Low Cost Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation to Underpin Emissions Trading from Co-Firing Biomass / Fossil Fuel Plants

European Spectrometry Systems and the National Physical Laboratory are engaged in building a new type of quadrupole mass spectrometer instrument and testing its performance for monitoring emissions from power stations that simultaneously burn biomass and fossil fuel. Biomass is a renewable source of energy and in addition to the environmental benefits (eg reduced landfill) there are financial incentives for the UK since carbon trading units for the portion of biomass combusted in the place of fossil fuel are realised, which can be traded with other countries. The new quadrupole mass spectrometer is based on an innovative design that will provide the order of magnitude sensitivity increase required for this type of emissions measurement. This will provide a more cost effective, portable and flexible instrument compared to those currently available.