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Decarbonization: What Does it Mean for the Rental Boiler Industry?

Decarbonization relates to the reduction or ultimately the extinction of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. According to the EPA, Carbon Monoxide (CO2) makes up the vast majority of greenhouse gases released during the combustion of fossil fuels. In addition to CO2, smaller amounts of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are also emitted during the combustion process. With majority of rental boilers being natural gas or oil fired, what does this mean for the future of rental boilers?

With over fifty years in the industry, Nationwide Boiler has excelled through similar hurdles. In 1995, we became the first and only rental boiler company to convert our entire fleet of watertube boilers to low NOx levels of 30 ppm. In 2001, we started actively utilizing our CataStak™ SCR system on package watertube rental boilers for ultra low NOx compliance, and in 2011 we developed the product further announcing the ammonia-free / urea-based CataStak™ SCR. These and other initiatives were accomplished with sustainability and environmental improvements in mind.

While our CataStak™ and EconoStak fuel efficiency products help the environment by reducing tons of greenhouse gas emissions, we realize the need to consider an alternate non-fossil fuel with the potential to replace the “transitional” fuel of natural gas. Luckily there are some alternate energy solutions available today, including bio-fuels, hydrogen-fired, solar, hydro, and electric.

One thing we know for certain is that the current production of steam cannot be displaced easily or quickly with these alternative energy solutions. Steam as we know it is used not only for heating, but for producing many everyday products like food, beverages, paper, plastics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, gasoline, textiles, and electricity, to name a few.

With this growing move away from the use of fossil fuels and in California specifically, Nationwide Boiler has added an electric boiler to our rental fleet – and it is our intention to add more in the future. This provides an option for customers with excess electricity available, and a solution for customers wanting a zero emissions alternative. Our first electric boiler system has been built to provide 50 hp steam at operating pressures up to 150 psig. The system includes a factory integrated, pre-piped and wired duplex feedwater system, blowdown separator, and single-point electrical POC calling for a 480 VAC, 3 phase, 60 HZ power supply. It is a smaller package than our standard fuel-fired mobile steam plants, and it requires a much smaller available footprint for installation.

In addition to adding electric boilers to our rental fleet, Nationwide Boiler is now a California representative for Precision resistant type electric steam boilers as well as Vapor Power electrode steam boilers. We can provide new, zero-emission boiler packages to facilities interested in pursuing a non-fossil fuel fired, steam boiler alternative.

As a company, Nationwide Boiler vows to continue to identify and assess alternative and sustainable options to help improve the environment while providing the reliable steam necessary for the many industries we serve today. For more information about what we’re doing to help the environment, visit our website our give us a call at 800-227-1966.

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CataStak SCR System Exceeds NOx Guarantee

Nationwide Environmental Solutions is a division of Nationwide Boiler, formed over a decade ago to provide emissions and efficiency solutions to our wide range of customers. In today's day and age, protecting the environment and reducing the production of greenhouse gases is more important than ever, which is why we are so proud to have a product that exceeds expectations time and time again. 

Most recently, we teamed up with MDH Boiler Serviced to supply a food processing facility in Southern California with a new burner and CataStak SCR system retrofit for their existing 475 hp firetube boiler. With lower than typical exhaust temperatures for an SCR application, a more robust system was designed to ensure adequate performance. We are happy to report that the system not only met the guarantee of 5 ppm NOx, but actually exceeded expectations and tested at just 1 ppm NOx and 1 ppm ammonia slip! Exciting news for the team, solidifying future orders that will support the end-user efforts in reducing their company's overall greenhouse gas emissions. Check out our latest press release for the full story.

If your facility is under an air district mandate to reduce the NOx and/or CO output from your boiler or other fired equipment, give us a call at 1-800-227-1966 to learn how we can help.

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Air Permitting for Rental Boilers in California

With California having the most stringent emissions requirements in the country, it is important to be well versed on any and all rules and regulations when buying a new boiler or renting a temporary boiler. This is our final installment of the 3-part series on air permit compliance for boilers in California (be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 if you haven’t already).

Nationwide Boiler maintains a fleet of rental units that are sub-9 ppm NOx and pre-permitted for use in the SCAQMD. We take care of the bulk of the permit work saving our customers an exponential amount of time (no waiting for the application to be approved), and we pay for any processing fees. This allows for quick installation and start-up of a temporary boiler, which is extremely valuable in an emergency outage. The only requirement of our customer is the source testing of the equipment, if the source test is due. Most of these pre-permitted boilers require source testing on an annual basis, and the source test must be done at a job site within the county’s jurisdiction.

The SJVAPCD does not allow the pre-permitting of rental boilers, but they do have a program called the Temporary Replacement Emissions Unit (TREU) which can be utilized when a rental is needed  in a pinch. This program contains an application shield provision which allows renters to install a temporary boiler in place of an existing permitted boiler that is down for repairs without having to get a new permit for the rental boiler. In order to qualify for the TREU Program, the rental boiler being installed must have a heat input equal to or less than the unit it is replacing. Plus, it must not have the potential to produce more emissions than the current permit allows. There is a time limitation to this program; the temporary boiler can be on-site for a maximum of 180 days within a 12-month period.

If you are outside of the two territories listed above, don’t fret! Nationwide Boiler can assist with the permitting process as needed. In addition, utilizing a pre-permitted boiler in a location other than the SCAQMD does have its advantages and can help expedite the permitting process.

With our headquarters being located in California, it is important to us that we are up-to-date with emissions regulations throughout the state. And with other areas of the country starting to experience a similar push for emissions reductions, we have the expertise and experience to help. Nationwide Boiler is proud to take the lead in helping customers everywhere understand and comply with current and future air regulation standards.
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Boiler Basics 101: Emissions Rules & Regulations for San Joaquin Valley APCD

Be sure to read Part I of this series to learn about emissions requirements in the SCAQMD.

In the last edition of Boiler Blog 101, we discussed air permitting rules and regulations in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). In part II, we will cover the basics of air permitting for boilers in another California district that leads the country in air pollution control; the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD).

The SJVAPCD was founded in 1991 with a mission to improve the health and quality of life for all Valley residents through efficient, effective and entrepreneurial air quality management strategies. The SJVAPCD is made up of eight counties in the Central Valley of California; San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern.

The rules that have been set forth specifically for boilers, steam generators, and process heaters are outlined below:

  QUALIFYING UNITS NOx LIMIT
Rule 4306 Units Greater Than 5 MMBtu/hr
Units Greater Than 20 MMBtu/hr
15 ppm
9 ppm
Rule 4307 Units 2.0 MMBtu/hr to 5.0 MMBtu/hr 30 ppm
Rule 4308 Units 0.075 MMBtu/hr to Less Than 2.0 MMBtu/hr 20 ppm
ADVANCED EMISSION REDUCTION OPTIONS

Rule 4320

Units Greater Than 5 MMBtu/hr
Units Greater Than 20 MMBtu/hr
9 ppm
7 ppm
*NOx limits listed are standard options for existing gaseous fuel-fired equipment. Enhanced options as well as limits
for new and replacement units will differ. Click each rule to review the full details; certain exemptions may apply.

Starting at the beginning of 2019, the SJVAPCD implemented a new rule titled, Best Available Control Technology (BACT). This rule requires that all new permits meet the lowest NOx limits that have been achieved, regardless of what is mandated. In addition, due to Assembly Bill 617, boiler owners in the SJVAPCD are mandated to meet Best Available Retrofit Control Technology (BARCT) for any existing equipment retrofits. This means that when your boiler needs to be upgraded or replaced, it must meet more stringent NOx limits, which can be as low as 7 ppm.

These rules can be overwhelming, which is why Nationwide Boiler’s AQMD experts are capable and ready to assist you with the permitting process needed for your facility. Furthermore, we can help you reduce NOx to comply with your air emissions regulations. Nationwide Boiler’s CataStak™ SCR system is proven to reduce NOx levels to as low as 2.5 ppm. Contact us today for more details.

Stay tuned for Part III, where we will discuss renting boilers in California.
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