Original Date: 04/24/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Clean Technologies Evaluation and Emissions Test Facility
A clean technologies evaluation and emissions testing facility was erected and is available on the University of New Orleans campus for use by the maritime industry. Abrasive blasting, painting, welding, and metal-cutting processes can be studied with regard to their impact on emissions, waste minimization, regulatory compliance, and cost optimization.
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering (UNO COE) designed and installed a clean technologies evaluation and emissions testing facility. This facility aids in the research of the optimization of maritime industrial processes (e.g., abrasive blasting, welding, painting, and metal cutting) and in the study of its impact on the environment, which is important to productivity and emission potential for airborne pollutants. Emission factors that include mass of pollutant/unit amount of work done or unit amount of product produced, are not readily available for all the processes – at least to the extent that it includes life cycle costing and life cycle assessment. Therefore, with the help of the maritime industry, regulatory agencies, equipment vendors, and materials suppliers, the facility and research provide a test and evaluation capability to promote the development of emission factors.
The clean technologies evaluation and emissions testing facility is located on the UNO campus, with partial funding received through a research project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region IV. The 12' x 10' x 8' test facility is equipped with a fume extraction system and a two-stage particle-collection system (Figure 2-3). Fumes from the emissions test facility are extracted with a variable ventilation rate up to 5400 cubic feet per minute, allowing capture of the various size particles generated during blasting, welding, metal cutting, etc. The two-stage particle-collection system includes an inertial separator for coarse particles followed by a bag house for fine particles. The facility is equipped with a long, 12-inch-diameter duct to allow the measurement of particles under isokinetic conditions as recommended by the EPA for particle collection from stationary sources.
Research projects are underway to establish relationships among process conditions/materials and the cost/environmental parameters by measuring productivity and waste quantities (solids/hazardous wastes and air emissions) in conjunction with process parameters to develop necessary mathematical relationships and models to minimize costs and waste quantities. Process parameters and types of abrasives being evaluated include abrasive feed rates (lb/hr), blast pressures (psi), types of abrasives (coal slag, copper slag, steel shot, garnet, sand, and specular hematite), and gradations of abrasives (course, medium, and fine). Environmental/cost parameters include solid-waste generation potential (lb/square ft), atmospheric emissions (lb/1000 square ft), and productivity (square ft/hr). With this capability, the UNO COE expects to improve maritime industry productivity, environmental performance, and worker health as well as reduce abrasive consumption, energy, labor, atmospheric emissions, and overall costs.
Hurricane Katrina damaged this facility in August 2005. The facility will be repaired and/or refurbished after securing insurance and FEMA proceeds, both of which are still being processed.
2-3. Clean Technologies Evaluation and Emissions Test Facility
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