Birmingham, Ala., November 21, 2011 — Southern Research Institute, an independent, not-for-profit scientific research organization headquartered in Birmingham, plans to construct and operate a new facility designed to test selective catalytic reduction catalysts used by the utility industry to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.
Construction of the SCR Catalyst Test Facility is expected to be complete by mid-2012. Southern Research will then be able to offer services to utility companies that use catalysts for emissions reduction, as well as other organizations that regenerate the catalysts and provide catalyst management services for utilities. All testing will be done in accordance with industry-accepted standard protocols for the tests. The testing services offered will include:
* Measurement of SCR catalyst de- NOx activity under conditions that match industrial use,
* Measurement of SO2-to-SO3 conversion under the same conditions,
* Inspection of catalyst materials to detect any warping or other changes in dimensions,
* Analysis of the catalyst surface for contamination using x-ray fluorescence; and
* Measurement of catalyst specific surface area and pore-size distribution.
NOx is a byproduct of the combustion of coal and other fossil fuels. When emitted into the atmosphere from power plants, automobiles and other sources, NOx is converted to nitric acid, a primary ingredient of acid rain. NOx also participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions that produce smog and ozone. Acid rain, smog and ozone, along with NOx itself, have adverse health and environmental impacts that have led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the emissions of NOx.