQM 60 compact air quality stations. Using sensors rather than analysers they are a fraction of the cost and can be set up and knocked down in no more than an hour.
The petrochemical industry around the world has invested heavily in the use of integrated pollution control equipment both upstream and downstream. Such is the nature of the processes needed to generate useful fuel that despite these controls emissions can and do persist.
The only way to accurately demonstrate the effectiveness of pollution control inside the facility is to monitor emissions on the perimeter (or fenceline). Numerous studies have shown the benefits both to the operator and to the community of having an ongoing real-time perimeter monitoring capability, such as:
- Providing an independent reference point for impact on surrounding air
- Giving the operator a chance to respond to events before they become a problem
- Optimising pollution control and abatement practices within the facility
- Inventory of CO2 and other GHG emissions
Despite the benefits few petrochemical facilities have a dedicated fenceline monitoring capability, and cost is the primary reason investment has not matched the potential benefits. Continuous air monitoring stations can cost US$250,000 each and a network surrounding a facility should at minimum include three stations.
Aeroqual’s compact air monitoring station represents a new approach, one that delivers the known benefits of fenceline monitoring whilst also being economically viable for industry. As a result our list of project references is growing fast and includes some of the industry’s giants (Petrobras, PetroChina, YPF).