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factor to the formation of ground level ozone, which has been proven
to be a major public health concern.
VOCs are regulated as "ozone precursors" under the U.S. Clean Air
Act and similar state laws. In order to reduce ozone levels, the EPA
and numerous state agencies have issued regulations to reduce VOC
emissions from a variety of sources. The VOC limitations issued by
these various authorities are constantly evolving. Increasingly, new
states are issuing VOC limitations, while those with existing limita-
tions are expanding their scope as well as issuing more aggressive
restrictions for products already on the market.
STEPS TO SUCCESS
How can manufacturers take advantage of the current scenario to not
only meet, but also generate savings and lower energy costs, by adher-
ing to EPA guidelines? A strong first step is by using energy recovery
assessments, followed by recommended engineering solutions.
The assessments involve gathering data to measure each company's
current energy consumption, process flow and utility demands. Next,
seek out solutions/recommendations for effective methods to reduce
energy consumption, lower operating costs and assist manufacturers
with taking advantage of any rebates or incentive programs available.
Done right, those added cash incentives can offer a serious ROI (up to
50 percent of the project) to pay for the energy efficiency measures.
The critical step is to transform existing waste heat and energy
recovery systems, and make them capable of capturing hot exhaust
produced during various manufacturing processes, then redirect it
to other areas of production. Captured heat may be used to preheat
the incoming VOC laden air stream before entering the combustion
chamber of oxidizer systems. Hot exhaust can also be passed through
a waste heat boiler to produce steam, hot water or a hot oil economiz-
er for other process heating requirements, saving wasted energy and
Experience has shown energy recovery assessments can go a long way
in helping any company that has heat from fugitive VOC emissions
waste being lost to the atmosphere. Without this type of thorough
analysis, companies may be allowing cost savings to slip through their
fingers, not to mention failing to meet regulatory emissions standards,
which can result in expensive penalties.
No matter what the industry, there are going to be questions on the
EPA's new pollution emission and ozone guidelines because the rules
are beginning to tighten up across the country. Specifically, ozone
generation issues are arising from various types of equipment, so
the ideal solutions help capture and remove it from manufacturing
facilities and plants.
With that as a background, the U.S. has been at the leading edge of
technology in the area of manufacturing industry air pollution control
for years. Now, after decades of its worsening pollution crisis, China is
taking serious steps to reduce its carbon footprint. In fact, the country
has begun to implement many types of pollution control efforts, while
increasing and enforcing regulations on manufacturers.
Recently, for example, an American non profit organization, RTI In-
ternational (formerly the Research Triangle Institute), began working
with China's Jiangsu Environmental Protection Bureau to introduce
and promote new environmental technologies in China. According
to RTI, the Jiangsu, China staff surveyed local firms to obtain specific
information on their environmental issues, which of course include
air pollution control.
The idea behind the RTI effort and a recent conference held in China
is to facilitate the exchange of environmental technologies between
users and suppliers within the country.
There is little doubt that applying some of the energy efficiency know-
how created and innovated in the U.S. can translate into success in Chi-
na as well. The Chinese also want to conserve energy while addressing a
host of environmental issues, especially the severe pollution, as we do in
the U.S. The demand is there, and so are the solutions. n
About the Author: Anoosheh Oskouian is president and CEO of Ship
& Shore Environmental, Inc., a Long
Beach, CA based, woman owned,
certified business specializing in air
pollution capture and control systems
for industrial applications. Ship & Shore
helps major manufacturers meet VOC
abatement challenges by providing
customized energy efficient air pollution
abatement systems for various indus-
tries, resulting in improved operational
efficiency and tailored "green" solutions.
For more information, visit www.shipandshore.com.
Oskouian, at Ship & Shore's manufacturing facility in Long Beach, CA
Photo courtesy of Ship & Shore Environmental
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