Ion Chromatography

Clean Air Engineering Laboratory Services puts to use its over 40 years of experience in testing and analysis to provide the best data and help you understand what it means. We use the most stringent quality control parameters in the industry to ensure that our report provides you with the correct numbers the first time.

  • The configurations of our instrumentation are routinely changed to ensure that all samples are analyzed properly regardless of the sample matrix.
  • All standards are prepared from at our facilities with ACS certified chemicals. A traceable certificate of analysis for each chemical is available upon request.
  • Duplicate injections: While many laboratories only analyze 10% of samples in duplicate, we perform duplicate analysis on ALL samples, standards, and blanks. All our samples, standards and blanks receive a DUPLICATE analysis
  • Matrix Spikes: Used to verify peak retention-time and peak identification by performing on a minimum of ten percent of all samples.
  • Third Party Audits: Every analyst is tested twice per year to ensure accuracy during analysis.
  • Data Handling: Each chromatogram is examined by trained personnel to ensure integration is correct and consistent; the changes made are recorded and available for review.
  • Quality Control Standard: A standard made from a separately prepared stock solution is prepared to test the accuracy of the curve and the quality of the reagents used to make it.
  • Calibration: A full 6 point minimum pre and post test calibrations for each project is analyzed and then averaged to help negate instrument drift. This can be especially important on large projects.

Gravitimetrics

Clean Air Engineering Laboratory Services has over 4 decades of experience in filterable particulate matter (FPM) and condensable particulate matter (CPM) analysis. We use advanced anti static measures and the most stringent quality controls in the industry including a calculated detection limit to help make sure what we weigh is your sample. After your project is done, we can use our expertise to further help you understand your samples beyond the weight to the meaning behind it so you can get the most out of one weight.

  • Data Accuracy: Our balances are accurate to an order of magnitude lower than EPA method requirements. This assures accurate and reliable mass measurements. All weights are recorded digitally eliminating any possibility of manual entry errors
  • Static Mitigation: Static build-up can be a large bottleneck when trying to obtain constant weights. Clean Air Engineering Laboratory Services has developed a set of proprietary techniques to prevent static build-up on all sample containers. This includes the inside of our desiccators eliminating static build-up on all samples. This greatly enhances the quality and reliability of our gravimetrics capabilities.
  • Low Level Measurements: All solutions are evaporated in lightweight, inert Teflon® containers that minimize any effects of container weight. Many labs will use 250 ml glass beakers that can weigh 100 grams. This can marginalize a small weight difference such as 1 mg. Our inert Teflon® containers weigh nominally 4 grams each. This minimizes container weight effects.
  • Detection Limits: We lead the industry with a calculated detection limit for Gravimetrics Analysis. You can be confident in our measurements to the one milligram range.
  • Third Party Audits: Every analyst is tested twice per year to ensure accuracy during analysis.
  • Thorough Reporting: EPA guidance and state regulations require a very detailed report. CleanAir reports every bit of information a reviewer would need to reproduce our results including photos of the residues. We take the time to compile and double-check all of these data points in the most comprehensive data review system in the industry.

Ash Resistivity

A combination of laboratory test and computer modeling, using industry leading methods and equipment, allows either direct measurement and/or prediction of pertinent information. The data we generate can be of great interest to the engineering and operational staff of a utility. The information allows them to determine whether the fly ash produced from a given coal will be compatible with their control device.

Clean Air Engineering Laboratory Services can help you determine four key characteristics of fly ash that determine the efficiency with which it is collected in an ESP. These properties are:

  • Particle Size Distribution
  • Chemical Composition
  • Resistivity
  • Particle Morphology

Gas Chromatography

Clean Air Engineering Laboratory Services puts to use its over 40 years of experience in testing and analysis to provide the best data and help you understand what it means. We use the most stringent quality control parameters in the industry, including all EPA Method 18 requirements, to ensure that our report provides you with the correct numbers the first time.

  • Calibration: A full pre and post test calibrations for each project is analyzed and then averaged to help negate instrument drift. This can be especially important on large projects.
  • The configurations of our instrumentation are routinely changed to ensure that all samples are analyzed properly regardless of the sample matrix.
  • All standards are prepared at our facilities with ACS certified chemicals. A traceable certificate of analysis for each chemical is available upon request.
  • Quality Control Standard: A standard made from a separately prepared stock solution is prepared to test the accuracy of the curve and the quality of the reagents used to make it.
  • Method 18 Requirement often overlooked: Each sample is analyzed in triplicate, and the relative difference can be no more than 5% of the average for the three injections.
  • Method 18 Requirement often overlooked: Spike and recovery studies are done to ensure that there is no significant loss of sample during the analysis period
  • Thorough Reporting: EPA guidance and state regulations require a very detailed report. CleanAir reports every bit of information a reviewer would need to reproduce our results including photos of the residues. We take the time to compile and double-check all of these data points in the most comprehensive data review system in the industry.

Mercury Sorbent Trap

Clean Air Engineering Laboratory Services uses its famous Mercury monitoring knowledge to efficiently analyze a wide range of sorbent tube concentrations with state of the art certified instrumentation. After the analysis we can help with understanding the data and troubleshooting if necessary to help make your project a success.

  • Experts in the current EPA methods used for Sorbent Trap Analysis including Method 30B, LEE testing, and Method 7473.
  • State of the art instrumentation with a wide analytical range: 0.5ng – 3,000,000ng capable of producing extremely low detection limits
  • Standard turnaround time of 5 working days. RUSH analysis available!
  • Every analyzer is annually certified with a Bias Test, MDL Test, and Spike Recovery Study.

Titrimetrics

EPA Methods 6/8 similarly require a barium-thorin titrimetric analysis. EPA Method 8 is currently the only method that EPA has promulgated for measuring sulfuric acid and sulfur trioxide emissions. CleanAir Engineering has modified the analysis by slightly acidifying the isopropanol. The addition of trace amounts of acid (0.1 mL of 0.1 N HCl per 4L of isopropanol) prevents a negative blank sample. The same acidified isopropanol is used for analyzing all standards and samples.

The following Quality Control (QC) Steps assure that the results are of known and repeatable quality:

  • All samples are analyzed in triplicate, assuring a tight precision in the measurements.
  • CleanAir also analyzes a QC sample along with every batch. Recovery for the QC sample must be within 100%, plus or minus 10% relative.
  • We also determine a defensible method detection limit (MDL) in accordance with 40 CFR 136, Appendix B.
    • Our MDL typically runs at 3.2 mg/L as SO2 (4.8 mg/L as H2SO4).
  • We regularly pass SSSAS Audits and blind Proficiency Test analyses.

Bulk Particle Sizing

Most particle collection devices are sized using Stokes’ particle size distribution data. For in-situ devices, the aerodynamic particle size is determined. Many laboratory techniques will determine particle size indirectly from direct measurements of some parameter other than the complete geometry, or diameter. A Stokes’ size distribution can be generated using data from a Bahco™ Centrifugal Classifier. The Bahco is the particle sizing device recommended by the Industrial Gas Cleaning Institute to determine particle size and collection efficiency of mechanical collectors. It was also the device used to gather data for the Electric Power Research Institute’s Electrostatic Precipitator Model (ESP Computer Model). Operation and calibration of the Bahco™ is described in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Power Test Code 28.

CleanAir uses the Bahco™ Centrifugal Classifier:

  • It is a combination air centrifuge-elutriator consisting of a rotor assembly driven by a totally enclosed electrical motor.
  • The sample is introduced into a spiral shaped air current flowing toward the center. The spiral current of air has suitable values of tangential and radial velocities so that a certain part of the sample is accelerated by the centrifugal force toward the periphery of the whirl, the other part of the sample is being carried by the air current toward the center of the whirl by aerodynamic means.
  • The size, shape and mass of the particles individually determines which direction they will take in the air current.
  • By varying the air flow, it is possible to change the terminal velocity limit of division and thus the material can be divided into fractions with limited terminal velocity ranges.
  • The instrument has eight calibrated throat spacing rings for eight different air flows. These throat spacing rings are set for flow rates that nominally separate particles into eight size ranges between one and twenty-five micrometers. These fractions can be further analyzed separately for size-respective chemical analysis and/or characterization.
  • Data from the inlet and outlet of a control device can be used to generate a fractional collection efficiency curve.

Scrubber Stoichiometry

Clean Air has over 40 years of experience in analyzing these samples using industry standard “wet methods”. We perform a stringent quality assurance program along with samples (including sample spikes and duplicates) to ensure the data we provide is correct and reproducible. Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) is a general term which applies to any chemical process used to remove SO2 from combustion flue gases. Most FGD processes operate by contacting the flue gases with an alkaline slurry or solution that absorbs and subsequently reacts with the acidic SO2. Wet, calcium-based processes - those which use lime (CaO) or limestone (CaCO3) as the alkaline reagent - are the most commonly used FGD processes in utility applications. In these processes, SO2 absorbed from the flue gas reacts with the alkaline species in the scrubbing liquor to form relatively insoluble calcium sulfite and/or calcium sulfate solids. Many FGDs produce by-product gypsum for use as a raw material in other manufacturing processes. FGD performance evaluation can involve acquisition of samples from various points in the FGD process. Liquid and solids samples are usually acquired from the following points:

  • Absorber Recycle (to Feed Tank)
  • Limestone Feed
  • Limestone Slurry Feed
  • Hydro-cyclones
    • Underflow
    • Overflow
  • Vacuum dryer belts (gypsum cake).

Some of the main concerns with these samples include:

  • Gypsum purity (ASTM Specifications)
    • Calcium/Magnesium contents
    • Sulfate content
    • Sulfite content
    • Carbonate content
    • Inert solids content
    • Particle size distribution
  • Scrubber Performance (EPRI Test Methods)
    • Limestone particle size
    • Limestone calcium content
    • Limestone carbonate content
    • Scrubber slurry solids content
    • Stoichiometric make-up of scrubber slurry solids
    • Make-up water specifications
    • Build-up of chlorides in recycle water

Volatile Content of Paints, Inks and Coatings

EPA Method 24 is the only method commonly accepted by EPA and U.S. state/local regulatory bodies for the measurement of volatile organic compound (VOC) content in paints, inks, and related coating products. The method is used by many manufacturing industries for reporting emissions of coating and related products to local regulatory bodies, with some of the most common being the CASE industries (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers). This includes both coating manufacturers and coating operations, such as automotive, appliance, furniture and can lining manufacturers.

CleanAir Engineering has adapted Method 24 to a myriad of CASE and other industry materials. Some of these have included:

  • Baby wipes
  • Newspaper ink
  • Epoxy resins
  • Asphalt
  • Gummy bears

The method is known and documented to have large measurement errors, especially with coatings with VOC contents below 50 g/L (about 5% by mass). The major sources of error are generally in the water and non-volatile determinations. Clean Air has had many successes in determining the concentrations of these components using a proprietary technique. EPA Method 204A is an optional method for determining the VOC content in CASE industries. The errors Method 24 has with low VOC coatings are not a factor with this test method. In Method 204A, a small portion of the coating is loaded into a heated chamber and VOC content of the off-gasses are determined using a Total Hydrocarbon analyzer.