The good news is that you've got options for particulate matter monitoring. The choice of a monitoring system is an important one with capital acquisition cost, operational cost and compliance implications. It directly affects the bottom line at your facility. In short, facilities have to chose from two types of detection technology, optical (typically COM / continuous opacity monitoring) or triboelectric. Rather than selecting one by "its always been done this way", we recommend you carefully consider these four questions to determine which will prove the best fit.
What Is Required By Your Air Permit?
Depending the application, different State and Federal (EPA) sets of rules may cover your operation. For general industry, optical methods such as visual testing and opacity meters may be acceptable. In other cases, industry-specific MACT standards (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) apply. For example, the MACT standard for Secondary Lead Smelters in 1995 specifically required triboelectric detection systems for dust collectors stating that optical methods were not sensitive enough to detect such small amounts of particulate matter emissions. After that Triboelectric Bag Leak Detection Systems were included in all subsequent MACT standards involving fabric filters.