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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Report Published June 2000:

Title: Energy efficient, ultra low NOx industrial gas burners.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Samuelsen, G.S.

Contractor: UC Irvine

Contract Number: 95-310

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Ambient Air Quality Stds, ICAT Grants / Technology, Stationary Sources


Reducing pollutant emissions from industrial burners is a prime concern in California, especially in regions that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards established by the federal government. The southern California air basin is a notorious example of such a "non-attainment" area for ozone, or "smog, " and carbon monoxide (CO). Controlling and reducing the pollutant emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx) is required to reduce ozone while carbon monoxide (CO) reduction is required to ensure energy efficient operation. Unfortunately, the simultaneous reduction of both NOx and CO in burner systems is often times incongruous and results in poor stability with limited operability. The purpose of this program, sponsored by the California Air Resources Board, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Institute for Energy Efficiency is to address this challenge of reducing NOx emissions while maintaining high efficiency for industrial, natural-gas fired burner applications. Three tasks are identified to achieve the program goals: (1) conduct support research and technology development on a model burner, including the advancement of the active control strategy for larger scales, including the measurement of air toxics to ensure that hazardous air pollutants are not increased as a result of low NOx operation, and (3) provide input to the burner manufacturers for practical applications and demonstrations based on the previous tasks findings.

All three tasks were successfully achieved during the course of the five year program. The major contributions from the program are described below.

Task 1

* Established methodology and strategy for conducting mechanistic studies in complex systems.
* Determined that perfect premixing is not the optimum in terms of emissions and stability for the burner studied.
* Upgraded the active control methodology to include a modular design with improved hardware, software, and cost function.
* Demonstrated the active control system on an industrial burner from Coen

Task 2

* Demonstrated effectiveness of statistical tool called design of experiments (DoE) for optimizing industrial burner hardware configurations.
* Provided data for burner manufacturers to use in present / future burner designs (see Task3).

Task 3

* Provided input for design and testing of two commercial burner systems: Maxon SmartFire system and the Coen QLN burner.
* Established interaction and protocols for working with industrial partners with goal of commercializing research findings.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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