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Beyond Analysis – Part 3

World Cement,

Installation, operation and maintenance

It is not enough to select the right analyser; it will require careful, ongoing and long-term attention to installation, operation and maintenance of an entire system. Where the system shelter, probe and source are installed is the first step in determining the accuracy of the CEMS data. Operational issues will require intensive training for operators. Getting a test result from an analyser is much more than just reading a number off a gage; it is a detailed and important procedure. Because these are complex systems, plants will need to dedicate key personnel to maintain and troubleshoot these systems. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for plants is the realisation that CEMS are not just another piece of equipment, they are an entirely new system. Just like their pyro system, grinding circuit or automation setup, these systems can make or break the plant.

Data acquisition and storage

Up to this point, this article has considered what it takes to get the right measurement and report it. But once that measurement is taken, the process is not yet finished. What can be done with all of this data? Plants need a means to acquire the data; not just the emission measurement but when it was taken, where it was taken, what the conditions were, which instrument was used, what the air flows and temperatures were and whether there were any unusual conditions. The sheer amount of data can be daunting. The data must then be moved between different systems; gas flows, oxygen levels, moisture contents and feed rates must all be corrected for. Furthermore, what happens if that data is lost?

Perhaps all the data has been collected and all measurements are in compliance, but a quality control/quality assurance programme was not adhered to. Both of these components are links in a chain that cannot afford to be overlooked.


The requirements that NESHAP places on CEMS in the cement industry are new. Every aspect of their use in compliance will require an attention to detail that many plants will find challenging. The plants that rise to the challenge will find them yet one more source of valuable data. The plants that struggle to effectively integrate them could find a whole new set of challenges they never imagined.

Written by Rick Bohan, Portland Cement Association, USA.

This is an abridged version of the full article, which appeared in World Cement’s IEEE-IAS/PCA Conference Supplement 2014. Subscribers can view the full article by logging in.

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