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Environmental Technologies
Our team of U.S. and international industry specialists are dedicated to enhancing the global competitiveness of the U.S. environmental technologies industry, expanding market access, and increasing exports.
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U.S. Environmental Technologies Resource Guide
Review opportunities, challenges, and important market details highlighted by environmental technologies specialists from around the world.

Air Pollution Control

Air Pollution Control

The air medium category deals with air pollution monitoring and control technologies for both stationary and mobile pollution sources. Stationary sources include emissions from thermal energy generation and industrial sources such as boilers, incinerators and smelters. Mobile sources include everything from automobiles to heavy duty vehicles to ships.

Monitoring technologies make up a substantial segment of the industry, including instrumentation and software required for public applications that monitor ambient air quality. This segment includes industrial and fence-line monitoring systems and software that assess specific industrial sites and applications, as well as fence-line monitors for trans-boundary sources. U.S. industry revenues for air pollution control in 2017 totaled $20.7 billion, including equipment, instruments, and attendant services.

Air pollution control technologies are determined by the scale of emissions and types of pollutants that need to be captured. Large emitters, such as concrete producers and coal-fired power plants, deploy systems that are the size of a city block and cost millions of dollars to install and operate. Smaller operations, such as those attached to medical incinerators, have a substantially lower emissions footprint and cost profile. Mobile sources – including marine diesel engines, non-road diesel engines and automobile engines – are primary examples of scale-driven systems based on unit pricing. An example of a scalable control technology is the catalytic converter in passenger vehicles.

Key Market Trends and Themes for the Global Air Pollution Control Industry

Emissions Control for Coal-Fired Power Plants

Parts of Asia, especially China and India, continue to use coal as their primary source of power. Approximately three-quarters of all currently planned coal-fired power plants worldwide are slated to be installed in one of those two countries. Depending on the stringency of the regulatory environment, these plants are likely to result in an abundance of both retrofit and new installation opportunities for stationary source emission reduction and control technologies in the next five to 10 years. The types of technologies needed for a given power plant will depend on regulatory requirements. The type of coal to be burned is also relevant, as pollutant levels vary for different kinds of coal. In addition to the demand for more traditional technologies used to limit or control NOx, SOx, particulate matter and mercury emissions, state-of-the-art emerging technologies – particularly those designed for multipollutant control – are likely to be of great interest to foreign buyers. Emerging technologies include non-carbon sorbents for removal of flue gas mercury, and non-thermal plasma and activated coke for multi-pollutant removal.