Demonstration of a Novel Ultra-Low NOx Boiler for Commercial Buildings

The project demonstrates burner technology that will reduce natural gas usage while meeting regional air quality requirements.


Institute of Gas Technology dba Gas Technology Institute


Irvine, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The ultra-low NOx burner (DSE burner) technology was successfully demonstrated and showed wide operational latitude in satisfying market needs and meeting requirements for <9, <12, and <20 vppm NOx. The DSE burner achieves comparable or slightly increased efficiency relative to other systems, such as flue gas recirculation (FGR) and high excess air (HEA) burners. The DSE burner also has lower blower pressure/power requirements compared to HEA burners, thus reducing electricity consumption and equipment cost. To bring the technology to market, GTI has partnered with Power Flame. Given the high performance of the technology and the low-cost design, the recipient is optimistic that the product could be brought to market with competitive pricing, enabling broad deployment. The final report is under review and planned for posting in the fall.

The Issue

Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from combustion are a leading cause of air pollution, resulting in this criteria pollutant being heavily regulated. In Southern California, commercial boilers are required to emit less than 9 ppm NOx. Current commercial technology capable of meeting these emission requirements are inefficient and costly. Retrofit costs associated with bringing commercial-scale boilers into compliance are 50% greater than costs for large industrial-scale retrofits. There is a significant need for low-cost NOx control strategies that can allow California-based commercial boiler operations to achieve regulatory compliance, without reducing efficiency.

Project Innovation

This project demonstrates a novel ultra-low-NOx burner design in a boiler for a commercial steam distribution system at Mission Linen Supply Inc. in Santa Barbara, California (the burner technology is referred to as dynamic stage entrainment (DSE)). The DSE burner offers a cost-competitive alternative to equipment currently available to the California commercial steam generation market, but not widely used. Extensive laboratory evaluation of the technology has shown the DSE burner design is capable of meeting less than nine parts per million NOx levels while operating with relatively low excess oxygen and high efficiency levels.

Project Benefits

DSE technology offers the potential for a cost competitive and efficient alternative that can reduce natural gas consumption, reduce operating cost and greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining compliance with local air district requirements. Successful completion of this demonstration will move the DSE technology towards commercialization, ultimately helping to bring to market a cost-competitive and efficient alternative for California commercial boiler operators who are seeking to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining compliance.

Lower Costs


This technology will reduce costs of boiler operation through reduced natural gas costs. Commercial operators will also save money on costs of NOx mitigation. The DSE burner offers a cost-competitive alternative to equipment currently available to the California commercial steam generation market,

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The technology aims to reduce natural gas usage which has the potential to reduce NOx levels and GHG emissions.

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