2007  No. 327

Power-Gen Air Quality Decisions Conference Targets the Specific Problems of Utilities

November 27, on the eve of Power-Gen, 30 people gathered for a completely unstructured day of discussions using the Power Plant Air Quality Decisions and Utility Upgrade Tracking System through a projector and display and internet connection.

Three utilities and several consultants with specific problems and interests drove the agenda with their inputs. Three panelists, Dave Harris of Black & Veatch, Tony Licata of Babcock and Bill Ellison of Ellison provided their expertise, as did a number of other participants.

For example, one of the utilities is going to have to reduce NOx from a lignite-fired boiler and wanted guidance. We first entered Utility Plans and displayed hundreds of records on that specific plant. We ascertained that our projected date for an SCR installation for that plant needed to be changed by one year. Tony was able to address this question from the perspective that his company, Babcock, is installing an SCR at TXU Oak Grove which will be lignite-fired. He recommended that plate type catalyst be utilized because of potential plugging problems.

Dave Harris had considerable insights due to the experience of Black & Veatch who supplied the first SCR for a PRB coal-fired unit (New Madrid). He said that the key to success is to take into account all the unique characteristics of the coal and mode of operation.

All of the utilities are facing mercury choices with one utility having an immediate need. Various alternatives were displayed from the Mercury Decision Tree and discussed. The information already in the decision tree was utilized to provide intelligence on SO3 and fine particulate.

Reagent quality was an issue which was discussed at length. Florida Rock, Mississippi Lime and Solvay all weighed in on various aspects. Francis Wetherbee of Florida Rock warned that the access to high quality limestone sites was limited. Utilities jeopardize FGD operation by opting for local poor quality limestone. One interesting option is regional grinding of limestone. Regional facilities can ship limestone with a fineness less than 325 mesh. The advantages are first that a high quality limestone is being supplied and secondly that the investment in grinding equipment is eliminated.

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