Mcilvaine Insights


No. 116   August 20, 2019


Weekly selected highlights in flow control, treatment and combustion from the many McIlvaine publications.

·       WEFTEC 2919 MBR and Aeration Blower True Costs

·       Dry Scrubber Pre-conference Webinar and Program

·       Does McKinsey Report on Flow Control Consider Asian Suppliers?

·       Utility E Alert Headlines for Last Week

·       LNG is a Most Profitable Market for CFT Suppliers


WEFTEC 2919 MBR and Aeration Blower True Costs

Aeration Blower True Costs. 

The exhibition stands and speeches will provide substantial insights into the true costs of aeration blowers.  A guide to each relevant exhibit and speech has been prepared.  A networking directory to insure the most efficient interface with knowledge sources is also provided.  This guide is being continually updated. 
WEFTEC 2919 Municipal Wastewater True Cost Guide

In order to facilitate the discussions an extensive analysis Municipal Wastewater Blower True Costs is being made available to attendees.  Feel free to submit case histories and comments to add to the analysis.

Important questions are

·       Which blower type is best fitted for a specific application? high speed turbo, screw compressor, rotary blower, or single stage centrifugal?

·       Choice of magnetic or air foil bearing design

·       Drives, controls

·       Application developments such as nitrification, process control

·       Multiple vs single blower

·       Site specific variables such as electricity cost, flow variation, plant life

To contribute to the analysis and  guide contact Bob McIlvaine 847 226 2391 email

WEFTEC Municipal Wastewater Membrane Bioreactor True Cost Guide

The exhibition stands and speeches will provide substantial insights into the true costs of  membrane bioreactors and components. A guide to each relevant exhibit and speech has been prepared.  A networking directory to insure the most efficient interface with knowledge sources is also provided.  This guide is being continually updated To view the contents  Click Here

To contribute to this guide contact Bob McIlvaine 847 226 2391 email

A market report on membrane bioreactors is also available. For Details on the report Click Here                         

The very substantial body of information from WEFTEC 2018 is shared at 
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Update


Dry Scrubber Pre-conference Webinar and Program

If you are involved with dry scrubbers. Here are four knowledge sources

·       DSUA pre-conference webinar August 29th at 11:AM EDT

·       Dry Scrubber Users Conference September 10-12 in Kansas City

·       SOx-NOx 2019, September 11-13 New Delhi India

·       Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions

DSUA Pre Conference Webinar

On August 29th at 10:AM central time, there will be a preview of the DSUA conference with a presentation by Gerald Hunt, DSUA president followed by discussions with panelists, Bob McIlvaine and Paul Brandt of Burns & McDonnell. The question posed to the audience will be how to leverage the conference and archives on a continuing basis to assist in dry scrubber decision making worldwide.

An hour has been allotted to this discussion which is free to anyone. To register for the meeting just email Ross Ardell at  Address questions to Bob McIlvaine at 847 226 2391 email

Dry Scrubber Users Conference

This conference is unique due to the frank and in depth discussions which take place. The focus is semi dry and dry scrubbers used in a number of different industries. There are tours of dry scrubber installations in the Kansas City area, speeches by end users and suppliers, exhibits, and most importantly lots of opportunities to talk to the other attendees.  Details on the conference are found at

SOx-NOx 2019

Government and industry leaders will be participating in this annual conference addressing air pollution control needs for power plants. This market is the world’s most active for FGD presently with utilities expected to install systems on 160,000 MW of capacity.  Details are found at

Coal fired Power Plant Decisions

Dry scrubbing is one of the options used by coal fired power plant operators to capture SO2, sulfuric acid mist and other acid gases. 44I Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions provides a forum for end users and suppliers to determine which pollution control options are best for a specific plant. Because of lack of water, low SO2 concentrations, weak gypsum market demand, and other factors a dry rather than wet scrubbing solution may be the best choice.

The choice is made more complex by the need to address multiple pollutants. Dry scrubbing is effective in removing SO3 whereas this is not true of wet scrubbers. With the addition of activated carbon, dry scrubbers can also remove mercury. There are multiple dry scrubber designs. Some are better with higher sulfur levels. So the fuel becomes one variable in the pursuit of the lowest total cost of ownership solution.


There are multiple dry scrubbing technologies. One is the spray dryer absorber (SDA). This utilizes the same principle used in manufacturing instant coffee or powdered soft drinks. A slurry is sprayed into a vessel through which the hot gas flows. The liquid evaporates. The acid gas reacts with the absorbing particles. The particles are then captured in a fabric filter.

The circulating fluid bed (CFB) scrubber functions by passing the acid gas through a fluidized bed of lime particles. Circulating Dry Scrubbers (CDS) entrain and then separate the particles. Lime or sodium particles are injected into the flue gas duct with Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI) systems. The catalytic filter uses the DSI principle ahead of a ceramic filter medium with embedded catalyst for both particulate control and NOx reduction.

There are a number of materials, fibers, media configurations and element designs which are utilized. The collection media in the fabric filter has a major impact on cost. The optimum gas velocity can vary depending on the media selected. If the velocity can be doubled then the size of the unit can be halved. Instead of 4000 bags for a big installation maybe only 2000 would be needed.

On the other hand, the cost of ownership is significantly affected by the bag life. If bags last one year rather than four or five years, then bag costs become a significant part of the total expense. The energy cost is also a factor. Energy consumption increases in direct proportion to velocity. It also increases in direct proportion to the thickness of the dust cake on the filter media.

In the case where only particulate is to be captured it is best to establish a semi-permanent cake on the bags and then pulse off the new cake. In accounting terms this is LIFO (last in first out). However, for dry scrubbing it is best to remove the reacted gypsum and retain the fresh lime (FIFO). The industry has not formally addressed FIFO vs LIFO and needs to do so.

The need to maximize acid gas capture and the resultant substantial increase in particulate loading affects the choice of fibers and filter media. The type of cleaning (reverse air or pulsing with compressed air) also determines the selection of the lowest true cost medium.

The fuel or product being calcined or treated also impacts the medium. If a high sulfur fuel is burned, the costs of dry scrubbing are comparatively higher than if a low sulfur fuel is burned. Various fibers react differently to various combinations of acid gases, temperature and humidity. One fiber may handle SO2 and HF in relatively humid conditions at 300 F whereas another cannot.

Temperature resistance is important for several reasons. One is that a fiber which can withstand the temperature excursions will have a longer life than one which is dependent on more perfect operation of the system. Another consideration is the potential to recover heat.

An alternative to glass and polymeric resins is a ceramic fiber matrix. Elements can contain embedded catalysts. Dry sorbent injection ahead of the ceramic media can be utilized to provide removal of dust and acid gases while reducing NOx. The resultant clean hot gas at 600 F or higher can then be directed to an efficient heat exchanger and most of the potential energy recovered.

The material, fiber design, media construction and filter element shape all have to be designed to address the unique requirements of the application and the technology being employed.

The two major fiber types are glass and polymers.

Type of Fiber




Woven generally but also some non-woven


·        Laminates

·        Laminate with Membrane

Performance varies both in terms of temperature, abrasion and chemical resistance.



Max Continuous 


Abrasion Resistance



















Very Good


There are differences in laminates with multiple non-woven layers being employed with varying support materials and designs. Fiber shape is also a variable.


How complex are the decisions? There are at least 1500 combinations to assess.


But there are also site specific considerations such as cost of electricity, reagents, pollution limits, plant life, existing equipment. So these can present another 100 variables resulting in 150,000 factors.

There are mountains of information available on all the different variables. Determining which information will help select the lowest total cost of ownership product is a daunting task. The answer is “shared responsibility and collaboration”. Organizations focused on components such as filter media or reagents can contribute but only if there is a clear path on how to do so. The Dry Scrubber Users Group which is focused on the subject in the broadest terms can be the catalyst to help bring other organizations into what can be titled a True Cost Program. The program can provide access to the needed evidence for validation of lowest total cost of ownership. Conferences and exhibitions can provide a forum for actual validation of supplier claims. The categories include component related conferences as well as industry conferences.

Shared responsibility and collaboration are best driven by suppliers who are convinced that their product has the lowest true cost and are willing to help provide all the evidence pro & con to support their position. Coal Fired Boiler Decisions has a Dry Scrubber Decision Guide, a monthly FGD newsletter and another newsletter just on Fabric Filters. Information has been compiled for this service for 45 years. Collaboration with publishers and conference organizers includes dry scrubbing tour maps and networking at exhibitions.

Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions is being offered free of charge to utility operators. Suppliers are able to participate with just a $1600/yr subscription. For more information click on 44I Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions

Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at 847 784 0013 email


Does McKinsey Report on Flow Control Consider Asian Suppliers?

A new report by McKinsey, Flow Control-Sector at a Cross Roads analyzes industry performance based on Japanese, U.S. and European companies.  It considers a $225 million market which McIlvaine pegs at more than $400 million.


If the industry is at a cross roads it is likely to be based on the rise of Chinese, Indian and other suppliers in the fastest growing parts of the globe.  Larsen & Toubro is a major valve supplier based  in India.  Neway is a major valve supplier based in China. Sinopec, based in China, is the world’s largest flow and treat purchaser but also a major supplier of pumps.

The crossroads which McIlvaine maps is between regional and world focus. It is from orientation around countries to orientation around worldwide users. The oil, chemical, mining and other industries are using remote monitoring, process management software, and data analytics to specify flow and treat products for all their plants around the world.  Suppliers need to adapt these  developments.  The following recent news releases address the question in one way or another

Selling to the 500 Coal Plant Owners who make 99 percent of the Purchases

Oil, Gas, Refining Daily Project Tracking and Monthly Analysis

Factors Shaping the Combust, Flow and Treat (CFT) Market

Innovation in the Combust, Flow and Treat Industry is a Product of Wisdom through Interconnection

Pump Companies Continuing to Change Strategy and Ownership

Flow and Treat Purchases by TSMC and Other Chip Producers

Flow and Treat Acquisition Choices Shaped by Most Profitable Market Program

Bottoms Up Collaboration Around Each Major Flow and Treat Prospect

Eliminating Silos can Increase Profits in Air, Water and Energy

LNG is a Most Profitable Market for CFT Suppliers

Most Profitable Petrochemical Markets for CFT Suppliers

Treatment Chemicals Most Profitable Market Analyses based on Knowledge


Utility E Alert Headlines for Last Week

Here are the headlines in the Utility E-Alert for last week.  This service is available separately or as part of a package  Power Generation Markets and Projects


#1434 – August 16, 2019  Table of Contents



·                  How ACE affects today’s Utility Plants

·                  Coalition of US States and Cities challenges Trump Coal Pollution Wind-back

·                  Coal Unit Trump wanted saved set to close 19 Months Early

·                  TVA seeking Public input on expansion of Coal Reserves



·                  Australian Utility flags early closure of Brown Coal Plant

·                  Russian Coal Company seeking change to Big Arctic Reserve Boundary

·                  Vietnam’s Prime Minister urges construction of Two Coal Plants

·                  CEZ Group turns to Gore to reduce Mercury Emissions from Melnik I

·                  36,000 Hours of operation for P84+PPS  Bags at Eskom




·              NRC approves Sale of last Nuclear Plant in Massachusetts



·                  Analysis of Indian FGD Suppliers

·                  Indian Coal Ash Dam collapses

·                  Indian Power Lobby presses for further delay in Pollution Standards

·                  Doosan is active in India and Around the World in the Full Range of APC Equipment

·                  Indure is a large Indian EPC Company with APC Licenses

·                  BHEL is the leading Supplier of Power Plants and FGD Systems in India

·                  ISGEC has Licenses from Multiple International APC Suppliers

·                  GE is the Second largest FGD Supplier in India

·                  Hamon Indian Subsidiary selling Cooling Towers, Chimneys and Air Pollution Control Equipment in India

·                  Rieco offers a Limestone FGD System with a Venturi Scrubber for Particulate removal

·                  Andritz offers Wet and Dry FGD Systems in India

·                  Larsen and Toubro designs Plants, Air Pollution Control Systems and manufactures Components such as Valves

·                  Circulating Fluid Bed Scrubber could be the best choice for many Indian Power Plants

·                  Adage Automation supplies 127 CEMS for Reliance Industries

·                  Bids close for DSI for 4 x 210 MW of DSI systems at  Punjab State Power Roopnagar in September 2019

·                  Tata Power March 2019 bid request for 1 x 67.5 MW DSI FGD System

·                  Carmeuse exporting Lime to India from Oman

·                  Valmet uses the Condensing Scrubber Technology to recover Heat



LNG is a Most Profitable Market for CFT Suppliers

Combust, flow, and treat (CFT) products are important components in liquefaction of natural gas, the transport of those liquids by ship or land and their regasification prior to use. It is desirable for a CFT supplier to assess this opportunity based on the basis of the profit which can be obtained by pursuing it. This Most Profitable Market (MPM) can be defined as the market which yields the highest profit given the resources available.

The LNG market creates high profit opportunities for CFT companies due to

·       High growth

·       Challenging applications

·       Relative few decision makers

·       Purchaser desire to buy based on lowest total cost of ownership

·       Ability to validate lowest total cost of ownership

High Growth: High growth markets have less competition and a bigger profit opportunity. LNG will be experiencing rapid growth. Over the next few years the U.S. will lead in liquefaction construction. Regasification facilities will be constructed in many countries. LNG represents just under 10 percent of the global gas supply. LNG continues to be the fastest-growing gas supply source. The expected world compound annual growth rate is 4 percent a year between now and 2035. However growth in the next 5 years will exceed 7 percent.

2018 liquefaction capacity was 370 million tons per annum (mtpa). 875 mtpa of new liquefaction capacity is proposed. 92 mtpa is under construction. Global regasification capacity is 851 mtpa. There are 478 LNG vessels with more than 20 new vessels per year being commissioned. In 2023 Australian capacity will exceed 80 mtpa compared to 100 mtpa in Qatar and 65 million mtpa in the U.S. The U.S. will experience the fastest growth from a base of 20 mtpa in 2017.

This extract from the LNG analysis is similar to one on each oil, gas, refining, and petrochemical sector in N049 Oil, Gas, Shale and Refining Markets and Projects