Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Report Published April 1998:

Title: Identification of point source emissions controls and determination of their efficiencies.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Roe, Stephen

Contractor: E.H. Pechan & Associates

Contract Number: 96-325

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Stationary Sources


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is responsible for compiling a statewide air pollutant emissions inventory and improving the inventory as necessary to meet its objectives and those of its emissions inventory clients (e.g., local air quality districts). As part of this process, CARB requires a comprehensive, up to date list of air pollution controls that are used for reducing emissions from point sources and the accompanying range of control efficiencies typically achieved for each pollutant. Among other uses, this information is used by CARB and local air district staff during the evaluation of permit applications and emission inventory reporting.

By 1997, the point source control listing that was in use by CARB and the districts had become out of date (e.g., newer controls were not represented, ranges of control efficiencies were overly broad). To update this listing, a comprehensive review of relevant air pollution data sources was conducted. Among these sources were:

* The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) AP-42, Control Techniques Guidelines, Alternative Control Technique Documents and Other Reports on Control Equipment for Criteria and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs - Also referred to as air toxics.)
* The State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators / Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials Control Technology Reports
* The California Air Pollution Control Officers' Association's Reasonably Available Control Technology / Best Available Control Technology Clearinghouse
* Standard Air Pollution References (e.g., The Air Pollution Engineering Manual)
* In-House Control Technology Assessments Previously Prepared by E. H. Pechan & Associates, Inc. and
* Recent Technical Literature Including the Air and Waste Management Association Technical Papers, Periodicals, the Internet and Telephone Contacts (EPA, Trade Organizations and Manufacturers).

The data gathered from these sources were used in developing descriptions of each control technology and establishing the expected control efficiency range achieved in actual practice. Where available, information on the costs of these controls, in terms of cost effectiveness (annualized cost per ton of pollutant reduced, in 1995 dollars), was incorporated into the control description. Information for most of the commonly used equipment were well documented and based on in depth studies. Data for less used and emerging technology equipment were often sparse and / or vague. In many of these cases, it was necessary to apply professional judgment in establishing efficiency ranges and costs.

An updated printout of CARB's database of point source air pollutant controls is contained in this report as well as descriptions of the control techniques, ranges of typical operating control efficiencies, and available cost data. A limited effort was made to incorporate information on point source control of air toxics. This effort included the development of an appendix which lists all California air toxics and EPA HAPs and defines each as a volatile organic toxic, a particulate organic toxic, a particulate inorganic toxic, a gaseous inorganic toxc, or some combination of these categories. This toxics categorization scheme can then be used to assign approximate control ranges for many of the control technologies presented in this report.

During the study, researchers strived to provide estimates of reasonable upper and lower bounds on the control efficiencies. Whenever possible, these ranges were based on test data, however, in many cases, professional judgment was used to establish a reasonable range. Therefore, the user should be cautioned that, in any given situation, a control technology could achieve efficiencies outside of the estimated range. For assessments dealing with permit review, risk assessment and other regulatory studies, testing of the source should be required.


For questions regarding research reports, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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