U.S. DOE selects new projects to control mercury at coal plants

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 16, 2003 — With the nation’s coal-burning utilities facing the prospect of first-time control on mercury emissions, the U.S. Department of Energy has selected eight new projects to test mercury control technologies at coal-fired power plants.

The selections build on past DOE research and focus on longer-term, large-scale tests of the most promising mercury control technologies at a broader range of utility field-test sites — specifically those burning lignite, and those with smaller electrostatic precipitators.

“President Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative proposes to reduce mercury emissions by 69 percent by 2018,” Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. “Success of the Clear Skies Initiative will be directly dependent on both the technical availability and cost-effectiveness of control technologies applicable to a diverse fleet of coal-fired electric utility boilers.”

These demonstration tests will be conducted at commercial coal-fired power plants and will produce important data on mercury removal effectiveness and cost, and the potential impacts on plant operations. DOE selected the eight projects from the first of two rounds of competition that began in February 2003. The second round of applications will be due by the end of January 2004.

ADA Environmental Solutions, LLC, Littleton, Colo.
Sorbent Injection for Mercury Control

This project will evaluate the use of sorbent injection to remove mercury from coal-combustion gases in conjunction with existing pollution-control equipment. Full-scale sorbent injection equipment will be installed and tested at four power plants. These plants cover a combination of coals and pollution control equipment that are representative of 78 percent of existing coal-fired generation plants and a large portion of new plants. The research team also includes the Electric Power Research Institute, CONSOL, Reaction Engineering, and Microbeam Technologies.

ADA Technologies, Inc., Littleton, Colo.
Amended Silicates for Mercury Control

This project will test a new non-carbon sorbent, Amended Silicates(tm), that delivers high mercury removal levels while avoiding impacts on fly ash sales. The project will take place at a 75-MW unit operated by Cinergy Power Generation Services in Miami Fort Unit 6. The project team also includes the University of North Dakota and Western Kentucky University.

URS Group Inc., Austin, Texas
Sorbent Injection for Small ESP Mercury Control

Sorbents will be injected upstream of a small collection area ESP followed by a wet scrubber at Southern Company Services’ Plant Yates Unit 1 in Atlanta, Ga. Previous full-scale sorbent injection tests have involved relatively large ESPs, but more than 60 percent of the industry is equipped with ESPs having small size collection areas. The tests will evaluate longer-term removal performance and by-product quality. Other team members include ADA Environmental Solutions and the Electric Power Research Institute.

URS Group Inc., Austin, Texas
Pilot Testing of Mercury Oxidation Catalysts for Upstream of Wet FGD Systems

This project involves large-scale testing of a honeycomb catalyst system that has been shown to be effective in oxidizing elemental mercury so that it can be removed in downstream wet lime or limestone flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems. Testing will be conducted over 14 months at two stations — TXU Monticello Station and Duke Energy’s Marshall Station — one burning Texas lignite, and the other a low-sulfur bituminous coal. Both are equipped with an ESP and wet scrubber.

URS Group Inc., Austin, Texas
Evaluation of MerCAPà¢â€ž- for Power Plant Mercury Control

In this project, URS Group will test Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Mercury Control via Adsorption Process (MerCAPà¢â€ž-) technology for controlling mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The process involves placing a regenerable, fixed-structure sorbent into a coal flue gas stream to remove mercury. Because the sorbent periodically regenerates as it captures and isolates mercury for disposal, mercury will not be contained in a plant’s combustion by-products. Testing will occur over a six-month period at Great River Energy’s lignite-fired Stanton Station and at Southern Company Services’ bituminous-fired Plant Yates.

University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Enhancing Carbon Reactivity in Mercury Control in Lignite-Fired Systems

This project focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of activated carbon in capturing mercury in plants burning low-rank lignite coals. Because of low chlorine and high calcium content, lignite produces higher levels of elemental mercury, which is more difficult to remove. Two different approaches will be evaluated: the injection of chlorine-based additives and the use of chemically treated sorbents. Testing will be performed on four units at three power plants burning North Dakota lignite: Leland Olds Station Unit 1 and Stanton Station Unit 10, both near Stanton, N.D.; Antelope Valley Station Unit 1 near Beulah, ND; and Stanton Station Unit 1. Two units are equipped with ESPs only, and two are equipped with spray dryer absorbers combined with fabric filters.

University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Mercury Oxidation Upstream of an ESP

This project will evaluate the effectiveness of using a chloride-based additive to increase mercury oxidation upstream of an ESP and a wet scrubber at two lignite-burning plants. The host sites include Minnkota Power Cooperative’s Milton R. Young Unit 2 in North Dakota, and TXU Monticello Unit 3 in Texas. The project will measure mercury oxidation levels removal rates across existing ESP and FGD units, determine costs associated with those removal rates, investigate the possibility of the air pollution control device acting as a multi-pollutant control device, and quantify plant maintenance impacts due to the control approach.

Sorbent Technologies Corp., Twinsburg, Ohio
Advanced Utility Mercury-Sorbent Field-Testing Program

This project will test a novel sorbent at Duke Energy’s Buck Station or Allen Station, which are both equipped with an ESP and burn bituminous coal; and also at Detroit Edison’s St. Clair Station, which burns a mixture of bituminous and subbituminous coal. Joining Sorbent Technologies, Duke Power, and Detroit Edison are Fuel Tech, Western Kentucky University’s Combustion Laboratory, PS Analytical, Spectra Gases, and Stock Equipment Company.


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