OBrien and Gere Inc.

Syracuse, NY, United States

OBrien and Gere Inc.

Syracuse, NY, United States
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Ostaszewski D.,OBrien and Gere Inc. | Gorman J.,OBrien and Gere Inc.
Air and Waste Management Association - International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies and Hazardous Waste Combustors 2013 | Year: 2013

A Comprehensive Performance Test (CPT) or "trial bum" conducted on a hazardous waste incineration unit is one of the most complex source emission test programs that a facility can conduct. The test methods typically required are intensive, process control is critical, and the waste stream inlet spiking procedures are very detailed and extensive. Regulatory oversight is high and the impacts of the test results on the facility's operation are significant. There are many variables and potential pitfalls in all phases of the CPT program to consider and address if the program is to meet established objectives. This paper will provide important detail on each phase of a typical test program from initial planning, to field test execution, to final emission data reporting. Lessons learned from programs conducted on various source types will be discussed as well.


Mannuzza M.,OBrien and Gere Inc.
Air and Waste Management Association - International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies and Hazardous Waste Combustors 2013 | Year: 2013

As regulatory emission limits have become stricter and the margin for error in the design of Air Pollution Control (APC) systems reduced, it has become more critical to understand the physical characteristics of an incinerator's exhaust stream over its full range of potential operating conditions in order to ensure that an appropriate APC system is applied. Being able to quantify the constituency of the waste feed and key parameters of the exhaust stream, such as particulate size distribution, is of paramount importance. Waste feed sampling and source testing is frequently performed to provide such data, but such testing can have limited value. In many instances, the breadth of potential waste feed combinations is so diverse that testing all possible combinations is not feasible. Identifying and testing "worst case" conditions can provide valuable data, but still only reflects a snapshot of system operation. In other instances, physical constraints may preclude the collection of pertinent data. Such limitations impose an inherent regulatory risk to a facility. Contingency planning is becoming a necessary component in the design of APC systems. Contingency strategies may involve the inclusion of ancillary equipment to provide versatility, or may involve provisions to enable additional features to be quickly incorporated into the design, if necessary. Strategies to modify the waste feed may also be used. This paper will identify examples of problematic applications and strategies that can be applied to address contingency in the design of APC systems with regard to sulfur, dioxin, metals and other problematic emissions.


Campbell C.,OBrien and Gere Inc.
Air and Waste Management Association - International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies and Hazardous Waste Combustors 2015, IT3 2015 | Year: 2015

O'Brien & Gere and Cornell University collaborated on the development of a "slow pyrolysis" machine for a Kenyan village of 2,500 people. This process results in the production of an energy-rich exhaust gas and a carbon-rich solid product ("biochar"). The goal was to design a pyrolysis unit with diverse waste capabilities that could take in biomass with a moisture content of up to 30%, and could produce biochar and Syngas at temperatures ranging from 450°C to a limited (1 hour maximum) 600°C. The biochar would be used to provide valuable local soil enrichment and the Syngas would be used to create biofuels. Pyrolysis can provide an innovative way to generate biofuels at locations where transportation or other liquid fuels are needed for agriculture, with the added benefit of generating a soil improving byproduct (biochar) that can be used to secure sustainable food systems in underdeveloped regions. Restocking of soils with organic matter such as biochar also contributes to green recycling of agricultural residues such as rice straw, coffee husks or sugar cane bagasse that pose an environmental burden. The project looked at a pyrolysis and liquid fuel system that is capable of utilizing ligno-cellulosic materials for feedstock, and of converting existing sources of biomass into biochar and liquid fuel using existing distribution networks by blending with gasoline. The CO in syngas can also be converted to ethanol by micro-organisms to make liquid fuels. © Copyright (2015) by Air & Waste Management Association.


Mannuzza M.,OBrien and Gere Inc.
Air and Waste Management Association - International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies and Hazardous Waste Combustors 2012 | Year: 2012

A federal research facility employs a medical waste incinerator to thermally treat the contaminated wastes generated at the campus. The facility recognizes that energy recovered from the incinerator could be used to reduce the facility's operating cost and carbon footprint, as well as support recent efforts towards achieving LEED certification. O'Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc. (O'Brien & Gere) was engaged to identify and evaluate energy recovery strategies that could be employed. O'Brien & Gere inspected the equipment and facilities, and reviewed numerous drawings and documents for the incinerator, pollution control equipment, and campus mechanical systems. Of particular concern for heat recovery were the levels of corrosives and particulate in the process exhaust stream. In addition, the exhaust flow rate of the incinerator was relatively small, limiting the amount of energy available for recovery. Despite this, several potentially viable energy recovery strategies were identified involving waste heat power generation, boiler feed water pre-heating, and various supplemental heating strategies for existing HVAC systems. Conceptual designs were developed, and capital and operating cost estimates were generated for each strategy. The various energy conservation measures were ranked based upon simple payback period and cost to implement. A number of strategies were determined to be tenable. Interestingly, some did not involve recovering heat from the high temperature incinerator exhaust, but instead were associated with the relatively low temperature hearth cooling system. Two of the more attractive measures (waste heat power generation, and pre-heating ventilation air with hearth energy) were selected for advancement and eventual implementation.

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