Retrofitting Diesel Electrical Generators for Emission ReductionEPA Contract Number: 68D02013
Title: Retrofitting Diesel Electrical Generators for Emission Reduction
Investigators: Nemser, Stuart
Small Business: Compact Membrane Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: April 1, 2002 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2002) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Diesel generator sets (gen-sets) are used routinely to supply electrical power. Hospitals, businesses, and small communities use gen-sets to help reduce costs by load leveling and to provide emergency power during blackouts (either scheduled or unscheduled). Recent power outages in California have led to large increases in the purchase of gen-sets, primarily for providing emergency power. In addition to providing value associated with load leveling and emergency power, gen-sets have the added value that they can be installed relatively rapidly.
Although gen-sets are in principle under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation, many of these gen-sets are being rapidly installed in California with minimal concern for EPA emissions, focusing exclusively on providing backup power to avoid blackouts. The net effect of these events should be an increase in air pollutants in California (mostly NOx) as these gen-sets are brought online. Although the problem initially is focused in California, it can be expected that other regions in the country will follow the same rationale, resulting in similar increases in NOx and other pollutants.
Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. (CMS) proposes that a simple, low-cost retrofit kit be developed that can be added to diesel gen-sets. Based on preliminary experiments, CMS estimates that NOx emissions can be reduced by approximately 50 percent, with minimal change in carbon monoxide and particulates. Program objectives include building key prototype equipment and demonstrating by adjusting fuel/air ratios that 50 percent NOx reduction can be achieved with a 2?3 percent loss in power.
Parallel efforts by CMS and its large industrial partners associated with diesel engine NOx reduction enhance the likelihood of this gen-set program being successful, both within the Small Business Innovation Research Program and commercially.