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Environmental monitoring

MCERTS instrument testing

Monitoring releases from industry

In 1998, the Environment Agency established a rigorous certification scheme for pollution monitoring equipment, based on internationally accepted performance standards. The MCERTS scheme initially focused on continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMs) and has now been extended to continuous ambient air monitors (CAMs). Certified instruments will provide regulators and industry with the best basis from which to monitor releases from industrial processes.

Laboratory tests for MCERTS (CEMs and CAMs)

NPL has developed a dedicated suite of test and calibration facilities that are accredited under ISO 17025. These are used for carrying out instrument tests to the MCERTS Performance Standards and Test Procedures for Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems and EN 15267-3, together with Performance Standards for Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Systems, including EN 14662-3. The state-of-the-art facilities include:

  • Variable temperature test cells that can operate up to 400 ºC, where accurate concentrations of stack gases and water vapour can be introduced to simulate stack conditions.
  • A patented gas dilution system that is used to generate a wide range of required gas concentrations.
  • An environmental chamber for testing those parts of the monitoring system exposed to outdoor conditions.
  • The ability to test two instruments in parallel, including cross duct and extractive instruments.

Field tests for MCERTS

NPL has extensive knowledge and is accredited for the requirements of BS EN 15267-3, ISO 17025 and BS EN 14181. We have the capability and accreditation to measure a wide range of combustion gases, including HCl, N2O, SO2, CO, CO2, NO, NO2, VOCs and O2 to CEN and ISO standards. NPL's emissions monitoring teams have a wealth of experience and work closely with clients to provide assurance that the monitoring and data provided is accurate and reliable, and the reports have the information to meet all requirements of the MCERTS Performance Standard.

Further information

Manufacturers seeking to put forward instruments for testing under MCERTS should contact NPL for technical advice and help in the development of a test programme. We also offer to translate the final report into German for further submission to TUV.

NPL is able to assist manufacturers with their instrument development programmes, using our facilities and scientific expertise, and by carrying out 'pre-testing' in accordance with the requirements of the MCERTS standard. The results can be very useful for identifying technical areas where final instrument optimisation may still be required.

MCERTS is operated by Sira Environmental Ltd, on behalf of the Environment Agency, and can be contacted for details of the scheme.

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