Mcilvaine Insights


No. 205   July 26, 2022

Betty Tessien

        $750 Billon AWE Market

        FGD and DeNOx Markets are Mixed

        Humility is Needed in the Climate and Heat Wave Crisis


$750 Billon AWE Market

The market to treat, utilize, and measure industrial liquids and gases is covered in an umbrella report.  It is step one when seeking the next best fit. Step 2 is one of our many reports and step 3 is our consulting support.

The service also includes an analysis of thousands of acquisitions with ten or more new additions each month.

FGD and DeNOx Markets are Mixed

The market for FGD systems is negatively impacted by climate change policies and coal plant cancellations. On the other hand BECCS is carbon negative. Drax is a model for the rest of the world. Both FGD and DeNOx are required.

The SCR market in the U.S. could take off in a few years due to the new version of cross state air pollution control.

Developments are tracked in our FGD & DeNOx Newsletter.  Here are the June headlines.

June 2022 - FGD &DeNOx Newsletter - Table of Contents



        Thousands of AWE Market Niches Will Shape a $300 Billion IIoT Market

        Hefei Second Electric Selects Longking for Wastewater Treatment System

        Cement Plant NOx Control Decisions Involve a Number of Variables and Options

        Cemcat SCR Systems




        Gore SO2 Capture System Slated For Hindalco

        FL  Smidth Reports Strong First Quarter



There are separate market reports on FGD and DeNOx.  Here are details

FGD Market and Strategies

NOx Control World Markets



Humility is Needed in the Climate and Heat Wave Crisis


It is important to acknowledge that we will know a lot more about climate change in the future than we do now. If CO2 reduction is urgent then we could convert every coal plant to BECCS and take CO2 out of the air as fast as we were previously adding it. We could accelerate wind and solar. Nuclear is another option.

On the other hand, these  immediate initiatives will be very costly. If we have the luxury to introduce them over time, the impact on the economy will be less.

The learning curve on air pollution has been steep. In the 1960s the forerunner of EPA was a little office in Cincinnati under Health Education and Welfare. Air  pollution was viewed as a local dust nuisance. The solution  was a combination of stack height and dust removal. The taller the stack the lower the required efficiency.

The direct cause of heat waves is wind patterns. Heat waves usually happen because of trapped air that gets warmed like air inside an oven. High-pressure systems force air downward, preventing air near the ground from rising and hot air just gets hotter.

The role of CO2 is complex. For example, the amount of CO2 in the air can vary considerably from season to season. Greenhouses add CO2 to compensate for low CO2  periods and for higher growth generally. In fact, there is a general view that the earth looks greener from space because higher levels of CO2 have caused more growth.

Scientists agree that heat waves are not directly caused by CO2 levels. But many argue that the higher temperatures and frequency are  an indicator of climate change. This is a logical conclusion. The caveat is the unknown factors. The scientific equations are impressive and impossible for the layman to understand. But one way to  judge them is to determine how many factors in the equation are empirical or deduced.


Since the whole basis of climate policy is long term, the argument that we need to stop extreme heat waves now is a departure from the plan. In fact methane, which is much more potent in terms of heat impact, is treated as much less important than CO2 since it will be gone in 20 years whereas CO2 may be around for 100 years.

The extreme suffering caused by the heat waves needs to be addressed. One worry is that we focus too much on minimizing CO2 emissions and do not have the humility to admit we do not know all the answers and we need other measures to minimize this suffering.

One fact is that scientific discovery has proven  that many of our past initiatives were handicapped by knowledge we only later learned. Bob McIlvaine was contracted by EPA to testify before Senate sub committees twice prior to the1990 CAA act on SO2 reduction. McIlvaine testified relative to the cost and others testified to the benefits based on acid rain, which kills forests and  damages buildings.

In retrospect we should have ignored these impacts which were minor compared to the  reaction of SO2 to form fine particulate sulfates which cause a number of deaths.

With SO2, NOx, mercury, VOCs, dioxins, and other air pollutants, we have evolved to the best policies by constant debate. The NY Times Hong Kong bureau chief called Mcilvaine to state that they would publish an article stating that  dioxins from Chinese waste-to-energy plants would travel to California and cause major health problems. The NY Times ran the story but did include McIlvaine comments comparing dioxins from  a well-operated WTE plant to those of a few backyard barbecues.

In retrospect, virtually every country in the world, with the exception of the U.S., encourages WTE rather than landfill. Many prohibit landfilling if the waste can be combusted. The U.S. instead is left with the challenge of managing methane and VOC emissions from landfills.

We can turn our past mistakes into an advantage by building WTE plants with carbon capture and create CO2 negative sources of power.


Relative to CO2 policy, we need the humility to admit that the problem is complex, and  we are likely to learn new facts, which make many of our past decisions better or worse.

Letís hope our ignorance results in the right policy even if  we did not understand all the ramifications. In the case of SO2, we thought we were just reducing acid rain and instead found out we were reducing deadly sulfates. But as we proceed humility should be  a guide.

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