Covanta developed the technology as a retrofit for existing facilities like Metro Vancouver’s, and says it results in an improved combustion process that minimizes nitrogen oxides that contribute to the formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere and smog. Covanta Burnaby Renewable Energy operates Metro Vancouver’s facility located in Burnaby while the parent company owns or operates 44 other similar facilities worldwide.
Operations like Metro Vancouver’s waste-to-energy facility are subject to emissions standards that are among the most stringent in the world. Covanta’s new technology brings the nitrogen oxides operating level to almost three times below the current limit approved by the Province.
Prior to launching the nitrogen oxides reduction project, Metro Vancouver’s facility produced approximately 0.8 per cent of nitrogen oxides emissions in the region. The new emission control system has been operating since November 2014, and those emissions have been reduced to 0.4 percent of the emissions in the region.
The company says its technology can help energy-from-waste facilities reduce most emissions by more than 95 percent.
The Covanta project at the Metro Vancouver facility has three main components: the Covanta low nitrogen oxides system (LN), an upgrade to the facility’s existing selective non-catalytic reduction system, and related boiler upgrades.