NOx emissions over city sky

Air pollution is a large contributor to climate change and can also have serious long term effects on the health of the public. Commercial boilers which rely on oil and gas can release high levels of CO2 and NOx emissions throughout the boilers lifetime. It is important to identify and regulate the emissions generated via boilers, and their impact on people and the environment.

We believe it’s imperative for the hire industry to explore more sustainable and socially responsible alternatives and solutions.

NOx emissions over city sky

What is NOx?

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is a chemical compound of nitrogen and oxygen. Nitrogen oxide is formed when both chemical compounds react together during combustion at high temperatures.

Car engines and boilers are high contributors of NOx emissions due to the combustion of fossil fuels. With recent reports discovering that in Central London alone, NOx emissions have increased from 30% in 2013 to 38% in 2020.

What is CO2?

Carbon dioxide is a gas consisting of one part carbon and two parts oxygen. The burning of fossil fuels creates a buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere causing the temperature of the Earth to increase, which in turn contributes to global warming.

The Damaging Effects of NOx:

Exposure to NOx emissions can have both major short and long term effects on the public. It has been proven that NOx emissions can cause inflammation of the airways and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections and allergens, leaving people with asthma at greater risk. Children and the elderly are also at greater risk, where there is a higher level of NOx. 

The Hidden Social Inequality of Air Pollution:

It has been recognised that health complications linked to air pollution disportionately affects the most vulnerable communities in London, with 9,500 Londoners dying prematurely from long term air pollution*. Areas of the UK are breaking legal limits on toxic air pollution, affecting the poorest, those with pre-existing health conditions and those from minority ethnic groups the most. Those living in deprived areas are, on average, more likely to be exposed to poor air quality, with over 443 schools*** in London in locations exceeding the safe legal pollution levels. 

This social inequality leaves vulnerable communities at a higher health risk to those in lower air pollution areas, leading to an increase in absences from work and education which can have an impact on an individuals quality of life.

Climate Change: Can Temporary Boiler Companies do more?

Nitrogen oxide can damage the environment by changing soil chemistry and affecting biodiversity in sensitive habitats damaging the ecosystems which humans and animals depend on for survival. Additionally, the production of NOx contributes to ozone gas which causes oxidative damage to vegetation. 

In an attempt to tackle air pollution, the revised Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and National Emission Ceilings Regulations (NECR) requires the UK to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides by 73% compared to emissions in 2005 by 2030**.

At Rapid Energy, we believe in doing all we can to help meet these targets which is why we are looking into sustainable alternative boiler options for our clients to achieve our goal of being carbon negative. Rapid Energy currently offers clients temporary boilers available to hire on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) which is a renewable and sustainable alternative to gas and oil, reducing a boiler’s carbon emissions by up to 90%. However, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that using HVO will reduce NOx levels.

We will be investing in a new innovation for our entire fleet of packaged boilers, which will bring us closer to becoming a more sustainable and responsible business.

If you would like to find out how Rapid Energy can significantly lower your temporary boiler’s CO2 and NOx emissions, please call us on 0800 464 7025.  

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