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UVC LED-based sensors to address regulatory trends

UVC LED-based sensors to address regulatory trends

Dec 11, 2015: Global environmental concerns over water and air pollution are leading to new regulations over effluents that require real-time monitoring. Existing regulations are being tightened to monitor lower concentrations of compounds and more compounds are being brought under regulatory control. As a result, companies and utilities will need to develop a network of cost-effective sensors for monitoring and response in real-time. The use of optical spectroscopy with lattice matched UVC LEDs to monitor effluents and emissions can effectively and affordably address these monitoring requirements, according to a new whitepaper from Crystal IS.

For example, in 2015, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in India mandated 24/7 monitoring of effluent for 17 highly polluting industries. Periodic inspections have not been effective since the polluting factories would clean up and behave well for inspections. Consequently, nearly 40% of treated (and discharged) water in India is not in regulatory compliance, so the Government instituted 24/7 monitoring to keep polluters in check. Water quality must be monitored and reported back to the CPCB every 15 minutes. This can be done using chemical methods or by optical monitoring using UV spectroscopy. Optical monitoring using UVC LEDs is expected to become the predominant method of choice, according to Crystal IS.

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Water quality is just one area where new regulations require ? or will soon require ? more extensive monitoring and reporting. Another example is in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from ships. As regulations tighten, the global limit for sulfur content will continue to drop through 2020. One of the methods used to reduce sulfur content results in wash water that must be treated and monitored before being discharged into the sea. UVC LEDs can effectively monitor pollutants in wash water discharge.

Similarly, the EPA has recently tightened emission control requirements for storage tanks, flares and coking units at petroleum refineries. These standards are intended to control toxic air emissions from petroleum refineries and provide important information about refinery emissions to the public and neighboring communities. These new rules are the first time that refineries are required to track emissions at key sources within the facility and around fence lines; UVC LEDs can be used cost-effectively to measure and monitor these emissions, says Crystal IS.

UVC LEDs can also be used to prevent biofouling or to quantify ozone levels.

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In each of these areas, increasing regulation ? and the increasing complexity of regulation ? means monitoring and reporting must be improved. By developing sensors with UVC LEDs over UV lamps or other traditional methods, manufacturers can reduce costs by 40% to 80% while meeting regulatory challenges, according to Crystal IS.

The Crystal IS whitepaper, Addressing Regulatory Trends with UVC LED-based Sensors, explores the above scenarios more fully, explaining how UVC LEDs can help meet requirements, and discusses the advantages of UVC LEDs over other solutions, including lower cost of ownership, smaller footprint, superior accuracy, and stability of light.

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