SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/02/13 -- ClearSign Combustion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLIR), an emerging leader in combustion and emissions control technology for industrial, commercial and utility markets, reported today that it had measured and documented dramatic reductions in Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), down to 8 parts per million. Using a prototype burner based on its novel Duplex burner architecture, ClearSign was able to reduce NOx by 85%, (from 50ppm down to 8ppm) in a furnace operating at a temperature of ~1500F with O2 concentrations ranging from 2.5% to 3.2%.
"This is an extremely important and very encouraging result," said ClearSign CEO, Rick Rutkowski. "We now believe that we can target emissions of less than 5ppm NOx by the end of the second quarter. Our successful development efforts with the Duplex burner architecture suggest that we may enable a new generation of combustion systems and process heaters that can meet and beat the most rigorous NOx emissions standards, while significantly improving both energy efficiency and process throughput over currently available technology. If we're correct, we would enjoy a unique market advantage and the economic returns for virtually any industrial process would be compelling and especially so for high value processes."
According to ClearSign, strict new NOx control regulations are being implemented over the next two years in several regions of the country including Texas and California. California's South Coast Air Quality Management District's Rule 1146 requires that burners produce less than 9ppm of NOx no later than July, 2014. Industry groups anticipate that these limits will soon be further reduced to as low as 5ppm in some areas with the rest of the country to follow suit.
"In our conversations with customers and partners, we hear both a sense of urgency and a great deal of uncertainty as the new regulations raise the specter of costly new challenges for combustion system owner operators," Rutkowski continued.
"To address this challenge, some burner and combustion system manufacturers have been able to develop systems that can achieve the NOx targets, but inherent design tradeoffs impose high costs to energy efficiency that become prohibitive at these very low emissions levels, even with natural gas at historically low prices.
"The biggest cost associated with Low- and Ultra-Low NOx burners has been the significant loss in energy efficiency that results. This loss stems directly from the combined effect of recirculating flue gas and increasing excess air to cool the flame along with a loss of turn-down because of flame instability, and can result in increases in fuel consumption of as much as 20-30%."
According to Rutkowski, the market has long preferred low NOx and Ultra-Low NOx burners to more costly post-combustion treatment alternatives such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems that are more costly to install, complex to operate and consume considerable quantities of hazardous materials such as anhydrous ammonia.
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