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Boiler Basics 101: Evolution of the CataStak

With air emission regulations constantly changing, Nationwide Boiler has had to adopt new ways to keep up with more stringent standards. For instance, in 1995, Nationwide became the first rental boiler company to convert their fleet of watertube boilers to low NOx levels of 30 ppm. The company’s method of choice to reduce NOx emissions further led to the creation of the CataStak™, which was developed in the late 90s and since then has proven to reduce NOx emissions by as much as 99%. In addition, it can be supplied for new equipment or as a retrofit on an existing system. What were the early days of the CataStak like? What steps did it take to get to where it is now? Let’s find out in this edition of Boiler Basics 101.

It all began when Nationwide Boiler chose Selective Catalytic Reduction, or SCR technology, to be their solution to NOx compliance. They determined that SCR was the best alternative due to its reliability, ease of operation, high efficiency, and its ability to reduce emissions to single digit NOx levels. In 1999, Nationwide Boiler became the first rental boiler company to conduct an SCR field demonstration on a package watertube boiler and followed by utilizing the system heavily in their rental fleet. The enormous success of rental SCR systems suggested to company management that a market existed for a field-retrofit system for package boilers - later to be branded and trademarked in 2001 as the CataStak™ SCR System.

Fast forward to the year 2004, Nationwide began offering the CataStak for new and existing package watertube boilers to meet sub 9 ppm NOx levels. After witnessing its continual growth, Nationwide Boiler introduced a new business unit, Nationwide Environmental Solutions (NES). NES was formed with a focus on lowering overall industrial greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the operational efficiency of fired equipment. This allowed Nationwide to continually raise the bar in providing reliable solutions to meet market demand.

Nationwide later developed the urea-based CataStak as a solution for customers adverse to the stringent handling requirements of ammonia. The system utilizes common diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), a safe and readily available 32.5% liquid urea solution. It was first demonstrated on a package firetube boiler in 2011 and has since been expanded to be utilized on watertube boilers and other fired equipment. Initially, the system was offered only for permanent applications but in 2018, Nationwide became the first rental boiler supplier to provide urea-based SCR systems on a boiler rental project. The company now has a fleet of urea-based SCR systems to support the rental market.

The CataStak has come a long way and has now been installed in over 180 applications. These installations range from temporary to permanent package boilers, fired heaters, gas turbines, and heat recovery steam generators. With all of these accomplishments, the CataStak has become the standard for compliance assurance, reliability and product quality. CataStak SCR systems lead the industry with the best track record in terms of performance, and source test results often exceed current local, regional and national emissions requirements.

If you’re interested in learning more about the CataStak, our website has all the details you need to get started. And be sure to check out the previous and future Boiler Basics 101 blogs to continue learning about various boiler-related topics.

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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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CataStak™ SCR Best Option for System Upgrades

In February of this year, the Boiler MACT rule was published in the Federal Register, causing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose new regulations calling for system upgrades on boilers and auxiliary equipment in many plants.  The costs associated with these upgrades can reach up to $35 billion according to the EPA, but because the costs will be specific to each individual plant, no one will know the real costs until the boiler equipment is evaluated to comply with new and future regulations.  Boiler operators are hesitant to spend the money due to the uncertainty of regulations, but eventually something will need to be done.

There are resources available, and the U.S. boiler and combustion equipment industry is readily able to meet the demand for these system upgrades. Randy Rawson, President of the American Boiler Manufacturer’s Association (ABMA), said, “We have the workforce resources to meet the needs of our customers, as long as our customers don’t push compliance go the last minute.”

The largest air districts in California have passed rules that require NOx compliance as low as 5 ppm by the year 2015.  Few burner manufacturers have been successful with developing new ultra low NOx (ULN) burner technology that easily and safely performs at 9 - 7 ppm NOx.  Many users that have tried ULN burners suffer the consequences of high FGR or excess air rates that compromise not only efficiency, but also the operational limits of boiler equipment, resulting in limited turndown capabilities, flame pulsations and unstable operation.

Today, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology has taken over as the best available control technology for complying with ultra low NOx emission requirements.  Nationwide Boiler, having invested in SCR technology for our rental fleet over the last ten years, has both the experience as an user and a supplier of the CataStak™ SCR system.   Our SCR systems have met or exceeded emission requirements for over one hundred boilers, steam generators and gas turbines installations.

The Nationwide Boiler CataStak™ SCR system is proven to decrease emissions, increase energy efficiency, reduce fan horsepower and provide greenhouse gas / carbon reductions. Typical users can save significant energy costs by reducing flue gas recirculation which substantially reduces fan horsepower (HP) and when compared with a typical 9 ppm burner, fan HP can be reduced by as much as half.

If you are concerned or have questions about how your facility is planning to comply with local air quality regulations, send am email to info@nationwideboiler.com and together we can come up with a solution that can perform as low as 2.5 ppm NOx and pass any current air regulation with the lowest carbon footprint.

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Nationwide Boiler Acquires Two New Representatives

In an effort to expand worldwide sales, Nationwide Boiler Inc. has recently signed two new representatives that will focus on the rental, leasing and sales of boilers and CataStak™ SCR systems: Dade Hamilton (Coral Gables, FL) and Heat Transfer Specialists (Houston, TX).

Dade Hamilton supplies industrial equipment to the oil and gas, petrochemical, utility, pulp and paper, steel, and sugar industries in Latin America and the Caribbean.  This new relationship with Nationwide Boiler will enhance both companies ability to supply new boiler systems internationally, specifically the Babcock & Wilcox Model FM 120-124, 200,000 lb/hr superheated steam package boiler (750 psig / 750°F).  As a partner and stocking distributor for the Babcock & Wilcox Company, Nationwide Boiler can ship the Model FM boiler (or any other boiler system in the company’s inventory) anywhere in the world.

Heat Transfer Specialists (HTS) specializes in supplying combustion equipment that provides the latest technology in energy efficiency and low emissions.  The company serves industrial users in the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical and power industries. Their strategic location in Houston, TX has helped the company grow into a successful manufacturer’s representative and they are well positioned to increase Nationwide Boiler’s market share in the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) heater market, in addition to providing new opportunities for the sale and rental of boiler systems.

Bill Testa, Nationwide Boiler’s Business Development Manager, played a pivotal role in engaging and securing both representatives for Nationwide Boiler. “Dade Hamilton and Heat Transfer Specialists have both proven themselves to be leading suppliers to customers in their territories. They both possess the experience, expertise and continued commitment to serve their customers to the full extent possible, while continuing to add value and unparalleled customer support. Both companies are welcome additions to the company and we look forward to many new opportunities as a result of these new relationships.”


We want to welcome Dade Hamilton and HTS to Nationwide Boiler and we look forward to the many foreseen opportunities with each of these companies.

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