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coal power plant

Green Technology Improves Coal-Fired Power Plants’ Energy Efficiency

coal power plantURS and the Ljungström Division of Arvos Group have signed an exclusive agreement to jointly develop, demonstrate and market technology to improve the energy efficiency of coal-fired power plants by 1 percent to 3 percent, with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

This will help power plants realize operational cost savings by burning less coal and generating less air pollution and coal combustion residual wastes, the companies say.

The approach involves combining URS’ SBS Injection sorbent injection technology for sulfur trioxide control with Ljungström’s air preheater technology. Sulfuric acid and other acidic compounds found in coal combustion gas cause fouling and corrosion of the air preheater equipment. By eliminating these acids, the thermal performance and efficiency of a coal-fired power plant can be improved.

Long-term testing of the combined technologies at the Ljungström Division research facilities in Wellsville, New York, has shown recovery of thermal energy from combustion flue gases to temperatures as low as 220 degrees Fahrenheit — an improvement in overall plant efficiency of as much as 3 percent, or about a 300 Btu/kW-hr heat rate reduction. Similar efficiency gains can be achieved at most power plants with relatively simple modifications to the air preheater, the companies say.

Additionally, lowering the flue gas temperature exiting the air preheater can increase the capture of mercury in existing air pollution control equipment, thereby reducing mercury emissions from the power plant.

Earlier this month URS introduced a mercury control technology, HBS Injection, to help US power plants comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard regulation issued by the EPA.

Photo Credit: coal power plant via Shutterstock


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One thought on “Green Technology Improves Coal-Fired Power Plants’ Energy Efficiency

  1. Although 1% to 3% reduction in carbon emissions via US coal-fired power plants is a start, it’s well below the 10% reduction EPA’s new proposed power plant regulations specify. However, the injection technology mentioned above is a good start but it will probably have to be at least tripled before older coal-fired power plants will be able to continue operating.

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