Maximising Combustion Efficiency to Minimise Gas Emissions.

Written by Stuart Simmonds 
VP Business Development

Feb 20, 2024

This article centers on the critical aspects of efficient combustion control management, focusing on ensuring the complete and safe burning of hydrocarbons. It outlines the significance of various practical factors like process conditions and mechanical design in achieving an efficient combustion process. The key to monitoring this efficiency lies in measuring post-combustion gases, particularly oxygen and combustibles, with methane measurement added for safety.

The article stresses the importance of balancing excess oxygen levels to achieve peak combustion efficiency, a task accomplished using a combustion control gas analyzer. Additionally, it highlights the role of excess oxygen monitoring in reducing emissions of gases such as Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), which are formed during combustion. Maintaining minimal excess oxygen in the post-combustion zone curtails the formation of these gases, thereby minimizing emissions.

The piece effectively conveys the nuanced relationship between combustion control, efficiency, and emission reduction.

What you’ll learn: 

  1. Strategies to maximize combustion efficiency and their impact on reducing gas emissions.
  2. The correlation between different fuel types and their emissions gases.
  3. The role of excess air in the rise of emission gases.
  4. Importance of process design and combustion control in achieving efficient combustion.
  5. Understanding the formation of emission by-products in the combustion process.

Efficient Combustion Control: Balancing Safety and Efficiency.

The cornerstone of efficient combustion control management lies in ensuring that all combustible hydrocarbons are burned in the most efficient and safe manner. This involves a complex interplay of practical considerations, such as process conditions and mechanical design, which are essential for an efficient combustion process.

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Monitoring Efficiency through Post-Combustion Gases.

Continuous monitoring of post-combustion gases, particularly oxygen and combustibles (with methane measurements for safety), is critical in assessing the efficiency of the combustion process. The goal is to maintain an optimal level of excess oxygen—enough to ensure complete combustion of all hydrocarbon fuel, but not so much that it reduces efficiency. This precise amount of excess oxygen varies depending on multiple factors in the process control scheme, which can be accurately determined using a combustion control gas analyzer.

Fuel Types and Emission Gases.

The type of fuel burned significantly influences the types of emission gases produced. Common emissions include Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), which are formed in the presence of oxygen during the combustion process. Understanding the relationship between fuel types and their associated emissions is crucial for implementing effective emission control strategies.

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The Impact of Excess Air on Emissions.

Excess air in the combustion process, particularly when it is hot and abundant in the post-combustion zone, can encourage the formation of harmful emission gases like SO2 and NOx. Therefore, minimizing the amount of excess oxygen is a key strategy in reducing the potential for these gases to form, consequently keeping emissions at a minimum.

Optimizing Process Design and Combustion Control.

Efficient combustion control is inherently tied to the process design. A well-designed combustion process and effective control mechanisms can significantly enhance combustion efficiency while minimizing harmful emissions. This includes optimizing burner design, airflow dynamics, and fuel mixing processes to achieve complete combustion with minimal excess air.

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Formation of Emission By-Products.

Understanding how emission by-products are formed during combustion is essential for developing strategies to minimize them. These by-products, including various gases and particulates, result from incomplete combustion or chemical reactions between the fuel, oxygen, and other elements in the combustion environment.


Maximizing combustion efficiency is not just about optimizing energy use but also about minimizing the environmental impact of combustion processes. By focusing on efficient combustion control, monitoring post-combustion gases, and understanding the nuances of fuel types and process design, it is possible to significantly reduce gas emissions, contributing to a safer and more sustainable environment.


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Written by Stuart Simmonds 
VP Business Development
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