Emission Testing 101

It’s essential to have an understanding of Emissions Testing, it’s significance and some of the protocols necessary for measuring and monitoring these materials in the atmosphere. This knowledge is fundamental to managing all aspects of the source emissions of your facility.


Emissions Testing, otherwise referred to as Stack Sampling or Stack Monitoring, is the experimental process for evaluating the characteristics of industrial waste gas stream emissions into the atmosphere.

Materials emitted to the air from these sources can be solid, liquid, or gas; organic or inorganic.

The effluent pollutants emitted to the atmosphere from a source may contain many different pollutant materials. Effluent measurements and sampling procedures follow specific test methods and protocols to ensure representative and accurate emission data. Test methods are pollutant specific, sometimes industry specific and originate from a variety of sources and jurisdictions including, but not limited to:

  • U.S. EPA
  • Environment Canada
  • State Agencies
  • Provincial Agencies
  • Trade Organizations

Source Sampling

Source Sampling provides a wealth of important data on the operating parameters and emissions of an industrial source. This information is used as the basis for decisions on a variety of issues. The data taken during a source test experiment must therefore be a precise representation of the source emissions. This task requires a thorough knowledge of the recommended sampling procedure(s) in conjunction with an understanding of process operations. The typical industrial process may have variable source conditions for an array of economic or logistical reasons.

A Program must be designed to prevent process variation from biasing the source sample and to ensure the safety of the field personnel. Consequently, source testing is an endeavor that should be performed only by trained personnel.

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What is Emissions Testing?

What is Emissions Testing?

What is Emissions Testing?

Emissions Testing, otherwise referred to as Stack Sampling or Stack Monitoring, is the experimental process for evaluating the characteristics of industrial waste gas stream emissions into the atmosphere. Materials emitted to the air from these sources can be solid, liquid, or gas; organic or inorganic.

Effluent Measurements

Effluent Measurements

Effluent Measurements

The effluent pollutants emitted to the atmosphere from a source may contain many different pollutant materials. Effluent measurements and sampling procedures follow specific test methods and protocols to ensure representative and accurate emission data.

Sampling Versus Monitoring

Sampling Versus Monitoring

Sampling Versus Monitoring

Pollutant concentrations from a stack can be determined by sampling or monitoring. Test methods are pollutant specific, sometimes industry specific and originate from a variety of sources and jurisdictions such as U.S. EPA, Environment Canada, State Agencies, Provincial Agencies, or Trade Organizations.

The Sampling Process

The Sampling Process

The Sampling Process

The objective of the sampling process is to collect a known quantity of pollutant from a known volume of effluent gas. This is accomplished by withdrawing a suitable amount of gaseous and particulate material using a sampling train.

Isokinetic Sampling

Isokinetic Sampling

Isokinetic Sampling

Isokinetic source sampling is achieved when the velocity of gas entering the sampling nozzle is exactly equal to the velocity of the approaching gas stream. This provides an uniform and unbiased sample of the pollutants being emitted by the source.

Determining the Pollutant Emission Rate from a Source

Determining the Pollutant Emission Rate from a Source

Determining the Pollutant Emission Rate from a Source

The emission rate of a pollutant is the product of the measured pollutant concentration and the measured effluent flow rate. In order to make this work, the volume must be expressed in Reference or Standard Conditions.

The Test Report

The Test Report

The Test Report

The Source Sampling Test Report should be a record of the experimental procedure and test results. The report must state the objectives of the experiment, the procedures to accomplish these objectives, results of the experiment and conclusions that may be drawn from the results.

On Site Requirements

On Site Requirements

On Site Requirements

In order for LEHDER to perform a Stack Sampling Program in a safe and efficient manner, there are responsibilities to be fulfilled by the client prior to conducting the field work.

Test Methods and Codes

Test Methods and Codes

Test Methods and Codes

LEHDER conducts Stack Sampling Programs in accordance with procedures and techniques described in provincial, state, federal and U.S. EPA source testing codes.

Preparing Request for Proposal

Preparing Request for Proposal

Preparing Request for Proposal

What should an effective Request For Proposal look like? An RFP for source testing projects should address the project purpose, describe the process(es), list the targeted test contaminants and sources, and identify site specific safety concerns.

Stack Sampling Training

Stack Sampling Training

Stack Sampling Training

LEHDER has a considerable history of sharing our technical expertise. We have provided teaching services at Ontario post-secondary institutions since 1990 and have expanded our efforts internationally through training programs with foreign professionals.