Reducing harmful emissions is a key success factor in achieving greater sustainability in the energy sector and better protection of the environment. The 44 Federal Immission Control Ordinance (BlmSchV) for medium-sized combustion plants, gas turbines and internal combustion engines, which comes into force in summer 2019, is also aimed in this direction. In total, around 40,000 plants in Germany are subject to stricter operating requirements and numerous new obligations for their operators. In our article we give an overview of the most important regulations of the 44 BlmSchV and present the NOxCO-Box as a practical technical solution that supports plant operators in implementing the regulation.
The 44 Federal Immission Control Ordinance is the national implementation of the European directive "Medium Combustion Plant Directive" (MCP Directive) of November 25, 2015. With the current regulations, the legislature pursues the goal of reducing harmful environmental effects through the emission of
The 44 previously regulated in the Ordinance on Small and Medium-Sized Combustion Plants (1 BImSchV) and the Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control (TA Luft) and tightens them, in some cases considerably.
The 44 BImSchV is specifically designed for all operators of combustion, gas turbine and combustion engine systems with a combustion output of 1 to 50 megawatts, regardless of the type of fuel used. In addition, the Ordinance also applies to smaller plants with a capacity of less than 1 megawatt, provided that they are subject to approval under the Federal Immissions Control Act. According to § 1 para. 2 BImSchV 44, large combustion plants according to the 13 Federal Immission Control Ordinance, smelting and blast furnaces, afterburning plants or reactors in the chemical industry, are not covered by the regulation.
Of great importance for the operators is also the aspect whether their plant after the 44 BImSchV is classified as a new or existing installation. This distinction is relevant in that it influences the registration deadlines and the date from which emission limit values may no longer be exceeded. For the purposes of this Regulation, "existing plants" means combustion plants which:
For example, new installations are subject to immediate notification to the pollution control authorities. For existing combustion, gas turbine and combustion engine systems, however, the legislator provides for a binding notification by December 1, 2023 at the latest.
The definition of emission limits takes up a lot of space in the new regulation. The specific limit values depend on the type of system, the fuel used and the furnace thermal capacity. With regard to the objectives of the 44 BImSchV, stricter requirements apply to some of the limit values than in the regulations of the 1 BImSchV or of the TA Luft 2002. The changes in the range of internal combustion engines (lean-burn engines) are particularly clear. Here, for example, the limit value for nitrogen dioxide to be achieved drops from 500 mg/Nm3 to 100 mg/Nm3. When the set emission limit values must be reached also depends on the
The regulation provides for transitional periods of four to five years for new installations and up to ten years for existing installations.
In addition to new and partially tightened emission limit values, the 44 BImSchV introduces numerous new obligations for system operators, such as emission monitoring, documentation or proof, which go beyond the previous regulations. Key changes include:
Although the new regulation has been in force for more than a year, its implementation is still facing difficulties, according to Michael Siemer, Head of Sales at H.G.S. GmbH, a company of ENGIE Deutschland: "In our daily customer contact, we find time and again that there is a great deal of uncertainty with regard to the specific BImSchV requirements, both with plant operators and with state and regional authorities." Especially with regard to the complex requirements and extensive exceptions, many experts expect a rather lengthy changeover process: Starting with the question whether the respective plant even falls under the 44 BImSchV, to the translation of the new technical and documentary obligations into precise requirement specifications and the appropriate training of employees.
In particular, with a view to the continuous monitoring of emission limit values, future-oriented technical solutions can provide valuable support in the implementation of the regulation. With the innovative NOxCO-Box, for example, the experts from H.G.S., together with partner companies from energy and automation technology, have developed an online-based system measuring system that enables emission monitoring at the second cycle.
"The NOxCO box meets exactly the requirements that the BImSchV places on system operators," says Michael Siemer. "In doing so, it not only ensures the continuous monitoring of an engine or an installation. Rather, it enables the online measurement of nitrogen oxide of up to four units simultaneously. Operators can thus significantly simplify their processes," says Siemer.
For this purpose, the NOxCO-Box records the system output, the emission values for nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide as well as the residual oxygen content and converts the online values determined in the second cycle to half-hour and daily average values in accordance with the BImSchV. The output of the data stored on the box takes place either via a USB interface or via a hotspot generated by the box with the device via a smartphone. The data read out are stored in accordance with the documentation and storage obligations of the 44 BImSchV for a period of at least six years.
Since the beginning of the year, H.G.S. has already installed 50 boxes throughout Germany, including for municipal utilities and municipal utilities, and is currently putting 50 more systems into operation at various customers.
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