Continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) are used as a tool to monitor the effluent gas streams resulting from combustion in industrial processes. CEMS can measure flue gas for oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to provide information for combustion control in industrial settings. CEMS are also used as a means to comply with air emission standards. CEMS typically consist of analyzers to measure gas concentrations within the stream, equipment to direct a sample of that gas stream to the analyzers if they are remote, equipment to condition the sample gas by removing water and other components that could interfere with the reading, pneumatic plumbing with valves that can be controlled by a PLC to route the sample gas to and away from the analyzers, a calibration and maintenance system that allows for the injection of calibration gases into the sample line, and a Data Acquisition and Handling System (DAHS) that collects and stores each data point and can perform necessary calculations required to get total mass emissions.
A CEMS operates at all times even if the process it measures is not on. They can continuously collect, record and report emissions data for process monitoring and/or for compliance purposes.
The standard CEM system consists of a sample probe, filter, sample line (umbilical), gas conditioning system, calibration gas system, and a series of gas analyzers which reflect the parameters being monitored. Typical monitored emissions include: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen chloride, airborne particulate matter, mercury, volatile organic compounds, and oxygen. CEM systems can also measure air flow, flue gas opacity and moisture. A monitoring system that measures particulate matter is referred to as a PEMS.