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ASTM Proposes Standard for measuring acid mist, air quality.

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April 7, 2009 - ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality is constructing a standard for measuring acid mists that come from combustion sources titled 'WK22846, Test Method for Determination of Sulfur Oxides Including Sulfur Dioxide, Sulfur Trioxide, and Sulfuric Acid Vapor and Mist, from Stationary Sources Using the Controlled Condensation Sampling System.' This will help address US EPA concerns about fine particles (2.5 Ám dia and smaller) deemed unhealthy to breathe.

Acid Mist Measurement is Subject of Proposed New ASTM Air Quality Standard

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: April 1, 2009

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 1 April 2009-The measurement of acid mist is becoming increasingly important due to recent actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on fine particles (2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller) that are unhealthy to breathe. ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality is currently working on a proposed standard for measuring acid mists that come from combustion sources, WK22846, Test Method for Determination of Sulfur Oxides Including Sulfur Dioxide, Sulfur Trioxide, and Sulfuric Acid Vapor and Mist, from Stationary Sources Using the Controlled Condensation Sampling System.

ASTM WK22846 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D22.03 on Ambient Atmospheres and Source Emissions. The draft document has its origins in an ASTM standard that was withdrawn in 1978, D3226, Method of Test for Sulfur Oxides in Flue Gases (Barium Chloranilate Controlled Condensation Method).

"During the intervening years, many variations of the method have arisen, leading to questions about comparability of the data," says Scott Evans, senior vice president, consulting services, Clean Air Engineering, and a D22 member. "This new effort is an attempt to once again have a single, recognized condensation method."

Coal-fired power plants and refineries would be the leading users of WK22846.

According to Evans, measuring sulfur trioxide and its reaction product, sulfuric acid, poses one of the more difficult challenges in emission measurement. "Typically, when measuring pollutants in flue gases, the pollutant is measured in a single phase, either as a gas, liquid or solid," says Evans. "The reaction of sulfur trioxide with water vapor to form gaseous sulfuric acid is a dynamic process dependent upon the concentration of the reaction flue gas temperature and, to a lesser extent, the water vapor present in the gas stream. Once formed, sulfuric acid can condense to form an aerosol."

Evans says that direct measurement of sulfuric acid emissions are not available at many facilities, so emission rates are often based on engineering estimates or EPA guidelines. ASTM WK22846 will give air emissions testing bodies the ability to accurately sample and analyze sulfuric acid concentrations.

Subcommittee D22.03 invites all interested parties who measure acid mist or have a need to measure or regulate acid mist to join in D22.03's work on WK22846.

For technical Information, contact Scott Evans, Clean Air Engineering, Palatine, Ill. (phone: 847-654-4569; Committee D22 meets April 19-22 during April committee week in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM's open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact George Luciw (phone: 610-832-9710;

Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.
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