This article describing the EPA’s proposed new ozone rules appeared in the Nov 24th, 2014 edition of the NY Times following the EPA’s formal introduction of the proposal.
This is relevant to ClearSIgn because ozone is formed by NOx (oxides of nitrogen) interacting with VOCs and sunlight. ClearSign has developed combustion solutions that not only go beyond currently available technology in NOx emissions control, but also improve operating economics for system owner operators. This idea of achieving both reduced emissions and reduced costs is a new and powerful one that is uniquely enabled by ClearSign’s technology.
I’ve attached at the bottom of this post the executive summary of the report commissioned by the national association of manufacturers which is referenced in the NY Times article. The goal of the report was to evaluate the economic impact of the EPA’s proposed new ozone reductions. As you will see, the report focuses heavily on the availability and cost of NOx control technologies as the primary means of achieving reductions in ground level ozone.
I wanted to highlight several of the reports conclusions because they help to underscore the disruptive nature of ClearSign’s technology as we prepare to reverse a decades old trend in which increasing costs have inevitably accompanied continued efforts to reduce NOx emissions. As we have demonstrated in our laboratory and more recently in the field, ClearSign’s Duplex combustion technology can enable single digit NOx emissions from industrial combustion systems while also enabling improvements to operating economics by improving fuel efficiency, reducing maintenance costs and even increasing the capacity, reliability and availability of valuable capital assets such as refineries, industrial boilers and fired heaters of all types.
Among the reports key conclusions are the following:
- A reduction from 75pbb to 60 pbb of Ozone (O3) would impose a heavy cost burden on the manufacturing industry and the economy (They estimate $3.4 trillion over time.)
- Notably the report argues that most of this burden would fall on industrial and residential (large building) heaters as opposed to electric utilities.
- The authors point out that “As Emissions Decline, Costs for Additional Reductions Increase.”
- Moreover, the report identifies currently available NOx reduction technologies, such as Low NOx burners and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and points out that only 1/3 of the planned reductions could be attained with such technologies at great cost. Importantly they suggest that 2/3 of the proposed reductions in ozone would have to come from “unknown” NOx control technologies which will, they assume, be substantially more expensive than current technologies.
This last point is perhaps the most significant one. Even independent of the final conclusions of the study and the actual numbers associated with the cost analysis, the study does reveal that industry assumes that further reductions in NOx will not only be expensive, but will increase by a multiple of current NOx control costs “Unknown controls are expected to be substantially more expensive than known control options. In fact, in the EPA’s 2010 analysis, the total costs for unknown controls were greater than the cost of known controls by a ratio of 19:1.”
This points directly at what we believe is so profoundly disruptive about ClearSign’s technology. ClearSign’s innovative Duplex(tm) technology promises to not only achieve further NOx reductions, even to the levels that are implied by the EPA’s Ozone proposal, but to actually REDUCE costs as compared with “known” control technology. It’s a powerful idea that is rapidly gaining traction in key industrial segments such as the oil and gas industry. We believe that the total savings for industry from employing technologies such as ours can be considerable on an ongoing basis while also providing the valuable health and quality of life benefits that environmentalists point to.
We are pursuing a unique mission at ClearSign that will allow operators of industrial combustion systems of all types to for the first time align the goals of environmental excellence and operating excellence. As 2014 winds down and we look ahead to the coming year, we are at an exciting and rewarding phase in the company’s development in which the power of our technology is being discovered and deployed by key industry players such as Aera Energy and others. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or to sign into our mailing list at www.clearsign.com if you have any questions or inquiries.
Clearsign Combustion Corporation