U.S. Announces New Aircraft Emissions Standards

July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Aircraft and emissions standardsThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to adopt new air pollution standards for engines used primarily in large commercial aircraft, including 737s, 747s, and 767s. The primary target of the air and pollution control proposal is to reduce ground-level nitrogen oxide emissions. 

EPA says the reduction would amount to an estimated 100,000 tons in the United States by 2030.  If adopted, the standards would be phased in over the next two years.  The standards would apply to all new engines in 2013. 

EPA says they collaborate with international agencies to ensure "significant and cost effective emissions reductions."  The hope, then, is that coming restrictions will be fairly fluid in terms of the adoption process. 

One global manufacturer says it manages and successfully reduces its emissions report numbers with emissions reporting software.  A dedicated software app isn't always necessary for emissions reporting, sometimes a spreadsheet will do the trick.  But for larger companies who are assessing emission equations, a relational database-driven software module can be a key tool.  Relational databases store company private information, component information, as well as public (and often updated) EPA data -- synthesizing -- then calculating and controlling emissions.  Regulatory compliance reports are accurate and defensible.

About pollution from large aircraft engines

The aerospace-oriented standards were previously agreed to by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Nitrogen oxide is produced from the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen gases in the air during combustion, especially at high temperatures.  Such gasses are formed wherever there is combustion - e.g., in an engine.  This type of gas reacts with air to form smog and acid rain, and is said to be central to the formation of tropospheric ozone.

However, nitrogen oxide should not be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O).   Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas used in industry as an oxidizer, an anesthetic, and a food additive

Comments will be accepted for 60 days after the date that the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

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