The Environics, Inc. Post

Update from Our Customer Service Department

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

As most of you know, last week marked the last day for our long-time Service Manager, Paul.  After 22 years with Environics, he is moving and starting a new chapter in his life.  We will all miss him and wish him the very best!

With service on our minds, I bring to you today a few of the more commonly asked questions from our customers.  If you have a question, you can always reach us via our website, email or by phone.

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Tags: Environics Inc, ozone, gas mixing, gas mixer, ozone generator, Profile

"Ozone Season"

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 01:04 PM

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Tags: ozone, air quality, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Zero Air, zero air generator, gas dilution, calibration, Service

News : Ambient Air Quality in China

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Apr 04, 2013 @ 01:12 PM

A recent article on the quality of the air in China began with this frighening statistic: Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total.  Brought into the headlines during the Beijing Olympics, the poor quality of the air in China is nothing new.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beijing_smog_comparison_August_2005.png

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Tags: ozone, Air Pollution, air quality, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator

Ozone Regulation Revisited

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:33 AM

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Tags: ozone, EPA, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Emission Standards

Proposed Changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Mon, Aug 15, 2011 @ 12:24 PM

Today, let’s take a look at the proposed changes to National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.  For more information on ozone, take a look at some past blog posts that focus on this molecule, its generation, dangers and uses.   

National Ambient Air Quality Standards are required limits set by the EPA, as required by the Clean Air Act.  These limits are established for pollutants that are harmful to public health and/or the environment.  The Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.  At that time, there were two standards set, the primary and the secondary standards.  Primary standards are those that are set in order to protect the health of the general public, with special consideration to those with breathing issues, the young and the elderly.  Secondary standards are more general and include protection against damage to the environment, crops, animals and structures.  The current standards are:

Source:  http://www.epa.gov/air/criteria.html

In January 2010, the EPA released a proposal to change the primary and secondary standard for ozone levels, which were last revised in March 2008 (to read the full proposal, click here). 

The proposal seeks to decrease the ozone primary standard from 0.075 ppm to between 0.060 to 0.070 ppm.  The decrease was proposed “to provide increased protection for children and other ‘‘at risk’’ populations against an array of O3-related adverse health effects that range from decreased lung function and increased respiratory symptoms to serious indicators of respiratory morbidity including emergency department visits and hospital admissions for respiratory causes, and possibly cardiovascular-related morbidity as well as total non-accidental and cardiopulmonary mortality.”

 

The proposal goes further to recommend the secondary ozone standard be changed to reflect the seasonality of ozone levels.  According to the proposal, instead of a fixed number, the new standard, “should instead be a new cumulative, seasonal standard expressed as an annual index of the sum of weighted hourly concentrations, cumulated over 12 hours per day (8 am to 8 pm) during the consecutive 3-month period within the O3 season with the maximum index value, set at a level within the range of 7 to 15 ppm-hours.”  This change would serve to protect the environment from the impacts of high ozone levels.

When an area fails to meet this standard, it is referred to as a “nonattainment” area.  The below map shows the areas that failed to meet the standard as of the last report, April 2011.

 

Source: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/greenbook/map/map8hr.pdf

As with any proposed change, there are those that will oppose it.  Just this week, the National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter to President Obama and EPA Administrator Jackson asking that they reconsider the effects of this change in legislation.  The letter, signed by 35 different state manufacturing associations, states that changing the standards will cause “unnecessary and severe economic harm,” “will almost triple the number of counties designated as being in violation of the Clean Air Act,” and will therefore discourage “new businesses from locating in non-attainment areas and restricting the growth of existing businesses.”  To read the full letter, click here.

The most recent notice on the status of the proposal was released on July 26, 2011.  The statement read:

Administrator Jackson is fully committed to finalizing EPA's reconsideration of the Clean Air Act health standard for ground level ozone. That reconsideration is currently going through interagency review led by OMB. Following completion of this final step, EPA will finalize its reconsideration, but will not issue the final rule on July 29th, the date the agency had intended. We look forward to finalizing this standard shortly. A new ozone standard will be based on the best science and meet the obligation established under the Clean Air Act to protect the health of the American people. In implementing this new standard, EPA will use the long-standing flexibility in the Clean Air Act to consider costs, jobs and the economy. (source: http://www.epa.gov/glo/actions.html)

 

Follow us so we can keep you up to date of all changes!  To learn about the Environics systems that facilitate dynamic calibration of ambient air analyzers, click here.

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Tags: USA Emissions, Environics Inc, ozone, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Zero Air, zero air generator, zero air generator, Emission Standards

Release of Environics Mobility Suite for Android Devices

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Fri, Aug 05, 2011 @ 10:46 AM

The response to our Mobile Technology survey was overwhelming!  Due to popular demand, we’ve developed the Environics Mobility Suite. 

The initial release of the free App is for use on any Android device and allows complete control of the Environics Series 6100 when it is in remote mode. 

In brief, this initial version offers a simple menu driven system that allows full control of all the existing commands in:

 •         Concentration Mode

•          Flow Mode

•          Ozone Commands

The Mobility Suite App further allows advanced users to directly input commands and to create and run programs.  Future versions will allow full control of the Series 6100 regardless of the set mode.  In addition, future plans include the ability to run other Environics systems, including the Series 6103, on the Android Mobility Suite.  An iPhone based application is also in development. 

Click me
If you own an Android device, we hope that you will give the Environics Mobile Suite a whirl.

We welcome feedback, so please rate and review the app!

Get the Android app today! »

For iPhone users, we haven’t forgotten about you!  An iPhone version of the Mobile Suite is in the works as well!  If you want to be the first to know when it is available, click here.)

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Tags: Environics Inc, ozone, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Announcement

Ozone Generators - Why and How?

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Mon, May 16, 2011 @ 09:36 AM

Excuse the delay as we were focusing on the terrific ASMA show in Anchorage.  Let's wrap up the discussion on Ozone.

Ozone (O3or trioxygen) is found in low concentrations in the lower atmosphere (ozone layer) where it acts as a protective shield, blocking out harmful UV rays.  On the ground, it is a pollutant that can affect the respiratory systems of animals (including humans) and will negatively affect photosynthesis of sensitive plants.  It is a key ingredient in smog.  It is commonly thought that ozone is produced directly in car exhaust and by industrial plants.  In truth, it is an indirect process of the UV rays in sunlight reacting with the air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.  Ozone is then formed either at the source of emission or up to several miles away (downwind).

Adding to these effects, ozone has been found to have many industrial and consumer applications.  

Ozone used in industry is measured in μmol/mol (ppm, parts per million), nmol/mol (ppb, parts per billion), μg/m3, mg/hr (milligrams per hour) or weight percent. Depending on the conditions (especially temperature and humidity) and method of generation, the concentrations can range from 1 - 30%.  Uses of ozone range from disinfecting water in pools, cleaning air and laundry in hospital and killing insects in grain to processing of manufacturing and production.

There are a variety of ways ozone is generated, but the two main methods are corona discharge and UV light. 

Corona discharge method - This is the most common type of ozone generator for personal uses. These units usually work by means of a corona discharge tube.  They typically use ambient air and are fluctuate based on weather conditions, therefore they are more variable in terms of the ozone production.  An air dryer is often added to reduce nitrogen oxides by-products and increase ozone production. 

Ultraviolet light - UV ozone generators employ a light source that generates a narrow-band ultraviolet light, mimicking the production of ozone in the atmosphere.  When used in calibration systems, such as those manufactured by Environics, there are a variety of industry standards that must be met to guarantee accuracy and reliability of the ozone produced.  Our ozone generators (see partial P&ID below or full image here) are all factory calibrated using a NIST traceable ozone standard and perform to the EPA criteria for ozone transfer standard.

Learn about our Ambient Monitor Gas Calibrators with Ozone Generators or contact us for more details.

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Tags: USA Emissions, Environics Inc, ozone, gas mixing, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator

Ozone and Ozone Generators - Good or Evil?

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 01:52 PM

Most people, when they hear the word Ozone, immediately think of air pollution and global warming.  This is just a small part of the story.  Ozone also has many useful applications.  Let's take a deeper look.

Ozone, or tri-oxygen, is a triatomic molecule made of three atoms of oxygen.  It is an unstable molecule and is constantly being generated and then destroyed in the atmosphere.  Ozone comprises a tiny 0.00006% of the atmosphere.

The highest levels of ozone are in the stratosphere, commonly called the ozone layer between about 6 and 31 miles up. Ozone serves as a natural filter of ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun.  These rays are harmful to us in large doses.

Ozone in produced when the UV rays react with oxygen (click here for a great diagram that summarizes the chemistry).  The radiation first splits an oxygen molecule and then allows the formation of the triatomic struture:

O 2 + photon (UV radiation < 240 nm) → 2 O

O + O 2 + M → O 3 + M

Ozone can also be destroyed by a reaction with atomic oxygen in the presence of one of a variety of catalyzing agents (including hydroxyl, nitric oxide, chlorine and bromine):

O 3 + O → 2 O 2

In recent decades, we have heard more and more about the "hole" in the ozone layer.  Scientists suspect the stratospheric levels of ozone have declined in part due to emissions of CFCs and other  chlorinated and brominated organic molecules.  The presence of these catalyists increase the rate at which ozone is destroyed and decrease the overall concentration of ozone in the stratosphere.

While low levels of ozone are an issue in the stratosphere, here on the ground, it is high levels that present health risks.  Ozone is formed when sunlight reacts with air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides to form ozone.  Ground ozone can take 22 days to be destroyed and can cause effects from smog to reduction in agricultural yields (due to the effects on photosynthesis). 

Despite the negative press, ozone is used successfully in many applications  (beyond its effects as a sunscreen for the planet in the stratosphere).  The largest use of ozone is in industrial applications.  It can cleave carbon bonds, facilitate the breakdown of agricultural organic wastes, sanitize and deodorize items and kill bacteria in drinking water.  Next time, I'll take a look at how ozone can be created and measured for these purposes. 

There are many resources to further investigate the positive and negatives that surround this molecule.  Here are just a few:

Join me next week to learn more about how ozone is generated for these purposes.

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Tags: USA Emissions, Environics Inc, ozone, ozone generator, Zero Air, zero air generator, European Union Emissions