NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    AUGUST 2016

Smog Today or Climate Change Tomorrow: The Chinese Dilemma

China has to balance the health and welfare of its citizens today with longer range impacts of climate change. McIlvaine has a number of services which shed light on the resolution of this difficult choice. One is N049 Oil, Gas, Shale and Refining Markets and Projects.  In this service, McIlvaine is following the very ambitious program in the northern mining regions of China to convert coal to clean gas and transport it around the country.  Sinopec is proceeding with a $20 billion pipeline. Various gasification projects are in the planning or construction stage. There has been international criticism of this program due to its climate change implications. Since smog in major cities has been very high on the list of citizen complaints, a program to economically reduce it has considerable support. The clean gas will be piped to cities around the country and will replace dirty fuels presently burned in residential, commercial and light industrial plants.  New research substantiates this argument. 

"Coal and other dirty solid fuels are frequently used in homes for cooking and heating," said Denise Mauzerall, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and public and international affairs at Princeton University. "Because these emissions are essentially uncontrolled they emit a disproportionately large amount of air pollutants which contribute substantially to smog in Beijing and surrounding regions."

Households account for about 18 percent of total energy use in the Beijing region but produce 50 percent of black carbon emissions and 69 percent of organic carbon emissions, according to a research team from institutions including Princeton, the University of California Berkeley, Peking University and Tsinghua University. In the Beijing area, households contribute more pollutants in the form of small soot particles (which are particularly hazardous to human health) than the transportation sector and power plants combined; in the winter heating season, households also contribute more small particles than do industrial sources. The researchers said the high levels of air pollutant emissions are due to the use of coal and other dirty fuels in small stoves and heaters that lack the pollution controls in place in power plants, vehicles and at some factories.

This syngas program would eliminate much of the smog problem. Its impact on net CO2 emissions will be smaller than what is claimed by the international opposition.  The residential heating sources are inefficient. So they emit more CO2 per unit of energy produced than will a new gas furnace replacement.  Another argument against the initiative is the impact on water resources in the mining areas.  McIlvaine has done extensive analysis of water related activities in China.  All of these plants will be equipped with zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems. This activity is tracked in N020 RO, UF, MF World Market.

In order to make the best decisions, China has to weigh the relative harm of CO2, NOx, PM2.5, water depletion and other resource impacts. It also has to weigh present vs. future values e.g. smog today vs. climate change tomorrow. McIlvaine has a common metric to weigh all harm and good Sustainability Universal Rating System

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    AUGUST 2016

Help McIlvaine create a Uniquely Valuable Stationary Reciprocating Engine Emissions and Sound Control Decision Guide in Just Four Weeks

McIlvaine is requesting input from suppliers, consultants, associations and operators of reciprocating engines to create a Decision Guide which will ensure better and quicker decisions on:


Inlet Air Filters

Fuel Filters

Diesel Particulate Filters

Valves and Pumps

Controls and Instrumentation

Emission Reduction Systems


NH3 Injection Systems

Heat Exchangers and Heat Recovery

Silencers and Sound Attenuation

Applications                             Fuels

Data Centers

Gas Compressors

On Site Power (standby, emergency, base load)

Large Pumps and Rotating Equipment



Natural Gas

Shale Gas


Heavy Oil

Coal Mine Methane


Geographies Regulatory

U.S. National, State, Regional and Local

EU, Individual Countries and Local

Chinese National and Provincial

Other Countries

Emission Limits and Schedules

Operating Limitations

Testing and Monitoring Requirements

The logical questions are how? And why?  Let’s start with “how”.

How: Your information can be included at no charge in Gas Turbine and Reciprocating Engine Decisions.  This program includes an intelligence system which is easily accessed.  It includes summaries which are carefully written to provide immediate knowledge and then links to the actual data.

We will write the summaries when you send us case histories, presentations and articles.  In the last week, we have posted 100 summaries and linked to papers with thousands of pages.

We are offering a free 20-minute video interview to each supplier, consultant, or association. The quickest and easiest approach is for us to set up the GoToMeeting and then display your website.  We move from page to page as we discuss your products and why an engine owner would want to know about them.  If there is not sufficient information on your website, you can send us a power point presentation in advance and we will display that while we discuss your products.

We will also post comments which would be best structured as “letters to the editor.” They will have the impact of an organized blog. These comments will be included in the biweekly updates.

Why:  Why is McIlvaine offering free services?  Why will engine operators use it? Why try to do so much in one month?

Why is McIlvaine offering free services?  The answer is found in a popular book called Wikinomics.  The Decision Guide is free to any engine owner or operator but is $1600/yr. for others.  59D Gas Turbine and Reciprocating Engine Decisions  However, the one free recording and continuous posting of data is free.

Why will engine operators use it?  This question is best answered by example.  It is obvious that a small diesel power plant in India is in need of this guide.  But what about a large coal-fired utility in the U.S.  Why would they use the McIlvaine Decision Guide on coal-fired boiler NOx control?  They can easily afford the best consultants and can have personal meetings with any supplier when they wish. The answer is that despite all this expert knowledge on which to draw, the utility finds it will make better decisions with the guide.   If you need to be convinced of this, just sign up for the free PacifiCorp NOx control webinars 4 & 5 on September 1 and 8.

Why try to do so much in just one month?  The power generation industry has to become part of the fast moving digital world.  If you go to management who says you have to wait a month while they consider whether to conduct a simple video interview about your website, you are part of a culture which has to change. The newest decision makers are accustomed to instant answers to questions and access to the latest information. In fact, if you supply a case history from a few years ago, we will post it. But at some point we will want to call the plant and find out how it is working today. We want to demonstrate that in just a short period of time we can create a uniquely valuable guide.  But we also want to demonstrate that is just the start and that we will be adding equivalent value every month.

Please contact Bob McIlvaine to send information or to receive answers to your questions:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    847 784 0012 ext. 112.

NEW RELEASE                                                                                                      AUGUST 2016

Improving the Right-to-Win Ability for High Performance Flow Control andTreatment Products

The right-to-win for high performance flow control and treatment products can be enhanced by leveling the playing field and changing the scoring method. Right-to-win is the ability to engage in any competitive market with a better-than-even chance of success.  Four strategies have been used to improve the right-to-win ability.  They are position, execution, adaptation and concentration.

In flow control and treatment there are two types of products and services: high performance and general performance.  The right-to-win strategies for them differ significantly.

The challenge of large U.S. and European based suppliers of high performance flow control and treatment products is to not only improve the right-to-win ability in the existing market, but to be pro-active in changing the rules of the game to level the playing field and even the scoring method in developing countries.  Most of these large companies have not achieved the sales and profits in the fast growing developing market.  McIlvaine, therefore, proposes that “creation” be considered a fifth right-to-win strategy. The importance of each strategy has been ranked from very important to irrelevant. 

Right-to-Win Strategies for High Performance and General Performance Products

(5 is very important and 1 is irrelevant)

Right-to-Win Strategy High Performance General Performance
Position 3 5
Execution 3 5
Adaptation 5 3
Concentration 3 4
Creation 5 2

The creation strategy changes the playing field by making it easier for purchasers to buy the best rather than the lowest cost product.  This entails finding an easier way to determine the lowest total cost of ownership (LTCO).  Arcelor Mittal is doing this by global sourcing and then providing LTCO analyses for its 200 plants around the world. McIlvaine is accomplishing this in certain industries with free Decision Guides for end users.

Changing the scoring method is another game changer. Most flow control and treatment products contribute to increased life quality today at some penalty to future generations (e.g. greenhouse gases or resource depletion).  The perspective is quite different for a wealthy individual who wants to set up annuities for his grandchildren and the starving parent who cannot even ensure the survival of his children.  McIlvaine has created a metric to help developing countries make the best choice for their citizens.

For more information on right-to-win strategies in flow control and treatment contact Bob McIlvaine 847 784 0012 ext. 112 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information on the markets see N064 Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Treatment and Control: World Market

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    AUGUST 2016

Power Plant Air Quality Decisions Aids Power Plants in Making Environmental Decisions

A utility had to quickly address ways to reduce air pollution on four large boilers based on an EPA disapproval of the State plan.  The utility opted to use the free Power Plant Air Quality Decisions (PPAQD) to help make the decision.  This included access to a comprehensive intelligence system with decisively classified options plus recorded webinars.

Because of the potential size of the investment ($700 million), McIlvaine elected to conduct three focused webinars to help the utility apply the system.  Suppliers contributed new information for the system which has proved to be very useful.  This information was reviewed during the sessions in a crowd decision making mode. The decision options were then revised to reflect new alternatives and new values for existing routes.

The utility has not yet made a final decision on the solution, but at this point, the most likely choice is one that no one would have predicted at the start of the process. One reason is that some of the application knowledge has been limited to the cement, glass and waste-to-energy applications and was not known to the power industry.  In addition, some of the processes, when applied to other pollutants, have proved successful in coal-fired power. So this was the first time it was realized that they were equally applicable to the target pollutant.  The third reason was that new developments make this option much more attractive.

The staff of the utility has impressive resumes and knowledge of air pollution control equal to any power generator.  The fact that a large U.S. utility can benefit from the system leads to the conclusion that any small power plant or offshore power plant will derive even more benefit from use of the system.

The world’s relevant information is doubling every few years while an individual’s ability to assimilate it remains fixed. Systems such as Power Plant Air Quality Decisions become increasingly necessary.

For more information on 44I Power Plant Air Quality Decisions, click on:

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    AUGUST 2016

7,000 Utility Coal-fired Power Plants Are Continuing to Upgrade and Replace Controls and Equipment

The market to upgrade and replace components in the existing 7,000 coal-fired power plants is larger than the new equipment market for wind, solar, or gas turbines. The upgrades and replacements are tracked in the Utility Tracking System published by the McIlvaine Company.

Many of the power plants in the U.S. are more than 40 years old but are expected to operate another 20 years. Optimization systems can improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases and save fuel.  The payback is often measured in months and not years or decades.  So, even if the expected remaining life is 10 years or less, investment is warranted.

In many instances, the remaining life is determined by the upgrade investment costs. McIlvaine has been conducting three webinars for a large utility to determine whether optimization systems can reduce NOx sufficiently to meet new regional haze requirements.  The alternative is expensive selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.  Siemens, GE and Emerson have made presentations showing how substantial NOx reductions can be maintained by combining predictive models, advanced instrumentation and results based tuning.

The Utility Tracking System also tracks upgrades of utility water systems.  Power plants in the U.S. must make adjustments to limit harm to aquatic life at water intakes.  These same power plants must also now meet new wastewater emission standards. Many power plants around the world are opting for zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems.  This requires major investments in evaporators, crystallizers, membrane separators and mechanical vapor recompression.

The drought in India and water shortages in many countries are resulting in the use of treated municipal wastewater.  Most power plants are within 70 miles of a municipal wastewater plant.  The treatment costs to make this water usable by the utility are modest. So, if water is valued, the investment can be justified.

The average power plant is only 40 percent efficient.  The steam plume visible from the stack and cooling tower are testimony to the large quantity of wasted heat.  Sorbent injection and air preheater extension investment can be justified with payback within a year or two.

Air pollution regulations are not static.  There is a new round of regulations at least once a decade.  New pollutants such as mercury now have to be reduced as well as the traditional acid gases and particulate. The Utility Tracking System tracks all the upgrades in a database with details on each plant. A weekly 10 to 20-page alert covers new developments. For more information click on 42EI Utility Tracking System