Final Report: Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators

EPA Grant Number: R825511C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825511
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC
Center Director: Sidhu, Sukh S.
Title: Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators
Investigators: Barat, Robert
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1999 through May 31, 2001
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


Reduction of emissions of organic products of incomplete combustion (PICs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulates through active process control of combustors/incinerators is an important research area, as recognized by the U.S. EPA. The goal of the proposed work is to demonstrate a robust monitoring / process control system combining a compact, on-line, real-time optical monitoring system for species and a novel "virtual" controller based on self-updating, trained neural networks.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Rationale: The on-line resolution of the hundreds of organic species is not practical. Therefore, the monitoring of specific key organics which are known precursors for larger, potentially more hazardous species is reasonable. For example, benzene is critical to forming polyaromatics and soot during fuel-rich combustion and dioxins. Benzene monitoring will be performed with an on-line FTIR micro-spectrometer.

Approach: Species data signals are fed to a fast laboratory computer equipped with control software. Feedback signals are directed to electronic valves controlling key flows such as air (primary/secondary) and fuel. A previously generated database composed of open loop combustion system response factors (e.g. benzene vs. fuel equivalence ratio, CO/CO2 vs. temperature) can serve as a control system calibration. The novel spectrometer, designed and produced by Optomechanical Enterprises, Inc. (Allentown, NJ), is based on a unique step-scan, wavefront-dividing interferometer, in contrast to typical Michelson fast-scanning FTIR units. This reduces sensitivity to vibration, enables overall system miniaturization, and reduces overall cost.

The bench-scale combustor is a well-characterized, gas phase, jet-stirred / linear flow two stage unit. Wide ranges of combustor operability and emissions are available. Gas samples from each stage are drawn through water-cooled stainless steel probes, and then directed either to an on-line gas chromatograph for separation / quantification of hydrocarbons and chlorocarbons, or to an on-line stack gas analyzer for total hydrocarbons, CO, CO2, O2, and NOx. A pre-concentration micro-trap significantly enhances GC analysis for benzene. These conventional units will serve as checks on the performance of the FTIR optical detector for species recognition and for accuracy in steady state concentrations. The application of process control involves several components and tasks. Electronic control valves manipulate key gas flows. Signals from various thermocouples, the CEMs, and the optical analyzer are fed into an analog-to-digital circuit board in the lab computer. User-defined process control software, written in Visual Basic, detects deviations from selected setpoints. Correction signals are sent from the computer to the appropriate valves. Trained neural networks are under development to serve both as process simulators and virtual controllers in this work.

Status: Feedback control of first stage temperature has been demonstrated in our system. Both open loop and closed loop responses are obtained. A key experiment upcoming, after completion of a complete combustor rebuilding, will be the neural network-based minimization of NO under air-staged combustion. A capstone effort will involve the integration of the optical detector into the process control system. Signals from the optical monitor will be directed to the control computer for feedback signal determination. The in-situ optical data will eliminate the time lag associated with the extractive sampling required by the existing CEMs. In an anticipated experiment, an optical signal for benzene is obtained during a fuel-rich combustor upset. A feedback signal is generated to increase airflow rate to enhance burnout and eliminate the benzene emission. The virtual controller used a process model database to provide bias values. A neural network, operating from a commercial platform (NeuroDimension, Inc.), is in preparation to serve as a combustor process simulator. An inverse network is being developed as the actual controller. A complete rebuilding of the combustor internals has been done in anticipation of a heavy experimental schedule in 2001.

Technology Transfer and Outreach Plan: The process emissions and control techniques developed in this project will be available to EPA and published in future peer-reviewed publications. It is envisioned that industrial customers interested in reducing their undesirable emissions through advanced process control will request and utilize the techniques developed in this work.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 2 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

Incineration, emission control, combustion., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Geographic Area, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, Incineration/Combustion, EPA Region, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, fate and transport, advanced treatment technologies, community involvement, hazardous waste incineration, in situ remediation, industrial waste, cleanup, remediation technologies, VOCs, air pollution control, emission controls, treatment, hazadous waste streams, combustion control, combustion technology, treatment technologies, technology transfer, Region 2, incineration, real time monitoring, Region 1

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2000

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825511    HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825511C001 Development of Mechanisms and Kinetic Models on Formation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans from Aromatic Precursors
    R825511C002 Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators
    R825511C003 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C004 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C005 Advanced Leak Detection and Location Research: Extending the SERDP-funded Technical Base
    R825511C006 Three-Dimensional Geostatistical Site Characterization with Updating
    R825511C007 Anaerobic Biodegradation of PAHs in Soils and Dredged Sediments: Characterizing, Monitoring and Promoting Remediation
    R825511C008 Substrate Accelerated Death and Extended Lag Phases as Causes of the Recalcitrance of Halogenated Compounds in Anoxic Environments
    R825511C009 Fate and Transport of Nonionic Surfactants
    R825511C010 In Situ Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and PAHs in Contaminated Salt Marsh Sediments
    R825511C011 Design and Operation of Surfactant-Enhanced Bioslurry Reactors
    R825511C012 Experimental Study of Overland Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts
    R825511C013 Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste
    R825511C014 Use of a New Leaching Test Framework for Evaluating Alternative Treatment Processes for Mercury Contaminated Mixed Waste (Hazardous and Radioactive)
    R825511C015 Field Pilot Test of In Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil
    R825511C016 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C017 Field Demonstration of the Use of Reactive Zero-Valence Iron Powder to Treat Source Zone Sites Impacted by Halogenated Volatile Organic Chemicals
    R825511C018 Technology Transfer of Continuous Non-Methane Organic Carbon (C-NMOC) Analyzer
    R825511C019 Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder
    R825511C020 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration, PIC Formation, and Emissions Control
    R825511C021 Experimental Studies and Numerical Modeling of Turbulent Combustion During Thermal Treatment of Hazardous Wastes: Applied Research for the Generation of Design and Diagnostic Tools
    R825511C022 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater - Phase IV
    R825511C023 Novel Molecular Tools for Monitoring In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C024 Surfactant-Enhanced Bioremediation of Soils in the Presence of an Organic Phase
    R825511C025 Enhanced Microbial Dechlorination of PCBs and Dioxins in Contaminated Dredge Spoils
    R825511C026 Toward A Risk-Based Model for Bioremediation of Multicomponent NAPL Contaminants
    R825511C027 Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation
    R825511C029 Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site
    R825511C030 In-Situ Field Test of Electroremediation of a Chromate-Contaminated Site in Hudson County, New Jersey
    R825511C031 Electrokinetic Removal of Heavy Metals and Mixed Hazardous Wastes from Partially and Fully Saturated Soils
    R825511C032 Effects of Clay Charge and Confining Stresses on Soil Remediation by Electroosmosis
    R825511C033 Assessment of Surfactant Enhanced Bioremediation for Soils/Aquifers Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C034 In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Compounds: Coupling of Mass Transfer and Biodegradation
    R825511C035 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C036 Field Pilot Scale Demonstration of Trench Bio-Sparge: An In-Situ Groundwater Treatment Technology
    R825511C037 In-Situ Reductive Dehalogenation of Aliphatic Compounds by Fermentative Heterotrophic Bacteria
    R825511C038 The Effect of Carbon-Nitrogen Ratios on Bacterial Transport and Biodegradation Rates In Soils
    R825511C039 Ultrasonic Enhancement of Soil Fracturing Technologies for In-Situ Detoxification of Contaminated Soil
    R825511C040 Full Field Demonstration of Integrated Pneumatic Fracturing and In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C041 Determination of Adsorption and Desorption Behavior of Petroleum Products on Soils
    R825511C042 Evaluation of the Potential for Complete Bioremediation of NAPL-Contaminated Soils Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C043 Characterization of Subsurface NAPL Distributions at Heterogeneous Field Sites
    R825511C044 Development of a Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatograph/Microwave Induced Plasma/Mass Spectrometer (TDGC/MIP/MS) for On-site Analysis of Organic and Metal Contaminants
    R825511C045 Using Trainable Networks for a Three-dimensional Characterization of Subsurface Contamination
    R825511C046 Application of Advanced Waste Characterization to Soil Washing and Treatment
    R825511C047 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater Phase III
    R825511C048 Improved Luminescence Sensors for Oxygen Measurement
    R825511C049 Preconcentration, Speciation and Determination of Dissolved Heavy Metals in Natural Waters, using Ion Exchange and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
    R825511C050 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration and PIC Formation
    R825511C051 PIC Emission Minimization: Fundamentals and Applications
    R825511C052 Project Title: Development of a Two Stage, Pulse Combustion, VOC Destruction Technology
    R825511C053 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C054 FTIR Analysis of Gaseous Products from Hazardous Waste Combustion
    R825511C055 Toxic Metals Volatilization for Waste Separation and Real-time Metals Analyses
    R825511C056 Mixed Metal Removal and Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane-Based Extractive Adsorber
    R825511C057 Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Contaminated Groundwater and Soils by Pervaporation
    R825511C058 Simultaneous SO2/NO Removal/Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane
    R825511C059 Superfund Sites and Mineral Industries Method
    R825511C060 Soil Washing of Mixed Organics/Metal Contamination
    R825511C061 Removal of Cesium, Strontium, Americium, Technetium and Plutonium from Radioactive Wastewater
    R825511C062 Development of a Method for Removal of Nonvolatile Organic Materials from Soil using Flotation
    R825511C063 Recovery of Evaporative Fuel Losses by Vapor Permeation Membranes
    R825511C064 Surfactant Selection Protocol for Ex Situ Soil Washing
    R825511C065 Biofiltration for the Control of Toxic Industrial VOCs Emissions
    R825511C066 Catalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water
    R825511C067 Soil Washing for Remediating Metal Contaminated Soils
    R825511C068 Aqueous Absorption and Kinetics of NO by Strong Oxidizing Agents
    R825511C069 Remediation of Dredging Spoils
    R825511C070 Freeze Concentration for Zero-Effluent Processes
    R825511C071 Life Cycle/Pollution Prevention Response to Executive Order 12856
    R825511C072 Faster Better, Cheaper Hazardous Waste Site Characterization and Cleanup: an Adaptive Sampling and Analysis Strategy Employing Dynamic Workplans
    R825511C073 Development of a Comprehensive Computer Model for the Pneumatic Fracturing Process
    R825511C074 Technology Demonstration and Validation of CFAST Field Analytical Instrumentation for Use in Hazardous Waste Site Characterization, Clean-up and Monitoring
    R825511C075 XFLOW: Training Software Simulating Contaminant Site Characterization and Remediation