Make Your Air Quality Inspector Happy with a Triboelectric Dust Monitor

Posted by Earl Parker on Feb 24, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Time to work together

Many fear the day when the air quality inspector comes to their plant. They might feel that no matter how much or how carefully they prepare, the inspector will always find fault with their operation and thus issue citations and fines. However, there is a way to make the inspector view your operation much more positively. What is it? 

Installing a triboelectric dust monitor for your dust collection system will go a long way towards proving to the inspector that your plant is serious about emissions control and that you take compliance with your air permit seriously. Why do we say so? Let’s look at just three things that triboelectric monitoring allows you to proactively demonstrate to the inspector during his visit. a triboelectric dust monitor can help make your inspections more collaborative experiences

You Resolve Problems Before They Become Reportable Events

Triboelectric detectors are more sensitive than any other PM monitoring technology available today; able to detect PM concentrations down to 0.000002 g/dscf (0.005  mg/m3). Unlike opacity observations (method 9 and 22) or opacity meters or even differential pressure readings (though these have their proper use) a triboelectric dust monitor can detect the very beginnings of filter failure. This enables maintenance technicians to take corrective action much sooner when they detect a failing filter. The end result - prevention of a massive spike that becomes a reportable event and much lower total emissions. Since excursion events usually provide for the vast majority of emissions at a facility over the course of the year, showing the inspector how quickly you respond to problems can give him confidence that your plant avoids frequent overages that violate your permit. 

Demonstrate More Consistent Compliance

Other monitoring methods do a poor job of telling the inspector just how much PM you have emitted over the course of time. For this reason, most yearly emissions totals are actually glorified estimates based on annual or biannual stack testing where emissions levels are measured directly from the stack during normal operation. They then use the resulting data to extrapolate the overall emissions levels for the facility over the course of the year. By using a triboelectric dust monitor with integrated data logging and efficient reporting, you can provide more than flimsy estimates of your emissions levels. Especially if your tribo data has been correlated with the stack test, your trending tribo data can provide direct readings on your emissions throughout the year (not just at stack testing time). This means the inspector can review actual emissions data and see proof that you run a clean operation year round. 

More Data Showing Corrective Action When Problems Arise

Finally, tribo sensors always collect data, even during occasional problems. Some plants fear that this data could actual harm them if seen by the inspector. The reality is that one way or another overages and excursion events will come to the attention of regulators. When this inevitably happens, the severity of the resulting regulatory action often depends on whether the inspector feels the plant allowed this to happen with callous disregard and whether the response was adequate. With tribo data you can prove to the inspector with hard evidence that corrective action was taken immediately to remedy the problem. Also, rather than making inflated estimates of the total emissions during the event, your triboelectric dust monitor data can be used to show the true extent of the excursion was not as bad as his worst estimates. This can go a long way to easing the response and mitigating the consequences. 


While installing a tribo detection unit will not solve all of your compliance issues it can go a long way to improving your situation. Why not see how Auburn Systems’ products can help your facility with its compliance? Contact us today for more information! 

New Call-to-action


Topics: Air Permits, Triboelectric Detection, Environmental Monitoring