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U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC. USA

Operating your boiler with an optimum amount of excess air will minimize heat loss up the stack and improve combustion efficiency. Combustion efficiency is a measure of how effectively the heat content of a fuel is transferred into usable heat. The stack temperature and flue gas Oxygen (or Carbon Dioxide) concentrations are primary indicators of combustion efficiency.

Natural Resources and Office of Energy Efficiency
Canada
Typically, reducing O2 in the flue gas by 1 percent- for example, from 5 percent to 4 percent- increases boiler efficiency by about 2.5 percent.

Controlling excess air is the most important tool for managing the energy efficiency and atmospheric emissions of a boiler system.

As graph shows, the effect of air temperature on excess air in the flue gas can be dramatic.


 

Understanding CO

Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odorless, tasteless, toxic gas that has the molecular formula CO. The molecule consists of a carbon atom that is triply bonded to an oxygen atom.

Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels - gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, solid fuel appliances and open fires.

Carbon Monoxide is a commercially important chemical. It is also formed in many chemical reactions and in the thermal or incomplete decomposition of many organic materials.

Dangerous amounts of CO can accumulate when, as a result of poor installation, poor maintenance or failure or damage to an appliance in service, the fuel is not burned properly, or when rooms are poorly ventilated and the Carbon Monoxide is unable to escape.


What are the effects of Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide produces the following physiological effects on people exposed to the concentrations shown:

Concentration of CO in air

Inhalation time and toxic developed

50 parts per million (ppm)

Safety level as specified by the Health and Safety Executive

200 PPM

Slight headache within 2-3 hours

400 PPM

Frontal headache within 1-2 hours, becoming widespread in 3 hours

800 PPM

Dizziness, nausea, convulsions within 45 minutes, insensible in 2 hours


CAT CONTROL SYSTEM FUEL-CAT