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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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Record Amount Raised at 39th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Nationwide Boiler recently wrapped up our 39th Annual Charity Golf Tournament and we are excited to announce that this year, we raised a record amount in support of Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area and the American Boiler Manufacturers Association Randy Rawson Scholarship Fund. With the generosity and support of 56 golfers, 106 banquet attendees, and over 50 corporate and individual sponsors, we raised a grand total of $64,000! A huge thank-you to everyone involved for the outpouring of support.


The tournament began on Wednesday, May 8th with a practice round of golf and scramble competition at the Poppy Hills Golf Course. Guests worked up an appetite for our traditional Clam Bake Buffet that evening, where we raffled off an ounce of gold to the lucky winners, Scott & Carol Sanders from HTS. We also announced the winning foursome from the scramble, which included Grant Carter & Jack Oliver from ADCO Companies, and Jon Craig & Nick Kammeyer from C&C Boiler, two of our long-time representative companies. 

Tournament play began bright and early the next day at the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. Guests participated in several fundraising activities both during the round of golf and that evening at the awards ceremony & banquet. These activities included mulligan sales, best ball competitions, a unique card raffle game, and silent and open auction events. 39th Annual Golf SponsorsUpon conclusion of our Roaring Twenties theme banquet, the following tournament winners were announced:

Jack Oliver, Longest Drive
Christian Neal, Callaway Division Champion
Grant Carter, Handicap Division
Jordan Bliss, Low Gross Champion & Closest to the Pin

Congratulations to the winners and thank you again to all of our tournament sponsors and donors. Be sure to save the date for the 40th Anniversary of Nationwide Boiler’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament, scheduled for May 6-7, 2020.

Remember, giving is not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference. We intend on continuing our tradition of giving back to charitable causes like Make-A-Wish® and the Randy Rawson Scholarship Fund for many years to come.

Check out our press release for additional details.
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Discovery ChalleNGe Academy Visits Nationwide Boiler

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Located in Lathrop, CA, the Discovery ChalleNGe Academy is a Community High School run by the California National Guard in partnership with the San Joaquin County Office of Education. Part of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP), the Academy was founded in 1993 to assist students in enhancing life skills, education levels, and employment potential.  This military-style program houses, feeds, and educates 16 to 18-year-old young adults that were unable to complete high school due to varying unfortunate circumstances. The program allows students to earn 65 High School credits while developing leadership, job, and academic skills, while improving self-esteem, pride, and confidence.  


With the school year coming to an end and graduation quickly approaching, The Academy set up a trip for a group of students working to complete their high school credits, and Nationwide Boiler was honored to participate. The goal of this field trip was to educate the graduating class on the many different education, trade, and career opportunities available to them once they step out into the real world.

The first stop of the day was San Jose State University, where they toured the campus and the new $130M recreation center. After experiencing lunch like a college student in the Student Union, they headed north to Nationwide’s shop in Fremont. Upon arrival, the students congregated on the patio to hear a warm welcome from President & CEO, Larry Day, and Vice President, Michele Tomas. The group was then taken on a tour of our 26,000 sq. ft. shop, where day-to-day activities include; boiler maintenance, welding, painting, electrical work, fabrication, equipment assembling, and other technical skills.

Nationwide Boiler’s Shop & Service Managers, Andrew Horne and Michael Rosmando, educated the students on the basics of a boiler system, and walked them through the different trade skills and career opportunities available not just here at Nationwide, but from other companies in similar and varying industries. Many of the students were interested in welding, electrical, and accounting careers. Who knows… we may have just met future Nationwide employees!

At Nationwide Boiler, we feel strongly about training and educating our youth so that we are able to successfully sustain our business and industry for future generations, and we are happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of this inspiring program. Thank you to Todd Robinson and the NGYCP for providing young adults with an opportunity that will help them secure their futures.

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Boiler Basics 101: Superheat vs. Saturated Steam

Playing off our last topic, some might argue that there is another boiler type, or classification, to consider. In today’s article, we will discuss the difference between saturated and superheated steam boilers, and the applications that they are most commonly used for.

Let’s begin by talking about the science behind these two types of steam. Simply put, when water is heated to its boiling point, it will begin to vaporize and saturated steam is produced. Superheated steam occurs when the water is continually heated to temperatures beyond the boiling point, without any increase in pressure. Also known as dry steam, superheated steam has a much lower density and produces zero condensate.

As with the other types of boilers previously discussed, saturated and superheated steam boilers each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages and are better geared for certain applications over others. Saturated steam has a high density and is an excellent heating source. Commonly utilized in food processing, sterilization, district heating, and pulp & paper processing, saturated steam has the following advantages: 

  • - Produces fast and even heating due to latent heat transfer
  • - The temperature can quickly be established through the control of pressure
  • - Has a high heat transfer coefficient, which requires a smaller heat transfer surface and in turn, allows for reduced initial
  •   equipment costs

Superheated steam is not typically utilized in heat transfer applications. However, due to its dry composition and ability to cool while remaining in the same physical state, it can be extremely versatile and is most commonly utilized in refineries, for generating electricity, and for powering turbines.

Superheated steam is ideal for powering turbines for the following reasons:

  • - The dry steam allows for steam-driven equipment to function effectively and efficiently (while condensate from wet steam
  •   would negatively affect performance of the equipment)
  • - Improves thermal efficiency and work capabilities of turbines
  • - Contains zero condensate, minimizing the risk of corrosion and erosion damage

With a low heat transfer coefficient that is equivalent to that of air, superheated steam has more energy and can work harder than saturated steam, but the heat content is less useful. In addition, boilers that are built to produce superheated steam require more expensive components on the boiler system, in comparison to a saturated steam boiler. Therefore, it is extremely important to do your homework ahead of time to determine which type of steam is best suited for your particular application.

Did you know that Nationwide Boiler maintains a fleet of both saturated and superheated steam boilers for rent and for sale? In fact, we own the World’s Largest 125,000 lb/hr saturated steam mobile boiler, and the World’s Largest 110,000 lb/hr superheated steam mobile boiler!  Visit our website at nationwideboiler.com to learn more.

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