Metrology to underpin future regulation of industrial emissions

Short Name: IMPRESS, Project Number: ENV60
Coal burning power plant

Emissions from industry: Supporting future regulation to reduce industrial pollution and its climate impact

A principal instrument of Europe’s drive for cleaner, healthier air is the Industrial Emissions Directive, that limits emissions of polluting and greenhouse gases, and tightens requirements for regulatory reporting. However, emission measurement is difficult for point sources (such as stacks) and for assessing releases from large area sources like methane from landfill or ‘fugitive gases’ from oil refinery pipework.


Improving the reliability of installed stack emission monitoring systems by introducing calibrations based on spectrographic techniques, such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) cameras and tuneable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) and reducing the measurement errors associated with stack flow measurements would significantly improve accuracy. Open path optical techniques based on Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL), FTIR and TDLAS are available for determining large area emissions, but standardised operational procedures for their use must be developed before they can be used for regulatory compliance monitoring.


The project developed new reference materials and stack simulation facilities. The project also developed improved stack flow monitoring and calibration methods, to enable plant operators to comply with the Industrial Emissions Directive.


The Project:


  • Validated FTIR and TDLAS techniques for calibrating stack emission monitoring instrumentation for CO, NO, SO2, HCl, H20, industrial process emissions and produced protocols for their use
  • Developed computational fluid dynamic modelling methods and used these to reduce stack flow measurement errors leading to new guidance on determining annual plant emissions
  • Validated the use of open path optical techniques and generated measurement protocols for the remote sensing of fugitive emissions to aid compliance with the EU’s Refining of Mineral Oil Best Available Technique Reference Document
  • Designed, constructed and validated facilities that simulate industrial emissions thus enabling, for the first time, accurate assessments of the emissions monitoring community’s performance.


This project provided an improved measurement infrastructure for point and area emission monitoring and methods which have been incorporated into CEN standards, for example EN14181 Stationary Source Emissions - Quality Assurance of Automated Measuring Systems. These have enabled environmental regulatory authorities, such as the UK Environment Agency, to allow the use of portable FTIR techniques for emissions monitoring for the first time. Manufacturers of remote sensing devices are benefiting from new measurement calibration methods, standards and protocols; and process plant operators, test laboratories, and national regulators are using project derived uncertainties that have been incorporated into the new guidance document Framework for determining uncertainty sources and the propagation of uncertainty contributions in reported annualised mass emission.


The follow-on project Metrology for sampling and conditioning SO2 emissions from stacks is developing Standard Reference Methods for monitoring sulphur dioxide emissions from industrial processes; and the project Metrology for air pollutant emissions is developing measurement methods for newly regulated pollutants, including ammonia and hydrogen fluoride.

Project website