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Join us for a presentation on engineering & designing fuel oil systems!

Thursday, September 26th, 3 PM EST.

Experts John Haber and Ed Twiss, PE, have over 30 years experience designing fuel oil systems in the greater New York City area, as well as complete knowledge of all NYC codes.

Register HERE!

 

by Joe Wallace

Oxygen trim (O2 Trim) is a system that constantly monitors your boiler’s combustion. Unlike your car, your boiler has the ability to run properly without it, so what are the upsides to it? This system can adjust your air fuel ratio based on what it’s supposed to be and triggers alarms or lockouts should the combustion deviate from proper levels. It also helps end users save on operational and maintenance costs.

Safety:

We have all seen slipping couplings, broken shafts, blocked intakes or other things that have created improper combustion and unsafe conditions. Oxygen trim can prevent those situations from turning into something far worse. When a burner is tuned with O2 Trim, an oxygen level is assigned to each curve point and is stored with that point as a safe oxygen level. While the oxygen sensor continually monitors your burner’s combustion, it can detect any “off-curve” oxygen readings during combustion and adjust for them within reason. Should the oxygen level have a large deviation from setpoint, the control system will alarm and/or shut down the burner before something bad happens. Another safety function of O2 trim is if a very high CO condition is present, the CO will also make the O2 cell read a lower oxygen level and alarm/lockout the boiler.

Maintenance Savings:

Preventative maintenance should always be done in your boiler room including boiler tuning, but O2 trim may help save you some money on these visits. Since O2 trim constantly monitors your burner’s emissions and makes small adjustments to ensure proper and safe combustion, some areas have only required tuning bi-annually or less. Your system still needs to be set up by a professional and is certainly not a replacement for your service company, but is a great way to ensure your boiler is running properly between their visits. Due to this continually monitoring, the burner is much less likely to be damaged during operation. Improper combustion can lead to very expensive repairs to your system such as burner component replacement due to being burned up, refractory repairs do to instability and impingement, or a catastrophic boiler explosion. Having oxygen trim drastically decreases the risk of these events for a small fraction of the cost.

Operational Savings:

While one can tune a boiler for the conditions that exist while they are on site, what happens when the conditions change? The temperature in your boiler room, the fuel quality, hysteresis of control valves or dampers, etc. can cause a variation in your combustion. Often a boiler is tuned with a safety factor to accommodate for these variations which leaves some efficiency on the table. With O2 trim, you don’t have to accommodate for these future variations, therefore allowing you to run your boiler more efficiently. Your return on investment is contingent on your fuel usage and there are several utilities incentivizing the installation of this equipment with rebates as it has been proven to reduce fuel usage.

Oxygen trim is best coupled with a linkageless control strategy. If you have a Preferred Utilities FlexFit or BurnerMate Universal system already installed, oxygen trim is easily added. The return on investment is dependent on your usage and incentive programs in your area and can often pay for itself within a single heating season.

Ask us how you can improve your boiler efficiency and start saving today.

 

To meet New York City emissions regulations and secure a sustainable future for their plant, the 4th largest high pressure steam plant in NYC chose Preferred for its #6 oil to gas and #2 oil conversion.

This plant has a rich history, with four (4) watertube boilers stamped 1939, traditionally burning #6 oil except during World War II when they burned coal because oil was going to the war effort.

Pictured Below: Old panel on the left, new panel on the right- This is one of five new panels. We accommodated the customer with the same look of the old panel, but with state-of-the-art technology.

With (4) watertube boilers and (4) 60,000 gallon, single wall tanks buried 15 feet underground, they had some work to do in order to convert from #6 oil to gas and #2 oil by 1/1/2020, when NYC enacts fines for facilities not in compliance with emissions regulations.

Preferred met the challenge with new oil guns/tips, a complete and new fuel oil system, Allen Bradley PLC combustion controls to replace their old Bailey single-loop controllers, and EPA, DEC, DEP compliant tank gauging system for the single wall, buried tanks.

Spreading Combustion Joy through compliance and innovation!

 

Preferred’s R&D department made such significant improvements to the JC-30D opacity monitor, we re-branded it the JC-30D-EZ. The new opacity monitor is EZ to install, EZ to setup, and EZ to calibrate.

What’s New?

  • With the new LED light source, there is nothing to adjust on the light source side of the opacity monitor. So the adjustable mount has been replaced with a rigid pipe mount.
  • Because the new detector lens is directional, the new receptor can’t see ambient light coming in from severe angles, so the light shields are not required anymore.
  • The electronics in the light source have been improved to allow calibration from the display. The DIP switches, pushbutton, and potentiometer are gone, so calibration can be initiated from the display on the ground and there is no need to go up on the stack anymore.

The JC-30D-EZ can be set up to auto-calibrate every time the burner shuts down to compensate for increasing soot on the source and detector lenses. This means lenses can go up to nine times longer between cleanings!

Dirty lenses can cause high stack opacity shutdowns on previous, and competing opacity monitors. The JC-30D-EZ’s ability to auto-calibrate itself to adjust for dirty lenses makes a high opacity shutdown much less likely.

Congratulations to the R&D department for making the JC-30D-EZ best opacity monitor on the market. We especially want to share the good news with New York City, Boston, and elsewhere where opacity monitors are required by code. The new JC-30D-EZ can be retrofitted to older JC-30 opacity monitors, and it can replace existing Smoke Watchman units.

 

Read the original article here.

By Rich Kirby, Patch Staff Aug 12, 2019 1:30 pm ET

Preferred Utilities is headquartered in Danbury with facilities around the United States employing 90 people. Preferred Utilities is headquartered in Danbury with facilities around the United States employing 90 people. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D) announced Preferred Utilities Manufacturing in Danbury is this week’s “Murphy’s Monday Manufacturer.”

Founded in 1920, Preferred Utilities specializes in the manufacturing of burners, instruments and controls, and fuel oil handling equipment for industrial, commercial, and missions critical applications. The company does work for government and municipal buildings, hospitals, colleges and universities, data centers, pharmaceutical companies, waste management plants, and nuclear facilities.

“Preferred Utilities is leading the way in combating climate change by using alternative and renewable fuels to run their business and companies around the world are noticing. They are committed to the Danbury community through partnerships with local schools and charitable organizations. I’m happy to highlight them,” said Murphy in a release.

Preferred Utilities became the first company in the Northeast to convert its boilers to Bio-Residual Oil, which is produced from vegetable grease and animal fat, to power its 50,000 square foot facility in Danbury. They are also one of the first companies in Connecticut to convert its boilers to renewable fuel.

“Although founded in 1920, we moved to Danbury in 1946 and made it our home. Preferred is very attached and dedicated to the greater Danbury community and we employ some of the top people in our industry, born and raised in Connecticut. Because we are a family company, Preferred employs several generations of the same family, all Connecticut residents and members of the community,” said David Bohn, President and CEO of Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Company.

Preferred Utilities is active in the Danbury community, routinely offering internships to high school and college students in the area, and working with organizations like Danbury Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Cancer Hospital, New Pond Farm, and Danbury Music Center, according to the release.

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Read the original story here.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced on Monday that Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation in Danbury is this week’s “Murphy’s Monday Manufacturer.” Founded in 1920, Preferred Utilities specializes in the manufacturing of burners, instruments and controls, and fuel oil handling equipment for industrial, commercial, and missions critical applications. The company does work for government and municipal buildings, hospitals, colleges and universities, data centers, pharmaceutical companies, waste management plants, and nuclear facilities. Preferred Utilities became the first company in the Northeast to convert its boilers to Bio-Residual Oil, which is produced from vegetable grease and animal fat, to power its 50,000 square foot facility in Danbury. They are also one of the first companies in Connecticut to convert its boilers to renewable fuel.

“Preferred Utilities is leading the way in combating climate change by using alternative and renewable fuels to run their business and companies around the world are noticing. They are committed to the Danbury community through partnerships with local schools and charitable organizations. I’m happy to highlight them,” said Murphy.

“Although founded in 1920, we moved to Danbury in 1946 and made it our home. Preferred is very attached and dedicated to the greater Danbury community and we employ some of the top people in our industry, born and raised in Connecticut. Because we are a family company, Preferred employs several generations of the same family, all Connecticut residents and members of the community,” said David Bohn, President and CEO of Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Company.

Preferred Utilities is committed to addressing climate change and carbon emissions with new, carbon neutral innovations and development of existing alternate fuels in partnership with other companies. They are contributing to sustainable alternative solutions to fossil fuels with low carbon emissions and high energy efficiency. They are active in the Danbury community, routinely offering internships to high school and college students in the area, and working with organizations like Danbury Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Cancer Hospital, New Pond Farm, and Danbury Music Center. Preferred Utilities is headquartered in Danbury with facilities around the United States employing 90 people.

The manufacturing industry plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut communities, creating new jobs and accelerating the state’s economic recovery. Today, Connecticut’s thousands of manufacturers account for 10% of the state’s jobs and 87% of the state’s total exports. In order to protect and grow manufacturing jobs in Connecticut, Murphy has introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase of American-made goods, theBuyAmerican.gov Act and the American Jobs Matter Act.

 

Made in the U.S.A., one of two new API-Ranger burners and BurnerMate Universal controls upgrade for existing boilers on factory fire test chamber. This burner and controls package is capable of burning three (3) fuels like ENSYN Renewable Fuel oil, an 85% carbon neutral fuel, along with natural gas and #2 oil. On fire test the Ranger API easily achieved <9 PPM NOx on natural gas.

This innovative and Low-Cost combustion solution is designed to meet sustainability goals, emission reduction requirements, and efficiency improvements for Colleges, Universities, Hospitals, Office Campuses, Apartment Complexes, Manufacturing Facilities and more.

For your Aggressive Sustainability Goals, choose a Preferred burner/controls upgrade to achieve emission / carbon reduction milestones while increasing combustion turn down, efficiency, and reducing electric consumption.

Features: 10:1 turn down on NG, 8:1 turn down on oil, <2.5% O2, 50-100% firing rate, <3.5% O2, 10-40% firing rate. <9 PMM NOx with <26% FGR.

Now that is a lot to be Joyful about!

 

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) was developed to help keep heavy-duty diesel fueled machinery like boilers operating within federal emissions standards. At the chemical level, DEF is a combination of 67.5% de-ionized water and 32.5% urea that transforms harmful nitrous oxide emissions into harmless water and gas.

Urea is an organic chemical compound produced as waste by the body after metabolizing protein—but the urea used in DEF is not (despite some confusion on the subject) derived from human or animal urine. For nearly two centuries, scientists have been able to create synthetic urea, which is much more appropriate for the DEF application.

DEF isn’t actually a fuel additive, and it never comes in contact with diesel. Rather, it is stored in a separate tank and is pumped into the exhaust stream of diesel machinery to break down dangerous NOx emissions into safe nitrogen and water. This process is called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).

Changes in EPA emission standards have required diesel burning machines to reduce their output, and SCR is the technology of choice for this purpose. As emission standards have continued to expand to include off-road vehicles, generators, and a variety of engines, the use of DEF is becoming more and more widespread.

To properly deliver DEF, the Diesel Exhaust Fluid Urea Pump system is designed to safely and effectively transfer DEF fluid from a tank to diesel equipment, helping facilities comply with strict NOx emission regulations. Constructed using stainless steel piping and pumps, the DEF system lasts in even the most abusive outdoor environments. We proudly make DEF Urea Pump Systems in the USA. Here are the specifications:

Flow Capacity: 100-300 GPH
Pressure Capacity: 100 PSI
Pump Type: Centrifugal with Stainless construction
Standard Accessories: All Stainless Steel
Inlet Strainer
Outlet Check Valve
Leak Sensor
Inlet Suction Gauges
Outlet Pressure Gauges Flow Switches
High Level Sensor
Level Transmitter and Display
Construction: Stainless Steel Enclosure, Welded Steel Construction

Preferred Utilities is committed to helping facilities meet the most stringent demands for emissions reduction. With innovations such as DEF implementation and SCR, support from Preferred can help you adapt your systems and take advantage of the most efficient and effective ways of reducing emissions.

 

By David Bohn

Read the article in Facilities Manager here!

Upgrading or replacing a boiler system presents one of the most daunting and expensive challenges a large facility can undertake. When the time comes—whether the current system is outdated and inefficient or it fails outright—facility management must take the time to fully understand the process in order to set facility management goals and make the right decisions to fulfill their energy and efficiency needs. Right now, a substantial number of colleges and universities, as well as more than 1,200 Veteran’s Administration medical center campuses across the country, are all undertaking system overhauls like this.

These system upgrades are driven primarily by environmental concerns. Most of the facilities will need to update their equipment, but some will require a full-system replacement. It’s a huge undertaking—but most administrators believe that the long-term savings will make the effort worthwhile.

Why make the change now?

One of the driving factors in getting this change implemented right away is regulatory. California, Texas, and New Jersey have implemented air quality standards that will not be met by older boiler systems. They must be upgraded or replaced.

These old systems often used technology that sacrificed environmental safety in favor of cost savings. Some systems incorporated metal mesh burners, which utilized filters that clog easily. The gradual clogging of air filters leads to less excess air, which leads to higher NOx emissions. NOx emissions are a combination of nitric oxide (NO) and oxygen. Nitric oxide is the result of fuel combustion and alone is not considered hazardous; however, combined with oxygen, it is the source of fog, acid rain, and ground level ozone, which has been linked to myriad health issues. And while some other systems might have utilized technology to reduce overall NOx, these systems had increased electricity costs.

A second reason for a system upgrade, therefore, is to address these cost concerns. Today’s upgrades do not require air filters, which used to add to operation costs. Upgraded systems also offer quick-change, dual-fuel capabilities, switching between gas and oil firing in less than three minutes. This saves on service costs, since multiple people are no longer needed to make the changeover. The greatest cost reduction, however, is in the demand for electricity. There is a reduction of up to 60 percent in electric consumption.

One way to realize a cost savings is by employing a system that allows one to adjust the output according to the demand. This adjustment is achieved via what is called the unit’s “boiler turndown ratio,” which is the ratio of the maximum heat output to the minimum heat output at which the boiler will operate both efficiently and controllably. As the desired temperature/pressure point is reached, the heat source is turned down, and if the temperature/pressure falls, the heat is turned up. In large campus applications, which require boilers to operate at a low proportion of their maximum output, a high turndown ratio is desired, and that can be achieved with modern upgrades. Traditional burners using fiber metal mesh provide a 3:1 turndown; however, with recent advancements in the field, there are now systems that can provide a 9:1 turndown or higher depending on NOx requirement. These systems can achieve ultra-low NOx emissions without the use of FGR (flue gas recirculation).

In addition to the cost savings realized through a 9:1 turndown, there is also the reduction in required maintenance. Not only are multiple people no longer needed for a dual-fuel changeover, but operating and monitoring the systems are also simplified. Older systems require constant maintenance to ensure fuel efficiency and emission control. For example, many older systems include jackshaft linkage. Due to the complexity of these systems, they require constant fine-tuning and maintenance by highly skilled operators. Maintenance of an upgraded or new system is far less complex.

Newer monitoring equipment also means fewer people are needed for hands-on examination of the system. Typically, with an older system, there was a boiler in each building—and that meant someone needed to be on location to monitor those systems. The ability to house the entire system in one location, or to upgrade the system to monitor from one location, results in lower maintenance costs.

Campuses making the changes

Higher education is becoming a competitive industry and honestly, who chooses a college or university because of how new the boiler equipment is? The utility plant is seen as a cost, and universities generally choose to invest in new buildings or facilities that will help them attract students. But with environmental awareness now a prominent part of the national discussion, universities are starting to see the value (both economic and otherwise) to going green. Here are a few examples:

A small, elite liberal arts college in Duchess County NY was working with old boilers that essentially could not fire. To fix the problem, they chose new burners that were compatible with their old boilers which saved them a great deal of money since they didn’t need to replace the whole system. They also replaced their vacuum condensate system for further modernization and efficiency. They are now planning to buy a second burner and are interested in a solution that burns liquid wood.

A prestigious medical school outside of Boston invested in new burners. Their solution provider helped them with reliable low life cycle cost/best value payback on their low pressure steam boilers by providing three 800 HP burners and a feedwater system. They burn natural gas with #2 oil as a back-up, and are actively considering carbon neutral fuels.

The campus heating plant main boiler suffered from several crippling issues at a large public college campus in upstate NY. Working with a vintage 600 HP steam boiler, the burner had a triplex nozzle system that was an issue from day one. The burner was low fire, disastrous and unrepeatable when cycled, and created uneven fires from the three nozzles that would not hold a tune-up. The nozzles constantly needed cleaning and adjusting. Only one person in the boiler room could keep it running for more than a week. They went with a proven installer who recommended a solution that holds a tune-up and remains stable with cycle repeatability in the lower firing ranges.

A medium sized Christian College in Providence RI was interested in going far beyond EPA requirements in order to reduce their emissions and maintain their electrical and combustion efficiency. They selected a solution to achieve the best of both worlds: 22pm NOx on two 900 HP burners with natural gas and #2 oil, with Burnermate Universal controls on both burners/boilers.

A very small private college in central MA was provided a 600 HP burner for an old boiler that was previously fired by a burner from a company that went out of business a few years ago. They also selected the Burnermate Universal controls. Before this, they had been shut down for a few years and faced an unreliable boiler plant. They chose the fuels that were readily available and may consider other options as they continue to invest in infrastructure.

VA Medical Center Case Study

VA Medical Center, Erie, Pennsylvania – Generally, systems that have been in service for 25 to 30 years would require replacement instead of an upgrade. Their system had been in place for three decades and required complete replacement. In order to make the most impact with this important project, they built an entirely new boiler plant from the ground up.

The engineering team at the V.A. determined that existing system had met its lifespan, and they wanted to replace with latest technology. Any short-term replacement would have simply been a Band-Aid. They realized, however, that a project of this magnitude would take time to do properly. The engineering team at the V.A. chose Greenland Enterprises, Inc. to handle the entire project based on their central plant expertise and track-record at other healthcare facilities.

Based on the campus steam load, they determined that the replacement equipment would consist of two 400-horsepower boilers and one 200-horsepower boiler. Installation of the new boiler system took four months. From the ground up (including the new construction), the work on the project took 14 months to complete.

This new plant will provide at least a 60 percent reduction in electricity consumption, which will be accomplished using a variable frequency drive. This technology can run with fan speed at a lower rate. For example, changing the power from 60hz to 30hz speed can cut the horsepower by eight times. Therefore, a 400-horsepower system would be cut to 60-horsepower. According to Steve Seckler, Vice President of Operations at Greenland Enterprises, “Most systems can go from 60hz to 40hz easily. We chose a system that can efficiently go all the way from 60hz to 15hz for additional savings.”

Fuel reduction provides cost savings over the life of the new system. Newer boiler systems can offer a savings of two to five percent. This means that one 400-horsepower boiler with a fuel cost of $500,000 annually can save between $10,000 and $25,000 a year. This new Erie plant, with its two 400-horsepower boilers and one 200-horsepower boiler, will save the hospital between $25,000 and $62,500 in fuel costs annually.

Is it time for an upgrade at your facility?

A boiler upgrade project like the one undertaken at the V.A. Erie Medical Center is clearly something that takes significant time and money to complete. But in the end, management determined that the expense and effort will pay off in the long run. Could it be time for you to look at a similar project for your facility? Here are some points to consider when making your decision.

Sustainability

In large facilities, sustainability can be neglected when considering boiler systems. Facilities like college campuses often rely on older boilers and choose the “Band-Aid” approach of patching and maintaining them out of necessity. This method is not sustainable. Upgrading to a new boiler is the best option for long-term, sustainable improvement.

Sustainability also refers to the environmental impact of a system. With ever-changing state requirements, it is important to choose a system with enough flexibility to face these new demands as well as future ones.

Fuel-efficiency

To sufficiently meet the heating and energy load demands of healthcare facilities, old boilers burn an inordinate amount of fuel. New boilers bring added efficiency and substantial fuel savings. There is also much being done in the realm of alternative fuels for boiler systems. Bio-fuels and liquid wood are two segments of the alternative fuel market that are making great strides.

Operation and Maintenance

New boilers are streamlined to operate more smoothly and efficiently than old boilers, which can be challenging to operate and maintain. The older boilers often take much longer to heat up, and they are often kept running to meet heating needs. New boilers are designed to heat up quickly and can be adjusted to handle variable loads to ensure less energy consumption.

When considering an upgrade or replacement, no matter what the reason may be, all factors of the operation need to be addressed in preparation for a system shut-down. A project of this magnitude, from the initial bid process to completion, will require a minimum of several months (for an upgrade) up to a year or more (for a complete boiler replacement). The impact of this change, and thus the importance of the decisions made during the process, are why so many campuses are carefully reviewing their future energy options.

David Bohn is President and CEO at Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation, an engineering-based manufacturer of products for commercial, institutional, industrial and nuclear power facilities.

 

Read the article in Today’s Boiler

By David Bohn

If you can’t afford to replace your boiler system, new fuels and innovative technologies are the answer.

Fueling boilers has become more complicated. Many conventional fuels are now impractical because they can be dirty and expensive, and they are sometimes incompatible with modern environmental regulations. This creates a challenge since changing out an entire boiler system is a massive expense. Is it possible that your current system could work with new, environmentally friendly fuels?

The answer is yes, at least when it comes to these groundbreaking new fuel options.

The latest innovations in biofuel technology

Traditional biofuels such as wood chips or pellets, while preferable to non-renewable fossil fuels, have still been found to have a negative environmental impact that can be problematic in many applications. A relatively recent innovation in the sector involves replacing wood chips with a fuel known as “bio-oil” (also referred to as “liquid wood”). While this biofuel is more environmentally friendly, some users found it incompatible and difficult to use at first—but that is now changing. Boilers can be more easily modified to be compatible with liquid wood, and the cost is about one-tenth that of replacing the system.

Created by Ensyn Technologies Inc. out of Ontario Canada, liquid wood is produced using a thermochemical process called pyrolysis, in which wood is burned in excess of 500º C (in the absence of oxygen) and is transformed into a combustible liquid. Because there is no oxygen, the wood does not combust. It first becomes charcoal, and then further decomposes into gas and liquid. It behaves similarly to natural gas or crude oil except that it has much lower carbon emissions.

Liquid wood still has the advantage of being a renewable wood-based resource. The raw wood used to create liquid wood is harvested from tree farms—and more trees can continuously be planted to replace those used for fuel oil. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels and other non-sustainable sources is critical to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, and turning the raw wood into liquid wood fuel increases the environmental benefits even further.

An added advantage is that liquid wood is less cumbersome to store than wood chips or pellets. In order to utilize wood chips, the user must address two onerous tasks—turning the bulk wood into chips, and then storing the chips themselves until they are used. There is also the challenge of getting the wood chips or pellets to the burner as they are not often stored in the same location. The logistics involved in managing chipping and storage can lead to significant added costs, as Bates College in Maine discovered.

Bates recently overhauled their campus heating system. They weighed the idea of converting to wood chips, but they found that building a wood chipping plant and storing the wood chips on campus would have cost a startling $10 million upfront. When they realized they could achieve the same environmental benefits by converting to liquid wood instead of wood chips, while only spending $1 million on the conversion, the choice was easy. They implemented liquid wood as their primary heating source and saw their carbon footprint reduced by an astounding 83 percent.

What is Bio Residual™ oil?

One of the newest innovations in environmentally responsible fuel is bio-residual oil (BRO. This renewable energy source has 85 percent lower emissions that typical fossil fuels and has the potential to reduce carbon emissions in the United States by thousands of tons per year.

Made by Renewable Energy Group in Ames, Iowa, Bio Residual™ Oil is the biodiesel equivalent of No. 6 oil. It is made up of all the heavy hydrocarbons left over after the refining of biodiesel, which can be made from diverse biological materials such as agricultural waste, animal fats, and recycled cooking oil. BRO™ is too heavy and viscous to be burned in an engine, so Renewable Energy Group has been working with Preferred Utilities Manufacturing to test the capabilities of BRO as a boiler fuel.

Preferred’s engineers Chuck White and Dan Wallace have now adapted one of their burners to cleanly burn BRO.

Striking the balance between electrical consumption and NOx emissions

Although greenhouse gases are the chief focus of most sustainability goals, they are not the only emissions to consider. Industrial boilers also emit nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is a significant air pollutant and is the key component in smog. These NOx emissions are regulated by the EPA and state agencies, with standards becoming steadily tighter since the 1990s.

Unfortunately, decreasing NOx emissions means upping electrical usage—the lower the NOx, the more electricity required. This can be a source of concern for those looking at low-NOx burners. They face the tough choice of either getting a system with the lowest possible emissions while sacrificing significant electrical efficiency, or else using a higher emissions system (that might become obsolete in a few years if regulations continue to get stricter) in an attempt to save on electricity. This rock-and-a-hard-place dilemma is even tougher in states with high electrical costs such as Connecticut and Hawaii.

The solution lies in the flexibility afforded by a new generation of low-NOx burners with configurable emissions. These systems can be configured to meet current regulations or targets, while operating at the highest electrical efficiency possible. Should regulations ever change, the burner can easily be updated for the new target NOx levels.

The demand for fuels that will have minimal negative environmental impact and not contribute to harmful CO2 emissions is ever-growing for many reasons. Regulation of the industry is likely to continue and become more stringent, “green” methods are becoming more economically desirable, and, perhaps most importantly, manufacturers are actively seeking ways to use renewable resources because they believe it is the responsible thing to do. Innovations like liquid wood and BRO, as well as new configurable low-NOx burners, are helping customers to reach their renewable energy goals in ways that maximize positive results for their bottom line and for the environment.

David Bohn is president and CEO of Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation.