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The Norwegian industry is among the cleanest in the world and great efforts are made to reduce emissions even further. To this end, many different kinds of challenges must be overcome, and one often overlooked difficulty lies in measurements. The industry relies on measurement data in their endeavor to reduce emissions but when uncertainties are high, the results offer no guidance. The PAHssion project focus on measurements of one group of pollutants called "PAH", Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. The objective is to develop more reliable PAH measurement methods and thereby improve emission control and reporting. This will be achieved by improved analytical performance and reduced uncertainty of measurements.

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There are three main reason why PAH sampling and analysis is particularly challenging. Firstly, there are numerous PAH components, so it is virtually impossible to measure them all. Secondly, the PAH's form and decompose in a dynamic manner so the concentrations are not constant. Thirdly, the boiling points of the PAH's vary greatly. Therefore, PAH's can occur as gases, droplets or particles in an off-gas system and change between these states with temperature and other conditions. Current standard methods for PAH sampling does not capture variations which follow temperature and other process variations. Therefore, online monitoring is desirable. PAHssion aims to understand how PAH correlate with process conditions. Such correlations are core to emerging technologies like soft sensors and predictive models.

In PAHssion, the material producers Elkem, Eramet, Wacker Chemicals, Finnfjord, Ferroglobe, TiZir Titanium and Iron, Washington Mills and Saint-Gobain will join forces with SINTEF, NTNU, Eyde, Norce and SINTEF Molab to develop new and improved methods for PAH emission detection, quantification and prediction. Other important tasks are to:

  • Develop methods for assessment and prediction of PAH emissions
  • Increase fundamental knowledge about PAH formation and decomposition 
  • Establish correlations between off gas constituents
  • Evaluate strategies for online assessment of PAH for real-time detection.

These methods are key innovations which will, in turn, enable further innovations in process design and operation. Naturally, the new methods will also improve emission monitoring and abatement strategies. Additionally, support decisions on investments, raw materials selection and process operation with respect to environmental footprint.

PAHssion is an innovation project owned by Elkem ASA and funded by the industrial partners as well as the research council of Norway. SINTEF will be a major contributor to the scientific progression of the project by, for example, coordinating and participating in industrial measurements, testing and developing new methods and instruments as well as lay the foundation for future standards in the field of industrial PAH measurements.

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Project duration

2019 - 2022