ClearSign Burner Technology Sets NOx Abatement Record
Air pollution control technology company ClearSign Combustion says it has measured and documented a further 40 percent reduction in emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx), now down to 3 parts per million (PPM) from its previous record of 5 PPM announced just last month.
This most recent demonstration was performed using a prototype burner based on ClearSign’s Duplex Burner Architecture in a furnace operating at a temperature of up to 1600 F with excess oxygen concentrations from between 1 and 3 percent.
CEO Rick Rutkowski says ClearSign’s Duplex Burner Architecture is the first technology platform to achieve NOx results like this. Plus, the technology achieved these results inside the furnace, which Rutkowski says will translate to increased energy efficiency and reduced cost of ownership compared to traditional burner technology or post-combustion treatments such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR). This means combustion system owner operators can manage emissions without sacrificing efficiency, he says.
The company is moving toward commercialization of its technology.
Chief technology officer Joe Colannino says the Duplex Burner Architecture can reduce NOx to unprecedented levels, without elevating CO, while maintaining customary or lower levels of O2 in the stack. He says the technology also reduces flame length by 90 percent or more compared to existing low-NOx burners.
Colannino says this kind of performance is important in industries including petrochemical applications where flame shape can affect throughput. Poor flame pattern and long flames in low-NOx burners for process heaters can cost millions of dollars in lost production annually as heater capacity must be reduced to accommodate the elongated flames, he says.
ClearSign has set a goal of reducing NOx to 2PPM later in 2013, using a combination of ClearSign’s Electrodynamic Combustion Control (ECC) and Duplex Burner Architecture technologies.
The company’s announcement comes as President Obama is slated to announce new regulations aimed at further reducing pollution from new and existing coal-fired power plants.
According to ClearSign, strict new NOx control regulations are being implemented over the next two years in several regions of the country including Texas and California. California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Rule 1146.1 requires that burners produce less than 9PPM of NOx no later than July 2014. Additionally, 75 percent of larger industrial boilers of between 20 and 50 MMBtu/h must reduce NOx emissions to 5PPM or below by Jan. 1, 2014 and 100 percent of boilers of this size must meet this strict limit by no later than Jan. 1, 2016.
Industry groups anticipate that these limits will soon be required in other areas of the country, with national standards to follow.
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