SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/07/13 -- ClearSign Combustion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLIR), an emerging leader in combustion and emissions control technology for industrial, commercial and utility markets, reported today that it has measured and documented a further 37% reduction in emissions of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), down to less than 5 parts per million (PPM) from the previous level of 8PPM announced in early April. This most recent test was performed using a prototype burner based on ClearSign's novel technology/clearsign-duplex-burner-architecture/">Duplex burner architecture, again in a furnace operating at a temperature of up to 1600 F with O2 concentrations ranging from 2.5% to 3.2%.
"A few weeks ago, when we first reported that we had reduced NOx to 8PPM, we stated that our goal was to achieve emissions of fewer than 5PPM NOx by the end of the current quarter," said CEO Rick Rutkowski. "Having achieved this major milestone nearly two months ahead of schedule, we are now targeting NOx emission levels of 2PPM or lower by the end of 2013."
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 1146.1 requires that burners produce less than 9PPM of NOx no later than July, 2014. Additionally, 75% of larger industrial boilers of between 20 and 50 mmBtu/h must reduce NOx emissions to 5PPM or below by January 1st, 2014, and 100% of boilers of this size must meet this strict limit by no later than January 1st, 2016. Industry groups anticipate that these limits will soon be required in other areas of the country, with national standards to follow.
"We continue to 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 and/or process throughput that results," explained ClearSign Chief Technology Officer, Joe Colannino. "The combined effect of recirculating flue gas and increasing excess air to cool the flame along with a loss of turndown because of flame instability can result in increases in fuel consumption of as much as 20-30%. Poor flame pattern and long flames in Low-NOx burners for process heaters can lead directly to production constraints that can cost millions of dollars in lost production annually as heater capacity must be reduced to accommodate the elongated flames. Refinery process heaters are particularly sensitive to this problem."
In spite of these weaknesses, according to Rutkowski, the market has long preferred low NOx and Ultra-Low NOx burners to 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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