Madison, Wisconsin — According to RMT, the company is changing the future of coal-fired boilers for industry and utilities with the introduction of SmartBurn. SmartBurn is a proven new technology that employs the practical application of combustion science technologies to improve the performance of coal-fired boilers and lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in the process. RMT will preview SmartBurn at the Power-Gen Conference in Orlando, Florida, December 10-12, 2002.
SmartBurn allows plants to lower NOx emissions, increase fuel flexibility, and maintain high boiler efficiency-all while operating at varying unit output. Early indicators have also shown that SmartBurn may lower ongoing operations and maintenance costs by improving boiler cleanliness and reducing soot blowing. “We provide all of this simultaneously,” says SmartBurn General Manager Pat Womersley, “rather than addressing just a single component.”
Six plants equaling a total of 1,600 MW have put SmartBurn to the test, and it has proven successful on all levels. Greg Neal, Plant Manager for a 770-MW generation facility, expresses, “We’ve demonstrated a 60% reduction in NOx, and we’ve reduced our need for high-cost kicker coal. We are experiencing lower dispatch costs and increased output with no reduction in megawatt capacity. And our neighbors are happy that we’re doing our part to make this a better place to live and work.”
Plants that have implemented the SmartBurnSM technology experience the following benefits:
Operating flexibility, including sustained boiler performance and NOx reductions over the 50-100% load range;
Dramatically lower NOx emission levels (e.g., from 1.09 lb/MMBtu to 0.30 lb/MMBtu for cyclone-fired boilers, from 0.34 lb/MMBtu to under 0.15 lb/MMBtu for tangentially-fired boilers);
Improved fuel flexibility through conversion to 100% Powder River Basin coal at full unit output;
Reduced capital costs as compared to post-combustion technology, such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR);
The science behind SmartBurn centers on applying the fundamentals of coal combustion chemistry and fluid dynamics to understand and improve the combustion process inside the boiler. The technology integrates the pre-combustion and primary and secondary combustion phases in order to optimize the overall combustion process, resulting in operating flexibility and NOx reduction.
“The difference with SmartBurn is that we combine high-level science with practical application to provide real results for coal-fired boilers,” Womersley explains. “We understand what’s inside the boiler and know why things work before we implement them. This allows us to do things faster, without side effects or increased risk.”
SmartBurn creates the proper combustion staging by determining the appropriate coal preparation and distribution, air distribution, and precise control. Throughout this process, RMT uses air flow measurement instrumentation provided by Air Monitor Corporation, an alliance partner in the application of the SmartBurnSM technology.
SmartBurn was developed through Alliant Energy’s Combustion Initiative Program to reduce NOx that is produced when coal is burned. This technology was created in anticipation of United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and future state requirements for NOx reduction in large steam boilers. SmartBurnSM has been recognized with the Iowa Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award and Wisconsin Business Friends of the Environment Honorable Mention. For more information about SmartBurnSM, visit www.smartburn.com.