The Cost of Inaccurate CEM Calibration GasesWritten by Leanne Merz
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If CEM error rate due to calibration is, between 2% and 8%, then America’s acid rain utilities could be overstating emissions by 82,050 to 328,203 tons of SO2 each year. With SO2 current market value at $700 per ton, this results in $57,435,000 to $229,742,100 lost potential emission credits this year – with utility companies that use unacceptably inaccurate calibration gases, such as those produced by 43% of vendors who failed blind audit, bearing much of that loss.
The Cost of Inaccuracy
In order to fully understand significance of these numbers, imagine a utility company with a total SO2 Allowance Trading System (ATS) credit of 400,000 tons for one year, but which also used calibration gases that were actually 2% higher than tag value. That company would likely be overstating emissions by 8,000 tons (400,000 tons x 2%), which, at a value of $700/ton, means it would be losing over $5 million in allowance credits which could have been banked or sold that year. Companies using calibration gases bought from vendors who failed blind audit, and whose gases therefore exceed 2% accuracy requirement, stand to lose even more.
Such a gross loss of potential trading credits clearly overshadows higher initial cost of accurate CEM calibration gases. This year’s blind audit reveals scope of problem of inaccurate gases, and utility companies would do well to take notice. The companies could not see difference because they calibrated their CEMs based on tag values of these calibration gases. This problem is one which is only detectable after an annual or semi annual Relative Accuracy Test Audit (RATA) as mandated by EPA.
Leanne Merz is the Director of Technical Services for Scott Specialty Gases, the world.s largest producer of EPA Protocol gases and a leading global manufacturer of specialty gases for all types of applications. She can be reached by telephone, 800-21SCOTT. More information on the company and Scott's products can be found at http://www.scottgas.com .
Protecting America with Specialty GasesWritten by Bob Davis
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New Homeland Security Products Today we are asked with increasing frequency to develop calibration gases for a new type of application. The U.S. military and numerous instrument manufacturers now ask us to develop calibration gases for instruments that are currently used or under development for detection and defense against various CWAs that enemy forces might use against us. Hence, Scott is developing a growing line of Homeland Security Products. Some of these are “standard” mixtures such as cyanogen chloride, phosgene and hydrogen cyanide. Other times our R&D and Technical Services groups work with customers to develop custom products to meet highly specialized application requirements. Frankly speaking, considering their application, Homeland Security gas mixtures are products we’d just as soon not make. But need for them is very real and so in addition to markets we’ve traditionally served, we now also focus our technology on creating dependable products to help defend and protect our country. Let’s all hope for a time when we can retire these products as being no longer needed.
For more information about Scott Homeland Security gas mixtures, contact our Technical Services group at 800-21-SCOTT.