Mcilvaine Insights


No. 117   August 27, 2019


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

·       August 29 DSUA, SOx-NOx Pre Conference Webinar


·       August 23 Utility E Alert Headlines


·       Fracking Growth is Changing U.S. CFT Markets


·       Bubble Bath vs Shower Approach to Scrubbing


·       Market Briefs



August 29 DSUA, SOx-NOx Pre Conference Webinar


In the Sept 10-13 type frame there will be a dry scrubber conference in the U.S and a SOx, NOx conference in India.  Attendees at both conferences can benefit from shared information on a continuing basis.

On August 29th at 10:AM central time, there will be a preview of the DSUA conference and some insights for the SOx NOx conference in India.  Gerald Hunt, DSUA president, will provide the DSUA preview. 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.

S.D. Dalvi, President of Partnerships at Mission Energy and an organizer of the Sox - NOx conference. The organization plays a leading role in clean energy as explained on their website   We will display the agenda for the conference while we ask Mr. Dalvi the following questions


·       Q.  With your background in international law and lengthy experience with strategic partnerships and alliances how do you assess the potential for Indian air pollution system and equipment suppliers to partner with international companies?

·       Q.  Is part of your role liaising on Government of India Policies?



S Dalvi - President of Partnerships


·       Q.  How will Sox-NOx 2019 benefit international suppliers who want to partner with Indian companies?

·       Q.  Sox NOx 2019 attendance has been growing steadily each year.  What is your expectation for the quantity and quality of information exchange this year?

·       Q.  Can you cite some specific examples of value which will be provided this year?


Insights on the Indian market will be presented by Ravi Krishnan of Krishnan Associates.   McIlvaine is reporting programs for 100,000 MW of wet limestone scrubbers which are well underway and 60,000 MW of dry scrubbers for smaller and older plants which is just being initiated. Ravi will give us his estimates. Ravi has already submitted a detailed analysis prepared by Sumitomo SHI FW which shows that circulating fluid bed scrubbers have a lower total cost of ownership than wet scrubbers for many Indian applications. This analysis is posted in Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions (CFPPD) and will be displayed during the webinar on the 29th.

Dr. Jianchun Wang (Joe) will discuss the application of dry scrubbers in Chinese plants using the data which is displayed in CFPPD. Longking is the largest supplier of dry scrubbers worldwide. 


Scott Affelt of XMPLR will be introducing the use of predictive analytics to monitor for reliability and performance of Air Pollution Control equipment. ability of experts in the U.S. Predictive analytics can be used to provide a holistic view of the APC train and identify early performance shortfalls and/or equipment/component failures.  Advanced analytics tools can also be used to provided automated diagnostics and prognostics


We will also display the 2018 DSUA predictive diagnostics for atomizer paper by Ken Rogers of Omega Atomizers as an example of how data in DSUA archives can be valuable for new initiatives.


Several consultants from Burns & McDonnell will be on the call. They have prepared a list of some of the data which is needed.  The obvious items on the list are fuel and reagent quality, regulations, and plant operation characteristics. But there are other items which may be overlooked. For example the water required for semi dry scrubbing has to be low in TDS.


The speakers will consume 40 minutes. This leaves another 40 minutes for discussion on how to leverage the world’s scrubber knowledge going forward. Relevant data in CFPPD will be displayed. It will be permanently available free of charge to operators (utilities, WTE, Steel, and other scrubber users). It will be available free of charge to other webinar attendees and registrants to the DSUA and SOx-NOx conferences for a period until Oct 1. This provides everyone with access to the information.


One of the items to be discussed will be the scheduling of webinars subsequent to the two conferences. Another subject  will be the access to DSUA archives at a special price for non-attendees.


The concept of Lowest Total Cost of Ownership Validation ( LTCOV) using  the criminal prosecution format will be debated.  The supplier attempting to validate the superiority of his product is the prosecutor. The competition is the defendant. The customer is the jury. Following the prosecution format the case revolves around the organized presentation of evidence. This is provided in CFPPD as well as face to face discussions at conferences. The individual case can be a system or a component such as bags or fans. CFPPD provides coverage of all the combust, flow, and treat processes associated with coal fired power plants around the world.


The DSUA/SOx/NOx pre conference webinar will be held August 29 from 10:AM to 11:30 CDT. Attendees will have the opportunity to view the slides in advance.

To register for the conference just send an email to Bob McIlvaine at


Other links:

Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions click on 44I Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions

DSUA click on


August 23 Utility E Alert Headlines


Here are the headlines from the latest weekly Utility E Alert .  This service is available separately or as part of a package described at  Power Generation Markets and Projects




·         Vistra Energy to close Four Illinois Coal-fired Power Plants

·         New Mexico City Officials cut Deal to keep San Juan Coal-fired Station open

·         GRDA Board votes to decommission 41-year-old Coal-fired Unit

·         TVA plans to expand Coal Ash Dry Storage Landfill for Kingston Fossil Plant

·         Sheldon Station has shown the Low Total Cost of Ownership of P84 bags

·         Babcock Power uses CFD simulation for LPA Screen Design

·         AEP seeking close to 11 million Tons of Coal RFPs by 2022




·         5-Year Bag Life for Dry Scrubber with PPS/P84 Bags

·         Pakistan celebrates launch of new $2 Billion Coal-fired Power Plant

·         Improving the FGD Absorber and ESP performance at Iskenderun Power Plant

·         Coal will account for 60% of the Power in the Philippines in 2028




·     GE celebrates 25th Anniversary of Its 6F Gas Turbine, secures Two New Orders




·     Developer cuts plans for Power Plant after Nuclear bailout

·     Rosatom delivers Equipment for Nuclear Reactor Project in India




·     Milestone for Major UK Coal-to-Biomass conversion




·     BPE and ISGEC moving forward on Two FGD Projects in India

·     Chiyoda and Larsen & Toubro are offering the Chiyoda FGD Systems to Indian Power Plants

·     L & T Howden Fans for Indian Coal-fired Power Plants

·     L&T Howden has supplied Air Preheaters for a number of Indian Power Plants

·     Thermax and MET pursuing South Asian Market with Wet and Dry FGD Technology

·     TSGenco moving forward with Air Pollution Control upgrades at Four Units totaling 1800 MW




·     Dry Scrubber Pre-conference Webinar and Program

·     Thermax closes Q1 with 34% higher Revenue

·     Valves for Spray Tower Type FGD Systems

·     High priority on Valve Specifications for Indian Limestone FGD Systems

·     Yokogawa Process optimization reduces yearly costs in Limestone FGD System in Japanese Power Plant

·     The Shower versus the Bubble Bath Principle for FGD


Fracking Growth is Changing U.S. CFT Markets

There is nothing which has impacted the market for combust, flow, and treat equipment comparable to hydraulic fracturing and the resultant production of inexpensive oil and gas. Tax cuts, deregulation and other factors pale in comparison.  In fact the loosening of regulations has had a negative effect. For example a $700 million NOx control project for BHE was canceled because of the reduction in requirements for NOx control in the Western U.S where there is concern about visibility impairment.

The U.S. was already the largest combined oil and gas producer prior to April of this year when it also became the largest oil producer. Investment by the major oil companies is having a significant impact. The majors will produce half the oil coming out of the Permian basin in the coming decade.

This is important not only from the increased supply but the concurrent increase in refining and transportation capacity. Presently $100 billion is being spent for terminals, LNG liquefaction facilities, refineries, and petrochemical plants in Texas and Louisiana. Planned projects will generate a $20 billion per year capital investment and over $300 million per year in new CFT products.

This initiative also accelerates the concentration of CFT purchasing in a few companies. Chevron and Exxon will each be producing more than 1 billion barrels/day in the region.

The activities of the major players in the oil, gas, refining, and petrochemical industries along with weekly project updates are available as explained at N049 Oil, Gas, Shale and Refining Markets and Projects.

Market reports with specific oil, gas, and refining  CFT product forecasts are explained at


Bubble Bath vs Shower Approach to Scrubbing


There are large numbers of spray tower type flue gas desulfurization scrubbers being built in India today.  In the past two decades this spray tower design was used for over 800,000 MW of capacity in China.  This approach to capturing SO2 could be likened to taking a shower. A cascade of water sprays down from the shower head and washes away the dirt. In the U.S. nearly half the installations use technology likened to a bubble bath. The dirt impinges on the bubbles. Babcock & Wilcox and Chiyoda have been the largest suppliers of the bubble bath systems.

Did China and India make the right decision by opting for the shower design?  Possibly so but the decision making process was less than ideal. The bubble bath type scrubbers were the early choice.  Chemistry control problems resulted in significant scaling. Utilities demanded a design with the minimum amount of internals.  Since the spray tower only has headers and nozzles scale buildup was less. This open tower approach became the default choice.


Later when good chemistry control was perfected the bubble bath scrubbers were able to operate with minimal maintenance. However, at this point in time there were a large number of shower type scrubber suppliers who had invested significantly to maximize the efficiency of the shower design. These suppliers then became the licensors and partners of Chinese and Indian companies. The early shower type scrubbers were less efficient but more maintenance free than the bubble bath type. Is this still true?


It is appropriate to reopen the debate between these two types of scrubbers for several reasons. One is the upgrading of shower type scrubbers. One of the approaches offered by the shower scrubber vendors is to insert a bubble bath type tray in the existing shower scrubber. The reason is that efficiency can be improved without increasing the size of the scrubber. Granted that there is a world of difference between upgrade and greenfield economics, but why not thoroughly investigate the economics of the two approaches through the range of new and upgrade requirements.  Andritz has been a shower type scrubber producer but has a new design with a rod deck which uses the bubble bath approach.


There are also criteria which are unique to one country.  India has found that rolling and welding scrubber shells at the job site as opposed to shipping fabricated shells is more economic. With the smaller shells required for the bubble bath approach, this may make a difference in the evaluation. The bubble bath approach requires smaller pumps and larger fans. For a typical 500 MW power plant a number of 50,000 gpm special pumps are required with the shower approach.  Only a few international companies can build these large special pumps. The bubble bath approach requires 25,000 gpm slurry pumps such as made by a larger number of companies.


The debate over these two approaches is being encouraged and reported in Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions.   This  service is also providing a forum to evaluate  circulating dry scrubbers vs circulating fluidized bed vs spray dryer absorbers.  Subjects such as slurry, turbine bypass, anti-surge, and other processes requiring valves are also analyzed.  Membrane vs non-woven laminates for filter media is an ongoing debate. Evaporation vs spray drier approaches to zero liquid discharge is another example. Methods for eliminating ash ponds and beneficiating ash are of high interest in the U.S.  A big challenge in China is to determine the best way to upgrade sub critical and even supercritical to ultra-super critical  operation.  For more information click on 44I Coal Fired Power Plant Decisions


Market Briefs


N121 MBR Markets and Strategies    McIlvaine will be meeting with exhibitors and consultants at WEFTEC to better assess the municipal wastewater MBR  market and also supply a route map for those making MBR decisions.  For those making blower decisions McIlvaine is preparing a WEFTEC route map. To view the contents Click Here

N028 Industrial Valves: World Market   This market is characterized with major exports of valves and valve parts from Italy, China, and India. The domestic market in India is growing rapidly and supporting 400 valve companies.

N026 Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals: World Market.  Hydraulic fracturing is a big driver in this industry.

N031 Industrial IoT and Remote O&M The Chinese government’s decision to support third party operation of power plants and to upgrade existing coal plants to super critical and ultrasupercritical  boosts the market for those supplying process management software and instrumentation.

N019 Pumps World Market  Limestone scrubbing systems are being added to 100,000 MW  of coal fired capacity in India and will require a pump investment of over $100 million.

N006 Liquid Filtration and Media World Markets  The market for filtration in food processing is growing not only because of environmental requirements but because food processes increasingly depend on high quality filtration.  The single use biopharmaceutical filtration systems is a fast growing segment.

N005 Sedimentation and Centrifugation World Markets  There is increasing concentration as oil and gas majors dominate hydraulic fracturing. Large mining, chemical, steel, and food companies are expanding  through acquisitions. As a result  decisions are increasingly made by corporate offices.  Centrifuge use in food and pharmaceutical processing is also growing.

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