Stack Emission monitoring is often referred to the air monitoring of an emission point. Typically, such monitoring is carried out on boiler stacks, incinerator stacks, baghouse stacks, thermal oxidisers. These stacks will carry pollutants such as SOx, NOx, particles, solvents and other dusts and gases. These can have a detrimental effect on local air quality and for this reason such emissions are often regulated. Typically, this regulation requires measurement of the concentration of these pollutants on a regular basis, often referred to as periodic stack emission monitoring. The regulator will usually set limits as to concentration (or mass flow) and purpose of the monitoring will be to determine whether the emissions are below those limits set.

South Africa’s core legislation for specifying these limits is the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act no. 39 of 2004) which stipulates that that any operation producing air pollution – which in terms of the Act is referred to as an atmospheric emission – must ensure that they have in place an effective air quality management plan. Certain industries have been documented as carrying out “listed activities”, in which case they need to apply for an Atmospheric Emission License (AEL).

These Section21 listed activities cover (amongst others):

•             Combustion installations

•             Petroleum industry

•             Carbonisation and coal gasification

•             Metallurgical industry

•             Mineral processing, storage and handling

•             Organic chemicals

•             Inorganic chemicals

•             Disposal of hazardous and general waste

•             Pulp and paper manufacturing

•             Animal matter processing.

Stack Emissions Testing enables companies to demonstrate their compliance against regulated emission limits outlined for permitted processes or environmental compliance with Atmospheric Emission Licences (AEL), new applications and renewals. We test for all pollutants listed in the legislation including Particulate Matter (PM), SO2, NOx, CO, HCl, HF, NH3, Heavy Metals, TVOC’s – and even dioxins, furans and PAH’s. Results from stack emissions are used in AEL applications, dispersion modelling, and compliance reports. Our emission/stack, monitoring follows specific test methods and protocols, i.e., USEPA Methods for emission measurement and sampling of emission concentrations which are pollutant specific and sometimes industry specific.

Here is a list of the methods below:

Method 1Determination of Sampling Location and Traverse points
Method 2Determination of Stack Gas Velocity & Volumetric Flow rates
Method 3aDetermination of Dry Molecular Weight & % Excess Air
Method 4Determination of Moisture Content
Method 5Determination of Particulate Matter Emissions
Method 6Determination of Sulphur Dioxide Emissions
Method 7eDetermination of Oxides of Nitrogen Emissions
Method 18Determination of Total Organic Compounds
Method 23Determination of Dioxins and Furans Emissions
Method 26aDetermination of Halogens & Halides Emissions
Method 29Determination of Metal Emissions

The equipment we use for our Stack monitoring is the Clean Air Express source sampling equipment assembled in America and a Testo340 Gas Analyzer imported from Germany.

Figure: Clean Air Express source sampling equipment

Additionally, stack testing needs to be a part of any emissions-producing facility and should be considered a fixed part of the budget.  Therefore, we hope that in better understanding the stack testing pricing structure, you’ll be better able to plan, budget, and reduce costs associated with this service.

So what exactly are you paying for?

1. Mobilization – This refers to getting the stack testing team to your facility. Variable costs include distance travelled and how many separate mobilizations are required. Suggestions for reducing costs on mobilizations include using careful preparations to prevent the need for a retest.

2. Equipment – This refers to the tools needed to conduct testing.  These are fixed costs that include the highly specialized measurement tools and analyzers generally required by EPA methods in order to demonstrate compliance.

3. Labour Hours – This refers to the people and time needed to conduct testing. The fixed costs associated with labor are that a certain number of people are usually necessary to meet needs and the testing times and durations are set by EPA as part of methods.

4. Lab analysis of results – This refers to verifying the data gathered in the field.  There are both fixed and variable costs associated with the reporting.  Fixed costs are the analysis methods pre-determined by the EPA.  Variable costs include the turnaround time on results and varies depending on the client needs and demands. Get the stack testing scheduled early enough to allow for normal wait time which is generally 3-4 weeks to get results back.

Contact us on 061 568 5510 or if you need assistance with your stack testing requirements

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