Quality Assurance of Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems

by | Oct 22, 2021 | Analytical, Energy & Emissions, Measurement Instrumentation, Sustainability

Khadra Helminski

Global Integrated Marketing Manager, Gas Analysis

Industrial plants are required to comply with air quality environmental regulations, which can take many forms depending on the application and pollutants involved. Regulatory bodies, such as the Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and the Council on Industrial Emissions (the Industrial Emissions Directive or IED) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), require continuous measurement of the relevant pollutants at the point of release to the atmosphere.

Rosemount XE10 Continuous Emissions Monitoring System

A recent news announcement, Emerson’s New Emissions Monitoring System Ensures Compliance with Evolving Environmental Regulations, describes the Rosemount XE10 Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) as an automated measurement system certified to the European emissions standards EN 14181 and EN 15267. The system provides pollutants analysis and monitoring to help industrial plants meet emissions reporting requirements.

So what are the EN 14181 and EN 15267 standards?  EN 14181 is the standard that governs the quality assurance requirements for automated measurement systems (AMS) of stationary source emissions to ensure the AMS is capable of meeting the requirements of measured emissions values given by the European legislation. On the other hand, EN 15267 is the certification scheme of the product and the test procedures covering the requirements of the Quality Assurance Levels (QAL) outlined by the EN 14181 framework.

EN 14181 standard lays down four Quality Assurance Levels (QAL) for permanently installed AMS / CEMS. These quality checks assess the suitability of the AMS / CEMS based on lab and field procedures for its measurement task (QAL1), calibration and validation (QAL2), ongoing quality assurance of the system during its operation at a plant to keep an eye on its stability and performance (QAL3), and Annual Surveillance Tests (AST).

  • You can think of QAL1 certificate like the driving license of a measurement system. Once the system has been proven to be acceptable, it is granted a QAL1 certificate.
  • QAL2 could be seen as the regular inspection of a vehicle. It covers the calibration of the CEMS / AMS against nationally approved analytical methods applied by a test organization.
  • With QAL3 monitoring, industrial plant operators can identify any performance drifts and point out if the system has any needs for maintenance.
  • Annual Surveillance Tests are like QAL2 tests but at smaller scale to verify the ongoing validity of the calibration function.

Emerson contributes to quality assurance too. The Rosemount XE10 CEMS is QAL1 certified by TÜV and MCERTS and is equipped with automated calibration to facilitate zero and span gas drift checks required for QAL3 procedures. The quality assurance levels require the cooperation of a wide range of stakeholders, including regulators, manufacturers, test laboratories, and industrial plant operators. The roles and duties of each stakeholder in quality assurance processes can be summarized as the following:

Manufacturers and Suppliers of CEMS:

  • QAL1 certificates for CEMS
  • Appropriate installation of a CEMS
  • Co-operation with process operators to perform QAL2 and AST tests

Industrial Plants / Process Operators:

  • QAL2, QAL3 & AST reporting to regulators and local authorities
  • Performing QAL3

Regulators / Local Emission Authorities:

  • Assessing operator compliance
  • Assessing test laboratories
  • Providing guidance on EN 14181

Test Laboratories:

  • Maintaining accredited Standard Reference Methods (SRM) for QAL2 and ASTs
  • Sampling or auditing functional test (QAL2 and AST) results by other parties. Tests can be carried out by the manufacturer /system integrator.

Visit the Rosemount XE10 web page on Emerson.com for more on the system’s specifications and applications. You can also connect and interact with other gas analyzer experts in the Measurement Instrumentation group on Emerson Exchange 365.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.