Testing & Monitoring

Air Monitoring and testing is a very important and highly specialized service that is required for a wide variety of industries. Correct test results can mean the difference between profitability and possible cutbacks to a facility. For that reason, choosing a stack testing firm that understands the importance of the results may be one of the most critical decisions a company will ever make. Avogadro Environmental has extensive experience with a variety of test methods and unique situations. Here are just a few examples of our work:

VOC Destruction Efficiency Testing Using CTM-042 for the Bakery Industry


The most common control technology for bakery oven emissions of ethanol is catalytic oxidation. The USEPA Alternative Control Technology Document for Bakery Oven Emissions identifies this as the most appropriate technology. The destruction efficiency for oxidizers on bakeries is considered 90% for RACT and is considered 95% the required maximum destruction efficiency for other purposes. The catalytic oxidizers will destroy compounds such as ethanol and aldehydes.

Avogadro has provided third-party emissions testing services for a major North American oxidizer manufacturer vendor based in New Jersey for nearly 10 years. Its typical installation is a catalytic oxidizer handling air flow between 2,500 and 7,500 scfm and controlling ethanol concentrations between 1,000 and 5,000 ppmv.

With three JUM 109A non-methane hydrocarbons analyzers, we have successfully performed over 24 inlet and outlet VOC destruction efficiency test programs using Conditional Test Method (CTM) 042 in conjunction with USEPA Methods 1, 2, 3/3A and 4. Alternatively, Avogadro has used USEPA Methods 25A and 18 for methane subtraction as substitution for CTM-042. In both cases, mass emissions of VOC are calculated with measured stack flow rates and non-methane hydrocarbon data.

Application of Test Method

We have been retained as a third-party emissions testing service to use CTM-042 on a number of nationally-recognized commercial bakeries and also has a stand alone contractor working directly for the client.

These bakeries produce bread, rolls, English muffins, crackers, biscuits, cookies, baked snack products and frozen pizzas and include many nationally recognized names as well as smaller independent organizations in the following locations:

  • Easton, PA. Harrisburg, PA Norristown, PA.
  • Williamsport, PA Sunbury, PA. Northumberland, PA
  • Denver, PA. Downingtown, PA. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Bloomfield, CT. Elkhart, IN Richmond, Utah
  • Willard, OH Lakeland, FL FairLawn, NJ
  • Carteret, NJ Swedesboro, NJ Albany, NY
  • Olean, NY Lincoln, RI Baltimore, MD

CTM-042 test programs generally require the use of a certified ethanol gas or gases to compute a system response factor for calculation of VOC as ethanol. Further, CTM-042 demands the use of a certified blend gas of methane and ethanol to verify the cutter efficiency of the non-methane hydrocarbons analyzer.  Avogadro continually meets QA requirements of the method.

Often bakery programs require flexibility in working unusual shifts to match the bakery’s need to keep production fresh and to meet consumer demand by providing a variety of products. We have met the challenge by working with either multiple crews or parsing over the “grave-yard” shift.

Moisture in baked products, sometimes quite high, poses a unique challenge for hydrocarbon monitoring systems. Our staff  maintains vigilance in sample transport and routinely controls heated sampling line components well in excess of the method minimum.

VOC Destruction Efficiency Testing Using Methods 25, 25A, and 18


A regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) is an industrial process using heat for the treatment of exhaust air. The system uses a bed of ceramic material to absorb heat from the exhaust gas and use the captured heat to preheat the incoming process gas stream.
They are suited to applications with low VOC concentrations but high waste stream flow rates. This is due to their high thermal energy recovery. The basic operation of an RTO consists of passing a hot gas stream over a heat sink material in one direction and recovering that heat by passing a cold gas stream through that same heat sink material in an alternate cycle. They are used to destroy air toxics and VOC that are discharged in process exhausts from printing sources, paint booths, sewage sludge treatment plants, metals recycling, and chemicals, plastics, car manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals operations.

Application of Test Method

The USEPA Emission Measurement Center Guideline Document 033, states:

“If a source elects to use Method 25A [in lieu of Method 25], the exhaust VOC concentration must be 50 ppmv [as Carbon] or less. If the Method 25A test results show that the exhaust concentration is above 50 ppmv [as carbon], this is an indicator that Method 25A is not the appropriate test method and that Method 25 should be used.” With this guidance from USEPA, a number of test programs must utilize Method 25 for the quantification of non-methane organic compounds. Since this method requires subsequent offsite, analysis, many facilities elect that Avogadro pursues the simultaneous real-time measurement of hydrocarbons using USEPA Methods 25A to gauge how the oxidizer evaluation is going as the program progresses. USEPA Method 18 is then used in conjunction with USEPA Method 25A to analyze for methane and sometime ethane which are exempt from VOC listing.

Case Studies:

Bedford Materials Company, Inc. (BMI)

Manns Choice, PA.

BMI has been one of the leading worldwide manufacturers of advanced composites products. The precision-coated materials produced at the western PA plant have applications in many industries including military and defense, automotive, aerospace, electric utilities, power generation and medical supply. We conducted a compliance evaluation of the RTO to demonstrate compliance with the facility’s Plan Approval VOC destruction efficiency (DE) requirement. Testing required by the PADEP included USEPA Method 25 and USEPA Methods 1 through 4. BMI elected for Avogadro to simultaneously conduct Methods 25A/18 to allow for real-time monitoring of the test program as it unfolded.

Cleveland Steel Container Corporation (CSCC)

Quakertown, PA

CSCC operates a steel-pail container production system. The VOC produced from the pail production system and the roller coater line is controlled by a Tellkamp RTO and a Pillar catalytic oxidizer, respectively. The Tellkamp oxidizer controls VOC emissions from a flange spray, a bottom spray booth, a second paint booth and a paint baking oven. The Pillar oxidizer controls emissions from a roller coater line and oven.  We conducted a compliance emissions test program on the inlets and outlets of both oxidizers to measure emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and total non-methane hydrocarbons (VOC) for comparison with emission limits specified in the operating permit conditions. Other reasons for the test were to document the VOC destruction efficiency of each oxidizer and to determine that the VOC capture systems for the paint booth, the flange spray booth, the bottom spray booth, the paint baking oven, the roller coater line and, the roller coater oven are permanent total enclosures (PTE). Testing required by the PADEP included USEPA Method 25 and USEPA Methods 1 through 4. CSCC elected for Avogadro to simultaneously conduct Methods 25A/18 to allow for real-time monitoring of the test program and to provide a second set of VOC data since the values were close to the 50 ppmv cut-off threshold for Method 25.

SANCOA Corporation

Lumberton, NJ

Sancoa International (Sancoa) owns and operates a graphic arts facility located in Lumberton, Burlington County, New Jersey. The printing operations are divided into three categories: gravure (solvent-based inks), UV non gravure (deminimis VOC) and water base non gravure (compliant inks). Gravure printing uses inks with VOC density in excess of the values allowed by NJ Subchapter 16. The solvent-based gravure operations (printing, press cleaning) exhaust to the RTO. Avogadro conducted an NJDEP-approved compliance test program on the inlet and outlet of the RTO to measure carbon monoxide (CO) and VOC for comparison with emission limits specified in the operating permit conditions and to document the VOC DE of the unit. Unique aspects of the test included Sancoa’s operation of more than 15 presses for the duration of the triplicate test runs, which included using both Method 25 as the primary compliance method and USEPA Methods 25A and 18 as a secondary set of VOC data. Also, Avogadro invoked the collaboration of two NJDEP offices, both the Bureau of Technical Services and the NJDEP Southern Regional Enforcement Office. Prior to the compliance test, we conducted VOC capture evaluations using the procedures of Method 204 on 26 enclosures that covered 29 gravure press heads, with 11 individual web printing presses.

Case studies of Engine Projects:

PPL Distributed Generation

Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Frey Farm/Creswell Landfill (LCSWMA)
Lancaster County, PA

Avogadro performed a compliance test program at the above site on one Perennial Energy flare and on two Caterpillar engines.  Each of the two engines is a Caterpillar G3520C genset rated at 2,224 brake horsepower at 100% load.  The approximate measured stack temperature and flow rate are 900 degrees Fahrenheit and 4,700 scfm, respectively.  Test parameters on the engines included carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons (VOC) and formaldehyde using USEPA Method 323.

Pennsauken Sanitary Landfill

Pennsauken, NJ

Our team performed a compliance test program at the above site on two Caterpillar engines.  Each of the two engines is a Caterpillar G3516 genset rated at 1,100 kW at 100% load, while fired with landfill gas    Test parameters on the engine included carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, non-methane hydrocarbons, and total particulate matter.

Hugo Neu Schnitzer East

Long Island City, New, NY

We performed an emissions test program at the above site on one Cummins, one Caterpillar and on one 6.5-megawatt, diesel, Fairbanks Morse engine to demonstrate compliance with the New York State NOx RACT rules (6 NYCRR, Part 227-2).  Testing was conducted during another mobilization on the Fairbanks Morse engine and one of two new, 300-kW, diesel Cummins engine to demonstrate compliance with the facility Title V Operating Permit limits.   Test parameters on these engines included nitrogen oxides, suspended particulate matter, and opacity.

Alliant Energy

Homasote Company; West Trenton, NJ

Avogadro performed a compliance test program at the above site on three reciprocating engines.  Testing was conducted to demonstrate compliance with both the MACT Rule Subpart ZZZZ and the state permit.   Test parameters on the engine included carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons, suspended particulate matter, formaldehyde using SW846-0011, and acrolein using TO-15

Enerdyne Power Systems

Waverly Gas Producers
Waverly, VA

We performed a compliance test program at the above site on two Caterpillar model 3508 landfill gas-fired engines.  Testing was conducted to demonstrate compliance with the VADEQ Stationary Source Permit to Construct and Operate.   Test parameters on the engines included carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons, and opacity.

Keyspan Energy

Long Island Power Authority, Shoreham, NY and Holtsville, NY

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) operates two mobile generating stations located in Shoreham, NY and Holtsville, NY.  The facility in Shoreham, NY consists of eighteen Cummins diesel-fired engines, and the facility in Holtsville, NY consists of twenty-four Cummins diesel-fired engines.  These diesel engines are designed to supply power to the LIPA electrical system.  Emissions of nitrogen oxides from each engine were controlled by an SCR system using urea injection. We conducted a compliance emissions test program on six of the eighteen units at the Shoreham facility (Engines 6-11) and eight of the twenty-four units at the Holtsville facility (Engines 1-8) to determine emissions for nitrogen oxides.

Covanta Power Pacific Inc.

Rockville, MD

For six consecutive years, Avogadro performed an annual emissions test program on two internal combustion engines at the Covanta Power Pacific, Inc. – Gude Facility.  The engines are fired with landfill gas from a nearby landfill.  In summary, the emissions evaluation consisted of performing consecutive, triplicate one-hour test runs on the engines for nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.

Summit Plaza Associates Power Plant

Jersey City, NJ

An informational test program was performed at the above site on one 1974 Caterpillar D-398 diesel engine.  The engine has a 600 kW nameplate rating, but the prime service operating range is 300 to 450 kW.  Test parameters on the engine included suspended particulate matter and non-methane hydrocarbons

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The Avogadro staff is fully competent and well organized.  They understand more than just the testing, they understand the entire process of getting the job done accurately, within budget and on-time.  My rating:  10/10
DW – Homasote Company