DOE funds clean coal technologies at power plants

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Oct. 17, 2001 – Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said Wednesday the Department of Energy will spend $51 million applying various clean coal technologies to some of the nation’s coal-burning power plants.

The private sector will pitch in another $61 million to make eight coal-burning power plants “showcases” for low-cost electricity generation under stricter environmental standards.

“Our national energy plan recognizes that America cannot generate the electricity it needs without coal. That is why the president has pledged a new effort to work with the power industry to apply our best technology to use our vast coal reserves cleanly and economically,” Abraham said.

The DOE selected the projects from among 24 proposals submitted last April. Most focus on lower cost technologies to reduce pollutants from coal-burning power plants. Some of the projects aim to improve performance and reliability of coal plants. And others will tackle the problem of waste handling by turning sludge from a power plant into masonry blocks, reducing the need for landfills. The projects are as follows:

“- Alliant Energy Corp., Madison, Wis., will use computer modeling to see how far existing technologies can be pushed to reduce nitrogen oxide pollutants in a boiler that is especially prone to high emissions.

“- Arthur D. Little, Cambridge, Mass., will outfit a boiler at one of Orion Power Co.’s plants near Cleveland, Ohio, with a hybrid pollution control system to reduce nitrogen oxides. The system will integrate three established technologies: natural gas reburning, selective non-catalytic reduction, and selective catalytic reduction.

“- Consol Energy Inc., South Park, Pa., will demonstrate a pollution control system that reduces nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides in smaller coal plants for less money than controlling the two pollutants separately. Consol plans to install technology in an AES Corp. plant near Dresden, NY, that works inside the plant’s ductwork. It also will install a low combustion technology that burns coal mixed with biomass and a flue scrubber that is less complex and half the cost of conventional systems.

“- Otter Tail Power Co. Fergus Falls, Min., proposes to install a technology designed to capture up to 99.9% of the fly ash particles emitted from a coal plant in South Dakota. The company will integrate a fabric filter system with electrically charged plates to attract ash particles into a single unit.

“- Sunflower Electric Power Corp., Hays, Kan., will install low nitrogen oxide burners at a plant in Garden City, Kan., to demonstrate a pollution control concept for plants burning coal from Wyoming Powder River basin.

“- Tampa Electric Co., Tampa, Fla., will apply a laser system to measure wear on the brick liner inside a coal gasifier located in Polk County, Fla. Coal gasification is likely to be one of the most prevalent technologies installed in future power plants because of its efficiency and superior environmental performance.

“- Universal Aggregates LLC, South Park, Penn., will demonstrate a system that converts sludge to light weight bricks or concrete at its facility in Birchwood, Va. The idea is to turn the pollutant into a commercially valuable product.

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